Road trips can be a blast, with adventure ahead and new destinations to take in along the way, but if you have ever tried a road trip with kids, you may know these do not always go to plan. Everything from the whining for food and the constant ‘Are we there yet?’ and ‘How much longer?’, or the bickering in the backseat from being in close confines for too long. Road trips with kids can be a disaster, unless you plan ahead.
6 Tips for Surviving a Road Trip With Kids
Kids have smaller stomachs than us so chances are they get hungry a lot more often. They also like to snack out of boredom sometimes too, so having an abundance of good food for a road trip with kids is essential. Make sure to pack snacks that do not need refrigeration, unless you have a quality esky to keep them cool. Also avoid the high sugar snacks or you could end up with hyperactive kids who won’t cope well with being confined to a car or other vehicle for prolonged periods.
Here are some snack ideas:
- Veggie sticks
- Cheese and crackers
- Dried fruit and nut mix
- Natural popcorn
2. Travel Games
It can be a lot of fun for the family, adults included, to play some travel games along the way. This is good for bonding time, along with keeping the kids amused during the long drive. Games such as I Spy, where you take in turns picking an item and giving only the first letter for the rest of the family to guess, or a scavenger hunt are a great option. The scavenger hunt items you can either make up on the go, or create a list before you leave and tick it off together. When travelling with kids, it always helps to have a few of these you can play on demand.
3. Frequent Stops
Giving the kids a chance to stop and stretch their legs makes a huge difference when taking a road trip with kids. They are not so great at sitting still for long periods so be sure to take breaks for meals and toilet stops, as well as some just because stops if everyone is getting restless. If travelling by car, this is good for the drivers too. As they say – Revive and Survive.
Depending on the age of your kids, they may enjoy some travel-friendly activities, such as colouring books, busy bags or having some favourite toys to play with. Sure it may get a little messy, but happy kids = happy parents.
If they bore of the non-electronic forms of entertainment, it may be time to pull out the technology. An iPod or iPad, gaming device or other technological gadget can provide a lot of amusement and a bit of down time along the way. It may not be ideal for family travel bonding, but chances are it will keep them quiet for a while and that is refreshing.
Ensuring your kids are comfortable is a big factor in encouraging rest time. If you have room, pack a pillow and even a blanket for them so they can take some time to shut their eyes and have a nap if they desire. Travelling for long periods is exhausting, plus it may make them less irritable than trying to over-stimulate them with entertainment the whole way.
If all that fails, you can always turn up the music loud and drown out the noise of bickering and moaning in the background…
What are your favourite methods of surviving a road trip with kids?