Are you looking at hours in the car with your kids? Are you looking forward to the time together?
Long road trips with one or more children can be anything from great to difficult. Planning ahead can tilt the needle in the right direction, though, and set you up for success.
Pack snacks. Airlines know this: keep people fed on a long flight, and they will be more content to sit and wait until arrival.
Keep some snacks light and crunchy to add texture and interest, but keep variety in mind too. Individual portions will make the fun last longer. And, of course, remember that messy, gooey, or sticky will make it harder to clean-up.
Pack activities. Electronics will only get you so far. Multiple movies will eventually get boring, even though the time passes quickly that way at first.
- Toys that are contained work well. Older kids can handle more pieces, but even babies can play with several items on a strip.
- Children that can read and write can also enjoy games like I Spy or Find the Alphabet. You can even make up your own, like who can find certain trucks or animals or whatnot first or most. Be creative.
- Activity books can also be a welcome relief. You don’t need a box of 64 crayons — a few will do.
- Get a special set of toys or books that you introduce on this road trip. Novelty is a big draw.
Plan for breaks. Know that little legs need to stretch. Plan on taking longer than if you were driving alone and in a hurry. Keep an eye out for stops that have room to run or something to see, to make the most of the time off the road.
Know what you have. Make a list of potential activities and the supplies you packed. When it’s time to move to a new activity, you won’t have to remember the possibilities. You can just pick one off the list.
Finally, remember that you set the tone of the trip. Your attitude is contagious.