Whether it’s time for a holiday trip to visit the Grandparents or time for the family vacation, travel in a car is often involved. There are many good things about making your family trips in the car including saving the cost of expensive airfare and having more freedom to eat when you want, taking a break when needed, and not being cooped up. All of these make traveling by car more appealing, but there are also some drawbacks. Car travel takes longer and to have a pleasant trip that everyone will enjoy, it means you need to find ways to keep the kids happy. Here are some tips to make your car travel a fun experience for the whole family.
When kids are sleeping, they’re quiet
Plan your trips around times when the kids will be ready to take naps or if it’s a long trip get plenty of rest before you leave and start your trip at night. When you travel at night, you can put the kids in the car in their pj’s, give them a pillow and blanket and drive in peace and quiet while they snooze. An added benefit is that there is much less traffic at nighttime so it speeds up your trip.
Choose the right size vehicle
When traveling, you bring along a lot of “stuff” and you bring back even more “stuff.” If your family car is a small or even a mid-sized car, consider renting a mini-van. It’s an added expense, but you’ll appreciate the extra room.
Comfort and safety are always important
Before the trip, check everyone’s car seat to make sure everybody still fits in theirs. During the trip, make sure everyone stays buckled the entire time and don’t forget pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals for those snooze times.
Be prepared for the kids to get bored and bring plenty of toys
For babies, you can clip an assortment of toys to their car seats with the plastic chains you snap together. This way they aren’t continually dropping the toys. Be sure and choose toys for babies that won’t hurt anybody if the baby throws a toy that isn’t clipped on. For older children, you can find bags that fit over the back of the seat directly in front of them. With these bags, you can put an assortment of the child’s choice of toys for them to choose from.
Play games with your kids
Popular games are classics like “I Spy” or each person in the car choosing a type of vehicle and seeing who can spot the most of their vehicle. Example: One child chooses red pick-up trucks, another chooses yellow sports cars, and another blue mini-vans.
Books are always great
They’re quiet and keep children of all ages interested. For the little ones, choose picture and board books to keep them happy.
Rest stops are crucial on trips with children
Take breaks not only when you eat but in between eating. When you stop to eat, pick places that have play areas. They may not be mom and dad’s favorite, but the kids get to burn off energy and get all the kinks worked out. If you want a healthier option, pack a healthy lunch and stop at a park.
Videos can be good if they aren’t left on all the time.
Don’t let your kids “zone” out the entire trip though.
Talk to your kids
Look up educational information about your destination before you leave and talk to your kids about it during the trip stopping at historic spots along the way. Kids enjoy having your undivided attention and really open up when they get the chance, so take advantage of it.
Traveling with your kids in the car doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little planning and preparing ahead, traveling with your kids can be a fun time and a time to create memories that will last a lifetime.