If you’re contemplating planning a road trip with young kids, you might envision hours in the car filled with happy music in the background while your children play quietly together in the back seat. You and your spouse lovingly hold hands over the center console.
But while these are beautiful ideals to shoot for, there’s no way these things will happen unless you do the right preparation before your trip. You need to have the right expectations while you’re in the car.
So helping you find a happy medium between the dream-scenario mentioned above and the total chaos that many families experience, here are three tips for taking a road trip with young kids.
3 Tips for Taking a Road Trip with Young Kids
#1 Don’t Solely Rely on Devices For Entertainment
For many kids, being stuck in their seats for hours on end can be torturous. But thanks to modern technology, it’s now easier than ever to distract your kids with movies or games so that the hours can slip by a much easier.
However, Erin Gifford, a contributor to Travel Channel, shares you shouldn’t rely on devices for the entire entertainment of your kids while in the car. Playing classic travel games or sprinkling in some educational activities throughout your drive can help your kids get in some screen-free time while still giving them something to do.
#2 Take Regular Breaks
After being in the car for a few hours, it’s important that both you and your kids are given a break from their seat in the car. According to Pamela Hayford, a contributor to USA Today, try to find a rest stop or even a park that’s close to the road you’re traveling on so your kids can run around and get some of their energy out.
Not only will this help you kids stay calmer in the car and keep their bodies from getting cramped or stiff, but it will also give you a chance to take a break from driving and keep you more alert when you are in the car, helping you to avoid getting in any type of car accident with your family.
#3 Plan Your Menus
A big part of any road trip is indulging in “road trip food”. However, eating a big quantity of food that’s fried, sugary, or just plain bad for you can quickly put your kids in an equally bad mood. To combat this, Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, a contributor to Trip Savvy, recommends that you plan to have some of your meals from home.
Pack a cooler with some healthy snacks that your kids will love and that will fuel their bodies right. Not only will this keep them healthy and happy, but it will save you some money.
If you’re about to embark on a road trip with your kids, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you make the most of this experience.