A Guide To Family Road Trips
Like camp, making smores or lazing around the pool, family road trips are a staple of summer. Some parents might say, “How to survive a road trip with kids? Take separate cars.” All kidding aside, here are some suggestions for how to survive these vacations and enjoy them as well.
Pack healthy snacks.
Hungry kids aren’t happy kids. Parents can get some snack-sized containers and fill them with healthy options. Raisins, almonds, granola, and coconut shavings. Cheese slices and crackers. Hummus, celery and baby carrots. These are all nutritious, filling foods that keep everyone going between restaurant and bathroom breaks.
Use and reuse water bottles.
Fill them with water before the family road trips start. When you stop for meals or gas, many establishments will allow you to refill water bottles for free. Avoid the sugar buzz and crash that can occur when kids drink soda. Stay hydrated!
Secure those car seats.
Just throwing a car or booster seat into the back seat of a vehicle isn’t enough. There’s more to it than even buckling them in according to instructions. Most communities have experts you can find in police stations, EMTs or fire departments. They will not charge a fee and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your little one is secure. Click here for other safety tips.
Visit your local library to stock up on favorite titles or new releases. Many grocery stores stock plenty of word searches, sudoku, or crossword puzzles. Coloring and activity books for younger children keep them occupied for hours. Bridge books are another great option. They contain math, science, or language arts worksheets that bridge the gap between the grade your children just finished and the one they are beginning in the fall. Don’t forget pens, pencils and crayons.
Research the towns, roads and areas through which you’ll be traveling. Family road trips can be more tolerable when you stop periodically to look around. Be sure to stretch your legs. This can include museums, historical societies, or cemeteries. All have interesting stories. Even rural areas boast farm tours, open markets and beautiful scenery.
Recognize that a trip can be better for everyone if the parents are relaxed. Plan for the inevitable traffic jam, car trouble, queasy tummy or emergency bathroom stops. If parents are laid back and have added an extra day or two for surprises, that’s less pressure on everyone.
Listen to audiobooks and podcasts.
Libraries have plenty of audio books that the whole family can enjoy. There are also hundreds of podcasts for every interest imaginable. Comedy, history, children’s shows and more. These can be piped through your car stereo or available via Bluetooth for individual headphones. Whatever works!
Make a playlist.
What are your favorite songs? What music do your children enjoy? Take some time to create playlists on whatever music streaming service you prefer. Singing along with the kids or teaching them about your favorites can be a fun, bonding experience on family road trips.
Acknowledge the upside of boredom.
Down time is an opportunity to meditate, nap, or just stare out the window. Encourage children to give it a try to spark creativity or greater insight. The art of not doing anything for a period of time every day is really a privilege.
Enroll in online camps.
Family road trips are a great time to turn off our brains. But too much of a break can lead to learning loss in school-aged children. KidzToPros offers dozens of age-appropriate, fun and enriching online camps for kids to enjoy from wherever you find yourself this summer.
Family road trips are a fun rite of passage for kids and parents. This guide makes a good time even better. Enjoy!