The vacation your family is anxiously anticipating is almost here. Are you prepared for the sibling squabbling, food and drink spills, umpteen rest stops and the famous question, ‘are we there yet?’ With a little pre-planning, you can reduce the hassles and turn your time on the road into fun.
Restroom breaks: Immediately before heading out, have everyone use the bathroom. Limit beverages, particularly caffeinated ones. When you do stop, have everyone use the restroom.
Drive through the night: Kids will feel they’ve reached your destination in the blink-of-an-eye and reduce your overall stress.
Snacks and drinks: Bring a cooler and variety of drinks and snacks to reduce pit stops. Break up time with small snacks like carrot sticks and apples to keep kids pacified. To reduce messes, avoid foods that melt, smear and squish.
Plan fun or scenic stops: Do advance research to find a fun stop along the way, and build it into your vacation. Look for a state or national park, national monument, beach, kiddie fun-land, river walk, or water park.
Car entertainment: Before your trip, visit the library to pick out books, audio books, and music CDs. But don’t let the kids have the items until you’re on the road. Also, take along car games and a list of games that don’t require pieces to play.
Try the license plate game: Have everyone write down the states of the license plates as they spot them. The person with the most states wins.
Also, play the “Would you rather?” game. Take turns asking everyone their choice between two gross or unpleasant situations. For example, would you rather be trapped in a closet crawling with hundreds of centipedes or eat a worm?
Screen time: Consider making an exception for screen time on your road trip. Then break up screen time by allowing kids 30-minute cycles of screen time broken up by other activities.