Whether you’re off to Grandma’s house, the beach or a state park, a long car ride with small children takes lots of planning and patience. The trip will be worth the adventure and serve to make family memories for years to come! Follow these tips from the professionals for planning a road trip that will not only be fun, but also a piece of cake.
Engage the children, when age appropriate in the decision making and planning process. They’ll have a greater sense of ownership. Take a field trip to JCPenney for new luggage and entertainment items for the car. The kids will be great in helping to select these items. Make a route of your trip that can include a stop at a state park or an interesting landmark. If possible, plan to leave late at night so the children can sleep for the better part of the trip. If you have two drivers, this will allow you to switch off every two hours for the safest night driving.
Pack sufficient healthy snacks and drinks. The last thing you want is a car full of kids hyped upon sugar! Instead of depending on electronics, dvd's and movies to entertain the children, consider this valuable family time. Research several games online that can be played in the car with the children. This might be word strings, I spy or simple guessing games depending on the children’s ages. Too many hours staring at a screen will make for cranky kids upon arrival!
Make sure to have your car serviced and tires checked prior to departure. Include a first aid kit, extra blankets, jumper cables and batteries in your trunk for emergencies. Being as prepared as possible make accidents easier to deal with for the whole family.
Take lots of photos, record the kids and vistas with the video from a smartphone and you’ll preserve memories for years to come. Once you’ve mastered your first car trip, you’ll be a pro ready to pack up again for the next one. Enjoy your journey!