As a child, some of the best memories you may have are of a good old road trip. Those were times filled with backseat sleeping, seatbelts optional and windows rolled down. If road trips just don’t seem to be the same as the ones you remember as a child, it’s because you’re an adult, with children, and this is never as much fun. If road trips are a painful means to an end for you, you’re not alone. It’s called adulthood. The road isn’t the same and neither are kids.
Part of the reason why road trips just aren’t as much fun is that we are no longer the child in the backseat but the adult with all the responsibility and none of the carefree experiences that road trips can provide.
Trying to keep the kids occupied during those big rides on the road, can put a real damper on the day. But having some tricks in your road trip arsenal will take some of the pressure off of trying to make each and every road trip the kind of experience you remember.
Technology is likely your go-to when on a long journey. Too much screen time though, like anything else, can run its course. Too much of anything isn’t a good thing. Consider using technology in conjunction with other road trip activities. Perhaps a half hour at a time, peppered with other forms of entertainment.
Sounds weird but we all did it. Good old counting will kill some time. Remember counting cars, counting numbers, counting colors or letters? The scenery that a car ride provides affords the opportunity to create many games that will have those little ones engaged and time passing painlessly.
Travel games can be bought in may stores. These games typically come in smaller formats, ideal for travel. Many of these games can be played by one and if these games are new to your child or only taken out for long drives, your child will have a greater appreciation for them and therefore a greater attention span for such games and activities.
If your child is of the age where they can print, encourage them to keep a diary of their trip. Bring a camera, paper, and pencil and let them document their journey. They can’t drive but you can give them a job that will no doubt keep them occupied for at least some period of the trip.
Do your children have a favorite treat or two? Make sure to pack lots of snacks that can be doled out throughout the trip? Ensure the kiddos don’t eat too many sweets though or you’ll have an even bigger problem on your hands. Consider a combination of healthy snacks with some of your child’s favorites in the mix.
Pack a pillow and consider traveling at night. Driving into the night just might put those kiddos to sleep. For every hour of shuteye, there leaves one less hour to entertain. Consider the quiet that can be had. Setting out on that road trip in the evening hours might be a great option for your family.
Riding in the back window of the sedan sadly is no longer an option and finding equally entertaining things for our children to enjoy while on those long trips that are also safe can be hard.
However, by using a little imagination and planning ahead, you’ll be sure to have an enjoyable journey.