Are we there yet? How about now? After about five solid minutes of being asked this question, you want to scream.
Your six-year-old isn’t the only one being a problem child. Your other two kids are fighting and generally being rowdy. You’re about two seconds away from turning the car around and canceling the entire vacation. How do people handle a long road trip with kids?
It’s not so bad if you’re prepared with the tools you need to keep them occupied. To help you get to your destination without any hiccups or headaches, check out this guide on taking long road trips with your kids.
1. Leave at Night
Your kids can’t ask you questions every two seconds if they’re sleeping. It may leave you tired but if you want a peaceful drive it may be a good idea to pack up your BestRoofBox the day before and drive at night.
Not having to deal with restless kids also gives you the chance to have a deep conversation with your spouse. In the daily hustle and bustle of jobs and bills, this probably doesn’t happen too often for you.
Leave Super Early
If your internal clock doesn’t like the idea of driving through the night then you can take a nap and leave super early in the morning. Like 3 in the morning kind of early. Your kids will be groggy so they will still be likely to sleep through the trip.
You’ll also run into less traffic with both these methods so you’ll be able to reach your destination a little faster.
2. Plan a Few Pitstops
Other than packing, the day before your trip you should take out a map so you can plan a few pitstops. You’ll want to find places to stop for food and gas. You’ll also want to look for fun areas where your kids can get out and stretch their legs.
Look for parks and playgrounds where they can play. You can also check for fun little tourist spots where they’ll get the chance to see and do something interesting.
3. Pack Tasty Snacks or Meals
Packing snacks will keep your kid’s hands and minds occupied. Everybody is happier when they aren’t hungry. This being said, you need to pack the right snacks.
They need to be healthy and clean. The last thing you want to have to do is stop the car to wipe chocolate pudding off your toddler’s face and change their clothes. Pack crackers, trail mix, cereal, or fruit slices.
You can also mix mealtime to get out and stretch your legs time by packing a picnic to eat in a park.
4. Have the Right Apps at Your Disposal
Using the right apps can make any road trip go a lot smoother. For example, you can make a family playlist in Spotify before you go and add everyone’s favorite songs. Your family will have fun jamming out and singing along.
There are some apps that will tell you what restaurants and hotels are around you as you drive. You can also download games for your kids to play that will keep them occupied.
5. Classic Games
While technology is good for keeping everyone occupied, you shouldn’t rely too much on it. Everything has a battery life and it will eventually die. It could also start to mess up.
Technology is fickle so you need to prepare for that by bringing a few classic car games to the table. I spy or the license plate game is a good way to keep everyone occupied.
6. How to Stop the Dreaded “Are We There Yet?”
No matter how busy you keep your children someone is going to ask “are we there yet” at some point. When this happens you could respond with “I don’t know, you tell me” and hand them the map.
This will help them learn the geography and directions while also stopping the question. You could give them something like candy or quarters and every time they ask then you take one away from them. If this doesn’t stop it then you could always suggest the quiet game.
7. Car Sickness
The last thing you want is for one of your kids to get sick in the car due to car sickness. Even If you don’t know if a large amount of time in a car will make your kids sick, you should still plan for it.
There are medicines that you can give a child for motion sickness. Giving them ginger or peppermint can also settle their little stomachs.
Make sure to stay away from heavy amounts of sugar or spicy foods. Those will make things worse.
8. Spend Time with Your Kids
Your kids want your attention. They want to spend time with you so you don’t want to ignore them the entire trip. Take some time to talk to them about where you’re going.
Tell them about some of the things that they’ll get to do. When you’re on your way back home from your vacation you can ask them what their favorite parts of the trip were.
Surviving a Road Trip With Kids
Surviving a road trip with kids isn’t so hard if you know how to keep them happy and occupied. If you use this guide and pack plenty of snacks and games you’ll never hear the dreaded “are we there yet.”
You’ve survived the ride to your destination. Now you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to get through the actual vacation. Check out the travel section of my blog for more tips.