One of the worst things about a road trip with young kids is that by the time you arrive at your destination, they are tired and hungry.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Long road trips with kids can be both enjoyable and rewarding. But they can also be stressful and annoying.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before setting out:
1. Do a little research. Use the Internet to get a good idea of the places you want to stop. Google Maps, for example, will show you where the best places to eat are.
2. Take snacks. Kids get hungry, and there is nothing worse than trying to get them to eat at a fast-food place when they aren’t in the mood for it.
3. Bring entertainment. A deck of cards, coloring books, and crayons are enough to keep a bored kid entertained. Do interesting things on the way. If your destination is boring, the kids will get bored on the trip too. So make time for kids’ activities. Take along books, games, and favorite toys.
4. Take breaks. The farther you get from civilization, the harder it is to keep your kids from getting bored and complaining.
5. Plan activities. Give yourself plenty of time: you don’t want to be stuck at your destination with nothing to do.
6. Bring a cooler. Food tastes better when it is fresh.
7. Pack lots of water. Kids get thirsty.
8. Bring a first aid kit. Accidents can happen.
9. Pack a change of clothes. Kids get dirty, and you don’t want to spend your vacation scrubbing them out of their car seats.
10. Plan some fun stops. The beach, a zoo, or a science center is a few ideas.
11. Take time to talk to your children. If your children are old enough, ask them what they want and, if they can decide, let them choose.