Family road trips are exciting. The very thought of gathering everyone together to drive across country, or from one coast to the next, is a big deal. The spring is here, with summer arriving soon; and this is the time of year when everyone begins to plan their warm weather getaways. Traveling with kids adds another dimension to your vacation plans. Kids can get very excited and a bit anxious during a long distance drive. We have all heard the joke about kids traveling on the highway, repeating the phrase, “Are we there yet?” This can drive parents crazy.
Here are 5 fun ways to keep the whole family entertained, and sane, on your next vacation road trip:
1. Create memories
Enlist your kids to help you with a creative project that you all will enjoy for years to come. Taking photos for a road trip scrapbook is a rewarding and meaningful way for kids to participate in preserving the memories of your family vacation. Assign one kid the task of taking photos, and another, the task of pointing out fun and interesting scenery. They will be occupied for hours, and know that they have helped to create a sentimental family project.
2. Pack games and toys
Remember to pack plenty of games and toys for the trip. Board games, decks of cards, and video games, will help to keep anxious kids and parents, entertained during a long drive. There are also plenty of games that can be played, with just you, the kids, and your imagination; like counting red cars, or looking for certain words on road signs. Kids love games that challenge their ability to focus and pay attention.
3. Reward good behavior
Challenge your kids to keep the car clean and put all trash and empty snack containers, in the trash bag. Let them know that they will receive rewards for behaving and keeping the vehicle clean. Give out prizes, like healthy snacks and educational toys, like puzzles and books.
Bring along your kids favorite music CD’s, or load their favorite songs onto an mp3 player. Encourage the entire family to participate in sing-a-longs. Even simply playing your kids’ favorite dance music, will keep them singing and bopping their heads for miles. Kids also love to make up songs, so inspire them with a word or subject, and let them create their own beat and lyrics.
5. Get out of the vehicle and enjoy the surroundings
A part of the fun of road trips, is getting to enjoy new scenery. It is good for parents and kids to take breaks. Get out of the vehicle, stretch, and enjoy the scenery around you. While planning your road trip, mark areas where parks, museums, or beaches will be, so that you will know ahead of time which areas are the most fun to visit. When you enjoy your surroundings on a road trip, it’s like having a few mini vacations rolled into one.