Keeping Your Sanity on Road Trips with the Littles
So you want to take the kids on a road trip... Here are some tips to help you stay sane and actually enjoy it. We have good intentions but no one can really blame you if you if it's challenging, especially when they are cranky and demanding. But they are little and preparing will help make this trip better for everyone.
Take Breaks Yes! We want to get there but stopping along the way to actually enjoy the road trip is not only fun but sometimes spontaneous allowing for a new adventure - just be sure to choose a safe spot.
Pack Plenty of Snacks Every one of your kids should have his or her own lunch box. After stocking a number of nutritious snacks for the road, have every child pack small containers or bags filled with favorite treats that they can consume while you focus on the road.
Following are some of the top choices:
Popcorn (it can be messy!)
Pretzels or cheese-filled pretzels
Fruit and nut/trail mix
Sliced fruit (apple slices and grapes are great for traveling)
Healthy cereal (try new gluten-free Cheerios or Chex)
Carrot sticks or baby carrots
Protein bars or granola bars
Put Their Little Hands To Work! This strategy is particularly important when it comes to very mall kids. Children have a lot energy and this makes it hard to sit still on a long road trip, especially when strapped into a booster seat.
Pack a tote bag or backpack with a few engaging activities before you set out on vacation. You can put their lunch boxes in here along with "busy" items or activities such as cherished plush toys, coloring books, storybooks, crayons and even a sketchbook.
Pack Plenty of Books Following are some of the best books for travel when going on vacation with young kids:
That's Not My... - This is a collection of board books for toddlers and babies
Baby's Very First Noisy Book
The Alphabet Picture Book
Make Naps A Priority! A few of my kids knock right out as soon as the engine turns over and we pull our car out of the driveway. Others fight sleep until the very end and do all they can to stay awake.
Encourage your kid to take some private, quiet time on your road trip, especially if you have lots of miles to cover. A lot of children consider naps as being their quiet time and these rest periods are already a recognized part of their daily routines, which can be very helpful.
Sing Along To Favorite Tunes Unless your children have fallen asleep, try keeping the music on while you travel. This creates a pleasant environment, particularly when kids recognize the songs that are playing and can sing right along with them.
Attitudes are contagious and thus, we moms have to keep the right attitudes for maintaining a pleasant atmosphere.
Yep, kids can definitely get fussy, selfish, negative and tired along with many other variations of sour and this means that attempting to travel by car for a number of hours (or staying in a hotel room for a week) can bring out the worst in everyone.
One of the foremost things to remember before your road trip and during it is to do all that you possibly can to keep your youngsters in good spirits. When they're happy, you'll be a lot less likely to lose your sanity.