Surviving Long Family Trips
Family vacations are awesome! When you are planning them out you have all these amazing ideas and a big goofy smile on your face as you are thinking about all of the cool things that you are going to get up to. But before your vacation starts, you have to navigate the rocky waters that are traveling to your vacation. In a car, this can be a nightmare, but sitting in an airport for an hour or two, followed by a plane ride is no ray of sunshine either! Well today, we are looking at a few ways you can make the road trip to a vacation less stressful, less hassle and less likely to result in you dumping the kids and your partner at a gas station and driving away!
Tech Them Up
Look there are parents these days that like to say things like “I only let my child play on their iPad for 30 minutes a day” well in terms of a road trip, you need to forget that. You want them to have so much tech that if they were to put it on themselves they would be more teched up than Iron Man. Tablets, smartphones, Nintendo 3DS’s or anything else that is going to let them sit in their own little world and not bother anyone else is a godsend on a long trip.
Personal DVD Players
Many parents will get a portable DVD player for the back of the car and that is great, great if you have just one kid. If you have more than one kid in the back and just one DVD player, you are setting yourself up for a good half an hour of them arguing over what movie they are going to watch and then a lot of complaining from the one that ends up having to watch a movie they do not like. You can get portable DVD players for well under 50 bucks (probably way less if you get one pre-owned) a portable DVD player and a set of headphones will make your trip nice, quiet and free from arguments about whose leg touched who and who is looking at who.
Go Old School!
By this, we are talking about getting things like books, coloring pads, pens, crayons and so on. Get something that is going to make them think and keep them occupied. Getting kids to read a book on a road trip might be tough. But letting them pick a couple of magazines is a fun way to get them involved and also making sure they have something to do that they are actually into. Having a coloring pad along with something like a tablet or a portable DVD player is a fantastic way to really keep them busy.
Do Not Fight With Your Partner
Ok, so this one here is a big one! But being in the car for a long time or on a plane, boat, Transformer or old-timey train can be very stressful for you and your partner, especially if the kids are arguing and driving you crazy! But you guys have to stand united, you have to keep cool, calm and collected. Yes, it is easier said than done, especially when you have been asked “are we there yet?” for the 100th time or after you have had to deal with arguing about who is on whose side of the car. You and your partner have to try and keep calm with each other, remember turning parents against each other is rule number 3 in the kid handbook so do not let them win!
Look, we know that a big family road trip can be tough, especially if you are blending two families together. But please try to enjoy it. Sure there is arguing, spilled soda, thrown potato chips and lots of awful smells. But try to have fun together, older kids may not want to engage much with mom and dad, but you can still do some singing and playing games with the younger ones. So while all the tech and games are great for keeping you sane. Do not forget to make a little family time during the road trip as well.