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Going on a long road trip can be taxing on anyone, regardless of their age. Being stuck in a car for days at a time can quickly become monotonous and uncomfortable, but especially so for young children.
Here are a few secrets to surviving a long road trip with kids:
Plan an Interesting Stop
If you can afford to make a few stops or plan a side trip while traveling, you can stop at a popular tourist attraction along the way to break the monotony of a very long road trip. For example, while driving through Virginia, you could stop at Colonial Williamsburg, a popular tourist destination that is especially appealing to kids. There is plenty to see and do here, but if you don’t have time to see the whole historic district (there are over 500 buildings spread out over more than 300 acres!) you can go on an hour-long Colonial Ghost Tour instead.
Going on a ghost tour is a surefire way to get your child’s attention and give them an experience they’ll never forget. Colonial Ghosts is one of the best Colonial Williamsburg ghost tours, and features up to 18 thrilling stories on any given night. After this experience, your children will have too much to think and talk about to give you much trouble while you drive towards your ultimate destination.
Consider Leaving at Night
Your time of departure can be crucial when planning a long road trip. Consider leaving at night instead of early in the morning. The rhythmic motion of your car can be very soothing and help lull your children to sleep while you drive, and they may sleep longer than usual in such a setup.
If you plan to begin your journey at night, be sure you yourself have had enough rest so you can stay alert and avoid falling asleep at the wheel, which could have devastating consequences.
Comfort is Key
Children will complain loudly and immediately when they start to feel uncomfortable, so make sure you plan ahead to make your road trip as comfortable as possible for them. Dress them up in comfortable and unrestrictive clothing, and be sure to pack blankets and pillows for them in the car.
A boiling hot car interior is just as uncomfortable as a freezing one, so if you are traveling in the summer when the weather is hot, make sure you get your car’s air conditioning checked before leaving on your trip to make sure that everything is in good working order.
Pack Plenty of Snacks
Hungry children can quickly become irritable, whiny or downright misbehaved and throw tantrums, so make sure you pack enough food to keep hunger at bay before going on a road trip. Making multiple stops at restaurants along the way can get very expensive, not to mention inconvenient and time consuming, so do groceries beforehand and pick up healthy, satiating snacks for your children to munch on between meals and stops.
A long road trip is a great opportunity for you to spend quality time with your children and bond, and what better way to do this than by talking, telling stories and playing games together? Before going on your trip take time to research age-appropriate and fun games you can play in the car. This will keep both you and your children happy and entertained for hours on end.
Hopefully, these tips help you survive your long road trip with your sanity and sense of humor in tact. Remember that preparation is key when traveling long distances with children, so be sure to avoid last-minute packing and prepare long beforehand.
What are your top secrets to surviving a long road trip with kids?
You may also enjoy reading:
Top 11 Travel Destinations From an 11-Year Old Globetrotter
25 Great Questions To Ask Your Children on Long Car Trips
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