You remember how much you looked forward to a long car journey when you were a kid, didn't you? If you're anything like most people, the answer is “not at all”. Long car journeys are not fun if you're a kid. The only people who find them less enjoyable are the parents hearing the eightieth rendition of “Are We Nearly There Yet”. But sometimes, they're unavoidable.
As an adult, road trips can be fun – it's pretty much a rite of passage for people who get their license. But when you're a young kid, the idea of being cooped up for hours in a small space isn't fun. Even if where you're going is exciting, the journey is less so. But while you may never make a road trip enthralling for your kids, you may be able to make it a lot more enjoyable. It just takes a bit of forward planning.
Road Games: From The Digital To The Very Basic
Bring a tablet with you with some fun games downloaded onto it, and you have a captive audience. If you have one per kid, you can be sure of avoiding any pitched battles for the toy. Alternatively, if there's an adult in the back they can play the referee.
Then again, to keep them from getting square eyes, you can play games with what's outside. There are numerous license plate games, for example. Every time you spot a new place name on a road sign, write it down.
They Shall Have Music Wherever They Go
Most cars now have a Bluetooth sync to their stereo system which allows you to play music from a device. You can stream a playlist of upbeat (but non-annoying!) songs that you have set up earlier. To avoid using up all your data, download this before you leave using a fast service. Then you can just play it from the device memory without worrying about losing the signal.
Encourage Them To Sleep
Okay, so it may seem a little like persuading them to shut up and leave you alone, but bear with it for a while. Some parents might advise you to keep them awake for the first few hours so they're not too energetic when you are getting to the destination. Some will advise you to wake them up early on the day of traveling. One way or the other, it's good for them to sleep in the car. If they're getting tired as the journey goes on, they're likely to get cranky and argue, not sleep. This is not applicable to toddlers on a sleep schedule, of course.
To suggest that all of the above ideas will make a perfect road trip with your kids may be optimistic. There may well be rows and tears between points A and B. These are to be dealt with as they arise, but there's no doubt they'll be limited with the above tips. Above all, keep the end goal in mind! A holiday is always something to be relished, and once you're at your destination it really begins.