Whether it is the all-American summer road trip to the beach or a holiday drive to Grandma’s house (or both), American families will inevitably hit the road this year.
It makes sense to drive when you have a family in tow. It is almost always significantly cheaper than paying everyone's airfare.
The ability to pack the car with every blankie, pacifier, and stuffed elephant that is needed to keep the kids quiet is crucial. But what happens with the trunk is all packed up and the family is on their way? How do the parents survive their family road trip?
Here are five ways parents can get through the trip unscathed.
1) Forget screen time limits.
Sure, the experts will say that there are plenty of non-technology things kids can do in the car. And while that may be true, it also means that the non-driving parent has to entertain them.
For a short trip to the country, that would work. For an 8-hour drive to Disney World? Not so much. Just be sure to make the kids use the educational apps on the iPad or maybe get some kid-focused Spanish or French DVDs. They will be entertained and educated!
2) Take play breaks.
It is hard to remember that kids really need to stretch their legs every couple hours. When the whining is reaching a crescendo, that may be a sign to pull off to the nearest rest area.
Choose a restaurant with the best play area and give the kids 15 minutes to play. Then get some food to go and have them eat in the car. Parents need to rest. Kids need to play!
3) Make snack time fun.
Give the kids a circular cereal (like Cheerios or Froot Loops) and have them string the cereal pieces on a string. They can make their own necklace and then eat it. And then make it again. It’s an activity and a snack!
4) Go retro.
When the batteries have worn down and there’s no cell phone coverage, moms and dads need to think back to road trips of their youth. What games were played in the car? I Spy, Twenty Questions, and the Alphabet Game are great ones.