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Planning a Road Trip with Kids? Read These Simple Tips to Keep Crankiness Away

Planning a Road Trip with Kids? Read These Simple Tips to Keep Crankiness Away

If you still can’t get over the holidays, perhaps you could do with a short exciting break. And what better way to have some fun than by going on a road trip with your family?

Whether you prefer rental cars or your own car, going on a road trip can spell fun even if you have a bunch of kids in tow. True, kids can get cranky pretty fast, but it’s easy to keep them happy.

Here are a few simple tips that you could use to keep your kids from developing a bad temper on a road trip.

Time it Right

If your kids love looking at the sights outside while in the car, you might want to consider leaving early in the morning. But if you think your kids won’t take to the road trip well, consider traveling at night or during their nap-time. This way, they’ll remain asleep for most of the time and you won’t have to deal with a cranky lot.

Do note that some kids may not fall asleep readily even if it’s their bedtime. Kids might also wake up mid-sleep and stay awake through the night which means you’ll have to deal with more crankiness the next day.

It will also help if you research traffic patterns prior to departure. You don’t want to be stuck in a traffic jam or be forced to take a detour. If you encounter these problems, you’ll take more time to get to your destination and your kids certainly won’t love that.

Plan the Route

If you’re going to some place that you’ve never been to before, or taking a route that you’re unsure of, you’ll need to plan things well. You don’t want to get lost and while away your time trying to figure out where you are. If you happen to lose your way, not only will it frustrate you, your kids won’t be amused either.

Be sure to make use of GPS, online mapping services, or other applications when you’re on the road. Don’t forget to take along a couple of good old maps too; nothing can beat them.

Also consider the routes you’ll be taking to reach your destination. Sure, the longer route may take you through beautiful valleys and plains but if your kids aren’t going to be mesmerized by the scenery, it’s better to take the shorter route that will help you reach your destination quicker.

Make Frequent Stops

You probably want to make it to your destination as early as possible. Your kids would love that too. But that doesn’t mean you don’t stop at all. Of course, you’ll be stopping for gas and to relieve yourselves. But kids want more than that.

Avoid confining kids inside a car for longer than 3-4 hours. They need to run around and stretch their legs frequently. Make a list of all pit-stops so that you can stay on schedule easily. Instead of spending all your time near a gas station, you may want to visit a nearby public park or other attraction. This will keep things interesting and help kids use some pent-up energy.

You might also want to keep kids as away from each other as possible during breaks. It might just help keep the love alive when they huddle back inside the car!

And yes, making frequent stops helps adults too, especially the ones who’ll be driving.

Say Yes to Healthy Snacks

Boredom and hunger are inter-dependent. So be sure to pack lots of healthy snacks such as string cheese, fresh fruit, nuts, dried fruit, crackers, hummus, peanut butter, yogurt, and veggies like carrots and cucumber.

Say no to sweets, candies, and lollies as these foods are high on sugar. You don’t want your kids to have a melt down inside the car once the initial sugar rush dies. For the same reason, avoid sweetened, carbonated drinks. Pack fresh fruit juice or buy packs of low-sugar juice for everyone.

Don’t be very rigid though; a once in a while ice cream, cookie, or candy treat won’t hurt anyone.

Make the Trip Entertaining

Ensure each kid has his/her own backpack. Fill all backpacks with the same types of things. Include activity books, coloring books, notepads, plain paper pads, crayons, pencils, pens, etc. This way, kids can indulge in whatever activity that pleases them. Moreover, they won’t bicker about not having something that another kid has.

Hint: Remember to pack extra crayons; they can get lost very soon!

When it comes to gadgets, ensure that you have tons of spare batteries and all chargers with you. Make it clear that each kid gets to use all gadgets only for a particular amount of time.

Planning a Road Trip with Kids? Read These Simple Tips to Keep Crankiness Away
Furthermore, it pays to be spontaneous. You may need to stick to your schedule, but doing things out of the blue will not only refresh you but your kids as well. And do let your kids voice their opinions; if they want to go to that amusement park that came along the way, let them have their way and make them happy.

And lastly,

Learn from the Past

If you have ever taken a road trip with your kids, you’re in luck. That’s because you can look back on those times and identify the things that went wrong.

Did you forget to pack your kid’s favorite toy or not pack enough snacks to keep the kids happy? Perhaps you were mad at the kids as you were cranky yourself due to lack of sleep. No matter what was responsible for turning your last road trip into a disaster, you now know exactly what to do differently.

And by keeping the tips mentioned here in mind, you’re sure to keep your kids from getting cranky. So head off on your road trip and have a happy one!

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