Taking a long family trip in the car is an experience we all have some history with. We’ve either done it from the vantage point of being the little kid, tired and bored, causing trouble. Or we’ve experienced it from the perspective of being the harassed and stressed out parent just looking for a little relief. But it doesn’t need to be this way, that’s why we’ve put together the top 5 tips that we’ve heard to make life a little easier on these trips.
Plan the Trip, Including Stops
It’s important to thoroughly plan and research the trip. This includes what roads to take, what time of day or night they are quietest and where the best stops are? Many service areas have nice park areas for the kids to play in, this can be invaluable. Don’t be tempted to skip test stops as this makes everyone cranky and irritable and although it may save an hour or so, it’s rarely worth it.
Take a Packed Lunch & Snacks
Families get hungry on long road trips, and the businesses along the side of the highway know this! You’re going to be hard-pressed to find any bargain eateries in these areas. So it’s a good idea to stock up the cooler with packed lunches and plenty of snacks to keep you all going.
Make Sure You Have the Correct Vehicle
It’s important not to squeeze into far too small a vehicle, especially on longer trips as this will make things unbearable and raise the stress levels. This doesn’t necessarily mean buying a new cat just for the trip, you could invest in a roof box or trailer? Or if you’re still struggling for space why not hire a car for the vacation? Globecar.com has plenty of locations all over and you can pick up and drop off to suit your schedule.
Have Entertainment for the Kids (& the Big Kids)
It’s a given that kids can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes. So it’s essential to make sure that they are well entertained. Under normal circumstances you wouldn’t allow hours upon hours of screen time, but these are not normal circumstances. Have them plugged in, not only to their seatbelts but to their headphones as well. If you don’t use headphones the sounds of cartoons will drive you nuts and cancel out any benefit. This also frees up the radio for your own music, radio or podcast listening to keep the big kids entertained too.
Consider Overnight Stops
So after all these steps it’s clear you’ll have a much easier trip. But some journeys are so long it is worth considering an overnight stop to break things up. It gives everyone the perfect opportunity to rest up and start fresh the next day. It can also be a fun little part of the trip in its own right, you never know what experiences and little adventures you can find during these little diversions.