ROAD TRIPS WITH KIDS: AVOIDING ARE WE THERE YET
I don’t know about you but I remember driving my parents with, “Are we there yet?” over and over again. It’s amazing how many times will keep asking that same question over and over again. As parents, it can drive us insane like a reminder every hour on the hour that we are not there yet.
My partner and I have driven numerous kilometres around Australia on regular touring and camping trips with our 2 boys over the last 10 years. They have given our family some amazing memories and we always have funny stories to reminisce. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been trying times either. Through those experiences, I must admit we have become better at keeping them occupied because that is what it is all about.
I’ve put together some tips for keeping kids occupied so they are not constantly asking that same dreaded question.
INFORMATION FOR PLACES ALONG THE WAY
Talking with your kids about the places that you will pass through along the way is a great way to keep them interested. I create a huge list so that they don’t have to keep asking that dreaded question. We are practically arriving somewhere along the way throughout our whole trip.
KEEP YOUR ROAD TRIP DISTANCES REALISTIC
I’ve always found it is better to take one’s time when travelling with kids. That way you can make a day out of each drive instead of hauling along at speed to your destination. Our day is not that much different to what it would be at home. We eat at the same times and they have time to sleep as they normally would. Keeping a schedule is a great way to go, just make sure you break up the day.
Thank God for electronic devices. Kids are so good at using them. I’ve got a wifi stick and hotspot going in our 4WD because it is perfect for keeping them occupied. There are times when we want them to put those tablets down but when we need some quiet for driving, the Internet is the ultimate at keeping them occupied. I also copy DVDs into files they can watch so they have something even when network connections are not available. I also make sure that they have access times so that they don’t just use up that value right away. It’s good to have them looking out the window in the morning and be excited about the journey and give them something to settle in the afternoons when they are tired. Movies are a great way to help them fall asleep.
FOOD AND SNACKS
I’ve seen too many kids who are on ADHD medication and I am a big believer in a proper diet. Kids that are given processed foods and fizzy drinks are bound to get restless. Stock up on snacks and food that really are healthy for you and your family and everyone will feel and behave much better.
Stopping regularly isn’t just good for your kids, it is great for your ability to focus as a driver. You might think you are fine driving for hours on end but you are not. We like to plan the day out with a break every 2-3 hours, with longer stops for lunch and an extra stop in the afternoon. Sure, you lose some distance but everyone arrives in much better shape.
Do you have any tips for travelling with children? Please let us know through the comments section below.