Family vacations are a great opportunity for parents and children to grow closer and take a break from the stress of everyday life. However, traveling with children comes with a whole new list of stressors that must be taken into consideration and adequately planned for in order to have the best traveling experience possible. Although traveling with children may be difficult at times, if you plan for these difficulties you will be able to have an enjoyable trip while keeping your sanity.
Long car rides are tough on children, as anyone who has endured the infinitely repeated question “Are we there yet?” knows. Many variables can be blamed for the impatience children experience on long car trips, and two of the most popular ones are boredom and discomfort. Active children naturally want to move around, to be doing something, rather than to be sitting in the backseat for hours on end.
To cure the boredom of children when going on a long car trip, make sure that you bring a selection of games and other activities that are appropriate for the car. Card games, dice games, and some board games are great ways to keep your children entertained while traveling. With technology becoming more and more advanced, and less and less expensive, you can also bring movies and video games to keep your children occupied while you drive.
Portable DVD players and personal game consoles will allow them to watch their favorite movies and play the newest games while you sing along to your favorite radio station. However, when planning what activities to bring, make sure you set the ground rules; although baseball or basketball may be a favorite activity among the children, it is not appropriate to play either while in the car. The activities that you provide should be entertaining, but must be safe.
Discomfort, the second of the two most common culprits responsible for endless “Are we there yet?” pleas, can also be easily fixed. First, make sure that you have packed your car in such a way that allows the children plenty of room to stretch out.
This may entail the purchase of a luggage rack, but it will be worth it. If the children have enough room, they will not fight over who is taking up more of the seat. Also make sure that there are enough pillows and blankets to go around. One of the best activities a child can indulge in while on the road is sleep, and pillows and blankets are crucial to achieving the comfort level necessary for rest. When packing the car and getting the children situated, make sure that there are enough seatbelts to go around and that these seatbelts are easily accessible. Although you want the children to be as comfortable as possible, safety is your number one priority as a parent and you must ensure that they wear their seatbelts at all times.
When traveling with children, the three main priorities are safety, comfort, and activity. If you have a safely packed car with accessible seatbelts, plenty of pillows and blankets, and an abundance of movies and games, your children will be able to keep themselves entertained and you will be able to actually enjoy time with your kids while on a long car trip.