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I should know – in addition to three cross-country moves, last summer we took a 35-day road trip with three of our five kids in tow.
If you want to survive traveling with kids, you need to ditch the car bingo and roadway i-Spy and get serious about entertaining the kids in the car.
I’d love to be able to say I’m one of those moms with pre-planned educational activities ready for the kids for each mile of the trip. While I do like Rand McNally Are We There Yet? (Backseat Books) the older your kid is, the faster he’ll lose interest. Worse yet, you might have a kid who gets car sick when reading. And traveling with puking kids is way less fun than traveling with whining, fighting kids.
The best solution for happy travelers is to provide them with electronic stimulation.
When we departed in our brand new van last summer, I started the trip thinking that with a little care and planning, we could avoid messes, spills, and perhaps even eating in the car. And then the kids got hungry when we still had miles to go. It’s better to plan healthy snacks that won’t wind the kids up.
Unless your trip is short and sweet, somewhere along the way you should plan to stop, stretch, and let the kids go potty. Yes, it will add to the trip time, and yes, it can be a pain to haul everyone out, but it is the perfect refresher for everyone and can mend frayed nerves. It also helps the driver stay focused so you get there safely.
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