Whether you’re taking a summer trip to the beach, or driving to visit relatives for the holidays, family road trips can be stressful for everyone involved. Parents end up tired from driving while trying to entertain their kids, while kids can end up bickering and getting restless after being stuck in a car for hours. By the time your destination is reached, no one even feels like having fun any longer.
But road trips don’t have to be so stressful. If you’re planning on taking a road trip with your family soon, there are a few things you can do to help make it easier on everyone. Here are a few tips you can keep in mind.
1) Have age-appropriate entertainment planned out.
Kids can tend to get very restless during road trips, and when kids get restless, they tend to be more prone to acting up. Sit down with each of your kids before the trip and decide together on some entertainment for them. This could be watching a movie, playing digital games, listening to a book, coloring, playing with small toys, or anything else that your child finds engaging. For each child, get a small bag that they can fill with items to entertain themselves with during the trip.
2) Make sure you’re being a safe driver.
Driving long distances can put people at risk for car crashes, so make sure you’re doing what you can to be a safe driver and keep yourself and your children safe. If you’re driving with another adult, you can take turns at the wheel, so that no one becomes too tired to drive safely. You also need to be careful not to fall into distracted driving. As Benjamin Sansone, a St. Louis Car accident attorney explains, while phones are the most common culprit that cause distracted driving crashes, children can actually be a big distraction too. If you’re constantly looking into the back seat to solve fights or help your children out with something, your eyes won’t be on the road, and you have a significant chance of getting into a crash.
3) Make sure your car is safe.
Many people forget about or put off car maintenance. It is boring and often expensive. However, it is important to make sure your vehicle is in good shape before taking off on a family road trip. Being stranded on the side of the road as an adult is bad enough. Being stranded with small children can be even more stressful. As the VA car accidents lawyers at SRGS law explain, many injuries and even fatalities are caused each year by improper car maintenance. Make sure your car has been recently inspected by a professional, and make sure you have emergency items, such as jumper cables, a phone charger, and tire-changing equipment in your car.
4) Bring snacks.
When children get hungry, they can get restless and cranky. Make sure you back a few snacks and drinks to have on hand, in case you are unable to stop. You can even have each child pick out a snack and a drink of their choice to have on hand.
5) Take breaks.
Being in the car for a long time can make children feel restless and stiff. Try to stop from time to time at rest stations or similar establishments, and let your children get out and walk around. This can help them stay calmer in the car, making your road trip a little less stressful.
These are just a few tips to keep in mind during your next family road trip. With proper planning, family trips can go from nightmarish to being somewhat pleasant.