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Smooth and Easy Road Trips for the Whole Family to Enjoy

January 24, 2013

Road trips with the whole family can be used as bonding opportunities for the kids and their parents. However, they can also bring some stress even at times when the kids are in their best behavior. Here are some ways to get rid of the stress and inject some fun for the whole gang throughout the trip.

family roadtrips
image via (http://parentables.howstuffworks.com)

1. Distract Everyone with Entertainment. Alleviate boredom by bringing along lots of props to keep everyone entertained. Parents with little kids can bring books, toys, mini-game consoles, portable DVDs with CDs of their favorite movies, mp3 loaded with music that everyone can sing along with, or audio books that they can listen to as they watch the scenery pass. Some playing cards or travel board games that require kids to interact with each other while playing is also a good option for long distance drives.

2. Prepare a well stocked snack box for the trip. Hunger can make kids cranky and impatient, and sometimes even adults too. Once the little ones start getting irritable the adults usually get stressed, and a trip can sometimes go downhill from there. Make sure that you have enough water or juice and healthy snacks that the kids can munch on during the trip. Stay away from caffeinated drinks or you might find yourself going to frequent toilet trips, and sugary food with additives as it can increase energy levels of the kids and make them more anxious. A good mix of healthy food and drinks is essential for a pleasant road trip. Remember, a well packed snack hamper keeps hunger at bay.

3. No speeding and no to rush hour trips. Take an easy drive by avoiding the rush hour traffic. Getting stuck in these snail pace jams is enough to stress everyone else in the car. The usual tendency is to make up for the lost time in traffic by speeding on less crowded roads. Speeding can put your passengers’ life in danger and it also consumes more fuel. The benefit on the other hand is just a few minutes of travel time saved.

4. Have a well-organized plan for the road trip. The last thing you want to happen in a road trip is to find yourself in the middle of nowhere with no idea on what to do next. Carefully plan the trip itinerary and routes that you’ll be taking, including alternative ones, so you can avoid bottlenecks or traffic prone areas and get to your destinations faster. Gear up on navigational tools so you can easily find your way around in case of changes in the itinerary.

5. Have your vehicle checked for safety or road worthiness. Proper car maintenance and regular service tune-ups is an important responsibility of car owners. But even a well maintained vehicle needs to be checked thoroughly before any long trip. This will reduce the chances of a breakdown during the trip and minimize accidents due to faulty car mechanisms. Thoroughly check the tires, batteries, oil and water. Also check the condition of the seat belt and other safety features, wipers, air-con, heaters, and everything else that you need to make the journey more comfortable for everyone.

A first road trip with the whole family is usually a memorable experience that everyone will cherish. Some families even make a tradition out of it until the children move-out of the house. These simple tips can help you in making your own family road trips more fun and less stressful.

(image via http://abcnews.com/)
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  1. I absolutely LOVE road trips with the family!! I think it is a way for family to get closer with one another!!

  2. I love road trips with my family, I love all the suggestions on here too because I think sometimes with all the stress of trying to get ready for the trip we seem to forget the most important thing of all the safety of the vehicle we will all be in. So yes it is so important to make sure your car is safe too. I love your post and thanks for sharing it all.

  3. when we camp during the summer it was camping in military tent we had the family sleep on cots and then there was 6 kid and 2 adults we would go site seeing in the area for free and then go back to the campground to eat

  4. I think travelling now with kids in todays technology is so much easier. I would have loved to have had a dvd player as a companion on a long trip, or a game station.

  5. For long trips we like to travel at night. The kids can conk out (less boredom, etc. for them) and there is less traffic on the roads. If you have more than one driver you can take turns so that you can still catch some z’s. My kids find it fun to fall asleep in one state and wake up somewhere totally different in the morning.

  6. We are taking a driving trip with two of our kids soon. They are older, but still can be a bit of a pain in the arse. I have convinced my husband to leave around 10 p.m. and i will do the driving until about 5 a.m. Then when the kids wake up we can have breakfast and one of the kids can drive while I sleep.

  7. A road trip with the kids can be a good bonding experience for the whole family, but if the kids get bored your vacation can quickly become a trip you’ll want to forget. Keeping the kids occupied while traveling long distances is important if you want to have a peaceful trip, especially for younger children who don’t have iPods and earphones yet. Planning ahead is essential if you want to keep everyone happy; here are ten suggestions that can keep your kids busy while traveling in the car on a road trip.

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