Our family has lived in the Dayton are for two years now and are loving every minute of it! Mine and my husbands family both live in southern Alabama so a few long road trips a year are always on our schedules. Traveling longer than an hour with our boys 6 & 3 years of age has been trying at times and a trial and error experience for us. I have learned a few tricks of the trade and am excited to pass them on to you!
1) Distract and Redirect the antsy and tired -Are we there yet’s?-
Each of our boys have a bag, tote or something similar that they put books, crayons & paper, a few snacks, and any other item that they may want to use to pass the time. This keeps things within their reach while they are in their carseats and prevents pulled arm and back muscles for mom and dad when trying to hand a kid a hundredth crayon!
2) Divide and Conquer
This lovely nugget of truth is the newest concept I have put in to action and it has changed the way my boys travel. We have a van and therefor have two rows of back seats. I moved my oldest to the back so that each of them have their own space and aren’t able to reach each other. I am no longer having to referee the “He touched me” in rush hour traffic during a thunderstorm!
3) Timing is Everything
Consider everything about the timing of your travel and how it will affect you child’s normal day to day schedule. Realize that I’m not saying to cater it around them ,cause let’s be realistic, life happens! I’m just saying don’t leave 15 minutes before a meal time or not take a bathroom break before you leave and following each of your kids downing three juice boxes ( That happens in other people’s houses right?! Three juice boxes in one sitting?) Plan accordingly to make the time you are traveling the closest to your normal schedule and once you arrive at your final destination the transition will be ten times smoother for everyone!
…….and last but not least………
4) Have fun
Parents have a huge tendency to check out when we drive. It’s how we survive sitting in one place for a four hour drive, we hit auto pilot! I know that some quiet time is a must for everyone on a trip but I have found that if I engage regularly with my boys, they are less antsy and less likely to complains. We play eye spy or tell jokes quite often. I talk to them about what we are seeing on our trip or use the opportunity to connect with them on what they are enjoying in school and with friends.
Traveling with kids can being stressful but with these tips as well as a bit of planning, your family will have an amazing trip and hopefully come away with some incredible memories!