Going on a road trip? Got kids in cars. I live my life on i95.
Couple of REAL life tips y’all.
I ain’t talking anything fancy. I’m talking survival.
CHECK TRAFFIC and adjust your trip accordingly. Read: we basically do not travel anytime after lunch on Friday-Sunday. If you have to miss some school to come back on a peaceful Monday – DO IT. I also never travel on 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day.
Find your best rest stops along the way. If you have a consistent route – have a “mid way point” your kids can look forward to. Ours is a great rest stop with clean bathrooms and a Dunkin’ Donuts. Donuts for kids, coffee for parents. We’ve been doing that for YEARS.
We use our rear view mirror as a gauge. Left is starting point, right of mirror ending. Throughout trip when kids ask how close, we put our finger on the mirror to show them where we are as a visual. It is REALLY effective.
Let them pack their own bag of fun. I let my kids bring a bag of whatever junk they want and they pack it – that makes it more likely they will play with it.
FOOD IN CAR. Tons of snacks from yogurt tubes, fruit, chips. I don’t care. Just throw food back there.
Ok one “spoil kids” idea! Get a bag of dollar toys and let them get one prize every hour on the trip. Be careful because this is definitely a special occasion idea. If you have a huge drive (so I would not do this for our normal trips to NC but maybe driving to Disney or something?), it’s a fun way to countdown the hours and keeps them entertained. Don’t set yourself up for every car trip but make this a special treat for the really big ones.