Road trips can become mundane quick, especially if the drive is more than a couple of hours. Add in fidgety kids in the back seat and the whole family is ready to crawl out of their skin before you are half way to your destination. Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? Your vacation does not have to wait until you reach your destination to start. There are lots of ways to make the drive enjoyable for everyone.
- Pack Light Yet Smart: Have you ever played the game Tetris? When loading the trunk try to fit something in each open space. The goal is to have as little in the back seat floor board as possible. You want the passengers to be able to stretch out their legs and not be cramped. This cuts down on the frustration of feeling claustrophobic. However you will want to keep a fun car bag within reaching distance. Items to include are:
- Snacks. Keep it simple yet exciting. Try adding some snacks the kids have never had before or don’t get to indulge in regularly.
- Coloring. Coloring books and a small set of crayons (preferably stored in a Ziploc baggie or sealed plastic container, crayon boxes break apart easily and you don’t want loose crayons in your back seat to melt in the sun)
- Surprises. What kid doesn’t love a surprise gift? No sense in spending a lot of money, you could even make a quick trip to your local dollar store and pick up a few small items that you don’t mind being tossed out after the trip. Little action figures or sticker books will keep your child busy and happy for a while. Save the surprises to pull out of the bag at random times throughout the trip.
- Games: Travel size games are easy to come by. Most major retailers have them on the game isle. You can also search websites like Pinterest to find downloads for your own car games. Plus don’t remember the games you played when you were a child, iSpy and the car alphabet game.
- Music: What road trip is complete without music? Make a play list before you head out. Add songs for your own childhood throughout your life to share with your kids. It’ll give them a good laugh to hear what your old favorite songs were. If you have older kids you can make a game out of guess that tune. Mix in their songs and let everyone take turns picking which song to sing along with.
- Sights: When planning a family vacation we sometimes only focus on our ultimate destination. When taking a road trip there is often sights to see between home and your hotel. Cushion in some extra time to make stops along the way to see or do something fun and stretch your legs.
- Scavenger Hunts: Taking part in a live interactive scavenger hunt is a total thrill for both adults and kids. There are numerous apps for smartphones that allow you to take part in a live quest for small objects along with a log to write your name. The apps use your phone’s GPS and if you are traveling through more than one state it would be neat to see how many capsules you can find in each state along your drive. The scavenger hunt apps will usually tell you if the item is right off the highway or not and how easy it is to find. Some of the containers not only include a log but also small trinkets that you can keep or exchange. Smartphone apps for scavenger hunts include: