That fabulous family cross-country trip may seem like such a good idea until the reality of kids, cars and highway driving sets in. Apart from the boredom factor, there are safety issues to consider with children in the car.
Sobering statistics show that most collisions happen on dry highways in good conditions. In many of those collisions driver distraction is a significant factor.
To make the trip a little more pleasant, make sure your child is comfortable. Backseat peace is possible with a little planning.
Take a break
- Plan your route with plenty of breaks built in. Have a picnic; go for a swim – find a playground and let the kids run around. Play tag and join them – you’ll perk up as well. Twenty minutes every 2 hours is adequate.
- Tell your children how long the trip will take. Put it in relative terms for little ones – as long as one TV show or something they can identify with. For older ones, just tell them how long it’s going to be.
- Let your kids help with the navigation. Mark the starting point and destination. Have children use the map to give you directions.
- Have younger children look for special landmarks along the way.
- Stop for historical markers, viewpoints and other points of interest.
- Pack soft toys, a special blanket and a pillow.
- Bring books and books on CD and sing-along CDs.
- Bring travel-size board games for the trip like Yahtzee and Scrabble.
- Play games like I Spy, Hangman, geography, or other word games.
- Create challenges to see who can spot the most animals, different license plates, red cars, convertibles, blue trucks, whatever you can think of.
- Pack a pad of unlined paper for drawing and colouring.
- Pack watercolour pencils. They don’t melt and can be dampened and used as watercolours or face paint.
- Bring an Etch-A-Sketch or magnetic drawing board.
Road trip essentials
- Have a pack of baby wipes for clean up, cool down etc.
- Make up stories bit by bit, with everyone taking turns adding a line or an event.
- Sing songs using the same idea, everyone takes a turn singing a line at a time.
- Brings snacks that are easy to clean like juice boxes, small containers of dried fruit, nuts and crackers.