“Are we there yet, are we there yet?” yells your four-year-old child as your two-year-old is crying for his toy that fell, all while your nine-year-old is rolling her eyes at your four-year-old. Sound familiar? This Thanksgiving, are you traveling? If so, these seven tips to survive a road trip with kids this Thanksgiving will come in handy.
How To Survive A Road Trip With Kids This Thanksgiving
Whether you’re driving two hours or twenty hours, when you add kids into the equation, there is bound to be chaos. But if you plan well, if can be an amazing family trip with memories to last a lifetime.
Create A Schedule For The Road
Days before said trip, make sure you have your GPS set to know exactly how long the trip is going to be. Here’s a good rule of thumb, schedule a break every two hours for kids to use the bathroom and stretch out their legs. BJs has great deals on GPS and navigation systems.
With your GPS, figure out if there are any landmarks, parks, or restaurants along the way. Kids get extremely fidgety, if you’re planning on being on the road more than ten hours, a stop to a landmark or park would be amazing to tire them out and let them explore a new place.
Make The Vehicle Comfortable
To kids, being surrounded by siblings and parents in a little box of a vehicle is torture. Go a step above and have your kids bring a small pillow and a throw blanket to stay cozy.
On top of ensuring their physical comfort, be sure to think entertainment. Each child is different. One may want a portable DVD player to watch Special Agent Oso or a Disney movie, another child may like a book rented from the library. Ask them before leaving.
If you’re stuck on what movie to bring for your kids, VUDU has an amazing selection on DVD’s you can rent or purchase. They make everything so simple and easy to do right at your fingertips.
Pack Quiet Activities For Your Kids
Do you dread asking your kids to pick out toys for car rides? You already know what they tend to bring; the biggest, bulkiest, and loudest toys imaginable.
This time, for a stress free Thanksgiving road trip, pack their activities for them. Melissa and Doug have an awesome selection for on the go play. You can find their wide assortment of educational and gross motor skill toys and activities at Babies R US.
Create A Clean-Up Kit For Your Car
Accidents happen. Be sure to pack an extra change of clothes or two for your kids. If you have little ones that have not perfected the art of waiting to reach the bathroom, place plastic liners or bags on their seats, cover with some sheets. Make sure to have baby wipes, paper towels, and grocery bags for trash in this kit as well.
Make Sure You Bring A Cooler
There’s something about cars and kids getting thirsty, it goes hand in hand. Make sure you have enough water bottles packed, and mess-free snacks.
Some great snacks are granola bars, trail mix, and popcorn. Separate them into snack size Ziploc bags to portion them and give them every two hours. You can find all of this and more at Walmart.
Give Them Rules Before The Trip
Somehow kids like to “forget” rules in the heat of the moment. Make sure they know ahead of time what’s expected.
Consider creating a seating arrangement. Some of your kids may do better sitting next to the window or sitting next to one of their siblings. Figure out which seating will work best. Even if it means changing a car seat location, it may be worth the sanity of everyone else. Taking a few extra bathroom stops may help change-up things a bit and help everyone to stretch out their legs.
Make It Fun
Thanksgiving is about spending time with each other and being grateful for what you have. Kids will be silly and loud, join them. Get some soundtrack albums to your favorite movies and go at it singing “Let It Go” or “Lean On Me”. Everyone will be laughing and tensions will be eased.
Tell stories, read books aloud, play I Spy games and talk about the future. Remember, this Thanksgiving road trip is not only about the destination, but the journey. Your child will remember this trip. Make it a memory of a lifetime!