Are you planning on taking a road trip with your kids this winter? Are you heading to the mountains for a skiing adventure or simply going to visit Grandma and Grandpa who live a few states away? Traveling with kids can be difficult on a warm, sunny day. Traveling with kids on a cold, snowy afternoon can feel downright impossible. Here are a few tips to keep your kids happy and occupied for the long ride.
1. Food and Drinks
Let’s be honest. A hungry kid is typically a very unhappy one. If you want to keep your children smiling in the back seat bring along a giant bag of sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Pack a wide variety of foods including family favorites, fruits, vegetables, crackers and even treats. If you are driving for hours your kids won’t be happy eating the same foods over and over for the entire ride. Pack food even if you plan to stop for breakfast, lunch and dinner along the way. You never know when an accident or bad weather will tie up traffic. You may think you are a few minutes from finding a restaurant and suddenly find yourself trapped in the car for an extra hour. Why risk a long ride with hungry, irritable kids? With a bag full of snacks your delays will be much more bearable.
2. Electronic Devices
Children can entertain themselves in the car by searching for state license plates or finding signs that begin with specific letters, but on a really long trip your children may eventually grow bored and restless. This might be the time to bend the electronic rules in your household as electronic devices like phones, tablets and laptops can help pass the time. Install games that are parent approved and preferably don’t require your data plan to run. If your children enjoy music create a travel playlist for them. Fill the list with songs from their favorite artists and play those tunes through your Bluetooth enabled vehicle so everyone can sing along.
3. Paper & Art Supplies
If you prefer to limit your child’s access to electronic devices consider bringing books and art supplies along for the ride. You can buy a portable desk like the ALEX Toys Artist Studio Desk to Go, available at Target, or you can simply bring a large baking pan that your kids can place their paper on. Your children can also play easy travel games like tic-tac-toe or hangman. They don’t require anything more than a pencil and a piece of paper. Coloring books are another great option for long drives.
4. Blankets and Pillows
Make the car a comfortable place for your children. Bring along soft, thin blankets they can use to snuggle and plush pillows so they can rest their heads. Sleeping is a great way for children to pass the time and the lull of the car on the open highway is bound to help them drift off to sleep. If your child has a favorite stuffed animal be sure to bring it along, but try not to take it out of the car until you reach your final destination. You don’t want to lose that beloved stuffed bear half way from home.
5. Snow Shovels, Hats & Gloves
When traveling through snowy regions make certain you are prepared with a small shovel, hat and gloves as these items are vital if you need to dig your car out of the snow. The Treksafe Premium Winter Safety Kit contains traction mats, a premium aluminum shovel, booster cables, a car blanket, tow strap and knit gloves with super grip. You can find this and other similar emergency kits at Amazon. Remember to place these items on top of the luggage along with winter coats. Coats are difficult to wear during a long distance trip, so let your kids ride without them, but place them within easy reach so you can access them when and if you need to.
Follow these easy tips and you’ll reach Grandma’s house in no time.