Is a road trip in the cards for your family this year? If so, you’ll have some planning to do.
Whether you want to take your kids to Disneyland in Florida, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yosemite National Park in California, or some other destination, a road trip can be the perfect way to enjoy family time. But traveling with children requires extra planning.
Packing snacks, water, and hand wipes is a good start. And ensuring you have all your important documents together in a functional bag will also help. But loading your family, your luggage, and maybe even your dog into a vehicle and hitting the road is a major undertaking.
While road trips can be loads of fun, they can also be hard on children who don’t want to be cooped up in a car traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles on roadways and highways. The good news is that there are some easy ways to help kids enjoy the long drive.
To make things more enjoyable for your kids here’s are some fun activities that will keep them entertained and occupied on a road trip.
Name the Artist
Since most kids like music, this is one game that they’ll enjoy. Choose a radio station that plays music your kids like and then award points to the first person who accurately identifies an artist or band playing on the radio. When you arrive at your destination, tally up the points. You might want to let the winner choose where the family will eat lunch or supper that day.
Another road trip game sure to help your kids pass the time is a game of I spy. You probably remember playing this game as a child. You can kick things off by saying something like: “I spy with my little eye something that is blue.” Your kids will then have to look around to find what you’re referring to. It might be in the car, in another car on the road, on a street sign, or somewhere else.
You can also say something like: “I spy with my little eye something that starts with the letter S.’” Your kids will compete among themselves to get the correct answer. A little bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone. Let your little one unleash their inner Sherlock Holmes.
Guess the Grocery Item
Another game sure to get your kids thinking is the grocery store game. Have one of your kids start things off by thinking of a particular item available at a grocery store. The other occupants in the car will then take turns to figure out what the specific item is. So, if you’re the first person up, you can ask something like, “Is the item in the meat section?” Your child will answer either “yes” or “no.” As more and more questions get asked, the answer will become abundantly clear.
What Color is it?
You can lead out by naming a bunch of things that are the same color. The following is an example: “Grass, Kermit the Frog, lettuce, cucumbers….” Before long, one of your kids will excitedly say, “Green!” The goal is for you to continue to mention things that are the same color until one of your kids gets the right answer. It’s the sort of game that will appeal to young kids.
Smile and Wave
This is a really simple game. It involves waving at passengers in other vehicles — and hoping that they wave back. Have your kids do it one at a time. Whoever gets the most consecutive wave backs wins. So, if one of your children waves at people in three different cars and gets them all to wave back, great. But if that child then waves at someone in a fourth car and the passenger doesn’t wave back, then they will have gotten three points for three consecutive wave backs. Then it will be another child’s turn to try and beat that tally with four or more.
Tablet and Smartphone Games
While you likely don’t want to see your kids glued to screen on your road trip, that doesn’t mean that a little bit of screen time can’t be a good thing if they’re trapped in the car. Load some fun games onto a tablet or smartphone so that your kids have something to do.
If your vehicle is equipped with streaming capabilities, you can also let them watch some videos, too. The key is to give them enough to do so they don’t find the road trip to be a dreadful experience.
The trip is part of the overall experience. It can be an enjoyable one with some planning.
Are you kids into books? If so, audiobooks can be a godsend. Figure out what types of books they enjoy listening to and then download some appropriate titles. They’ll be so engrossed in the storytelling that you might not hear that dreaded road trip question, “Are we there yet?” Your kids will be enthralled with the stores. And, who knows, they might get a nap.
Bonus: Get Out and Stretch!
No matter how much fun you and your kids have on your road trip, don’t forget to take breaks. Stop every two to three hours. Park the car, get out, and stretch. It’s also a good time for bathroom breaks or snacks. If you travel with the family dog, ensure that it gets to stretch its limbs, go for a walk, and get some food and water. Taking breaks will also be good for you. You’ll be more refreshed, have a better frame of mind, and enjoy a more pleasant driving experience.
If you introduce your kids to some of these recommendations on your road trip, you will all find the journey to be much more pleasant. Whether by personal car, rental vehicle, or RV, you and your family have options as to going on a road trip. There are lots of scenic routes to take, and lots of interesting destinations to explore. Safe travels!