One of the things I adore most about Christmas is the excuse to have get together with friends and family, and of course this means those road trips far and wide. What I don’t enjoy…the long drives with two little ones in the back seat asking “Are we there yet?”
After countless road trips over the past 13 years, I have learned more then a few tricks. Here are my top five tested and true ways to avoid the road travel blues!
1) Set up the ground rules. My favourite rule: On a long trip, each child is only allowed to ask three times each “Are we almost there?” or “How much further?” Trust me when I tell you this golden rule will be a life saver on a super long excursion.
2) Pack lots of healthy snacks. It’s true that there often plenty of places to stop for food on the fly, but why take the risk of upsetting tummy’s on the road with greasy fast food? Trail mix, pretzels, bananas, apples, cheese, crackers and peanut butter and bottles of water are the way we go. (It doesn’t hurt to have some Gravol on hand too. Just in case)
3) Movie time! It doesn’t seem to matter if we are taking a 3 hour trip or a 12 hour drive, my girls don’t really seem to pay attention to more than one flick. The only exception to this rule, the repetition and comfort of some classics; you can’t go wrong with episodes of Phineas and Ferb, good old Bugs Bunny or just about any classic Disney Movie. We are also careful to take fully charged iPods and iPads. Better to have too much to do then not enough!
4) 60 Second Dance Parties: When the kids are starting to feeling cramped and getting tired of being in their seats, and when you are starting to feel the same, it might just be time for a 60 second dance party! Break out your favourite CD, crank up the tunes and seat dance your way down the highway. There is a sweet relief in singing and dancing your way though your favourite 80s tunes while your kids giggle at your complete lack of dance skill.
5) Something shiny and new! There is power in a newly wrapped toy. Head to the dollar store and pick up some silly putty, an etch a sketch, design a doll, or pipe cleaner art. Each new toy can provide at least 20 minutes of entertainment!
6) Be prepared for the worst…just in case. Make sure your gas tank is filled to the top, pack mitts and hats for all of you just in case you happen to encounter a bump in the road and need to sit tight and wait for that auto club to come to the rescue.
7) Know that you will have to make frequent pit stops. Little kids equals little bladders. That is all.
Set your kids and yourself up for success, kick back and enjoy the ride!