Whether you’re traveling with a young child or not, long car rides can consist of that one person in the back seat who has to get wedged into the last remaining armrest between two other family members fighting over the rest. This is why it’s important to keep everyone entertained and comfortable so they can enjoy their ride.
When you’re on a long car trip with children, it’s easy to get bored and irritated. Take some time to plan ahead by bringing along snacks and toys that will distract your little ones before the trip begins. This way you can make the drive a happy one – at least for everyone but the driver! Here are some handy tips for those looking to make even the most challenging car rides enjoyable for all:
1) Pack Travel Bags
Make sure each of your children has her own set of toys and comforts them while you’re traveling. Everyone loves to have his or her favorites by their side! One favorite item which is sure to soothe any child’s anxiety and make them feel more comfortable when you’re away from home is a teddy bear, blanket or other lovable toy.
It’s a good idea to have snacks and bottled water on hand for those “in between” times when your child might suddenly be hungry or thirsty. This may help to ease hunger/thirst until the next available meal time.
2) Bring Along Activity Books
Making sure each child feels special and important is a good idea. Children can set up their own special tray that they can use throughout your trip to color, draw, or write on. Additionally, you should bring along some creative activity books that they can use to entertain themselves when coloring isn’t enough. Coloring pencils, crayons, and markers should all be packed alongside with the activity books so your child will for sure have something fun in-hand once those travel boredom blues begin to kick in!
You want to make sure your child is interested and engaged with activity books that are new or on the market for the first time, as opposed to drawing books that have already been marked up. That would only hold their interest for a moment. It’s best to get creative and create your own custom coloring pages for them.
3) Purchase Toys and Games Designed for Traveling
To avoid the crying or whining of a child left without their favorite toy, purchase games or activity centers that are specifically designed for traveling. These items will usually have pens attached by a string to an activity book and are magnetic pieces for games such as tic-tac-toe.
Bringing toys and games with you on your travels is a great way to keep the kids entertained and happy. Make sure that they are the kind of toys that adapt well to moving around, keeping in mind that children are easily bored, so it’s important to try new things. If you can, bring some games and puzzles instead of old standbys as this will help your child grow as a person for years to come.
4) Pick up a few Disposable Cameras
Investing in a few disposable cameras for your next road trip can make for hours of fun. This gives your child the freedom to capture breathtaking moments without having to worry about whether or not their technology might break or if it will become damaged by an accidental drink spill, especially if you purchase the waterproof type. Give each child a camera and encourage them to take pictures of anything they find that they don’t recognize while passing through various landmarks and other sites! This keeps their attention longer, especially when you’re on long journeys like those on foot because they’ll always have something else to look at and focus more of their energy on capturing these unique views with their camera.
One of the great things about having your child take some vacation photos is that younger ones get such a kick out of having their very own set of prints to look over. Once you arrive at your final destination, have some photos developed right away so that by the time dinner has been eaten and tents are put up, your child will be as greatful as you are for these little snapshots which remind us all why we work so hard to travel in the first place.
5) Bring Along Electronic Items
Children from both younger and older generations strive to take their electronic devices with them whenever they travel. Things like DVD players, music players, and handheld gaming systems can easily keep a child occupied for hours if given the chance. Packing some extra car chargers or batteries is important if you decide to go with this option as it could be a pain searching for an open outlet inside of one’s vehicle in order to charge up your device.
Planning is the key to keeping children entertained when traveling. Children love getting their hands on new things so making frequent stops if traveling by car may help you turn your trips into something that they will look forward to more. Be creative and think outside the box, as no one knows what your child loves more than you do!