Road Trip Fun

Road trips are not always easy.  But, they are a great way to spend time with the family.  A lot of time.  OK, maybe too much time.  With kids in tow,  you know there will be   spilled drinks, crying, fighting, and at least one   french fry that gets lost SOMEWHERE in the car that you can’t find (but can certainly smell).  In the end, we all subject ourselves tot his voluntary torture because… well… it’s worth it.  No matter how crazy our kids drive us, or what annoying song they are singing, one smile or giggle erases  all the pain of an 8 hour drive.  And, no matter how expensive gas prices get, driving is still the most economical way to get a family from point A to point B.

It’s all about preparation.   Many libraries have moved into the 21’st century and now offer books online.  They even have audiobooks for rent!  Take advantage of this wonderful resource by downloading a few.   Store them on your media player, and listen to them during the trip. Not only will these stories entertain the kids, but they are sometimes entertaining for the adults too!

Having a few small gifts to hand out during the trip is also a great way to keep the kids occupied.   You can go to the local dollar store and buy 3 or 4 small toys that the kids can easily play with in the car.  Then, if things get a little hectic on the road (stuck in traffic, or weather) you can hand the toys out  little by little to keep the children from whining.

It’s also important to get the kids on board with the idea of having a road trip.  Start preparing them weeks in advance by letting them watch movies or TV programs that romanticize road tripping.  Cars is a great  movie to watch because it is not only a children’s movie, but also has a great road trip moral:  sometimes it’s not all about the  destination, but how you get there.

Don’t stay plugged in.  Being stuck in a car for several hours with your kids sometimes seems like a saddistic tourture.  Especially when there’s no Xbox, DVD, or TV to keep them zombiefied.  But, if you look at this quiet family time as a blessing, then you can turn it into quite an enjoyable experience.  In today’s hectic connected world, there is rarely a time when families get to spend hours doing nothing but talking.  A long ride is a perfect time to get to know your kids. Ask them some questions and get them thinking.  Find out what their most proud accomplishment was this year.   Get them talking about who their best friend is and why.  Find out what their least favorite topic is in school.    You will be amazed at how much they will open up to you when there’s nothing distracting them!

Blog about their trip.  Hey, we all do it – we blog.  We enjoy blogging, so why not pass on the tradition to our kids?  Hand them a

Look Mom! DIRT!

cheap digital camera and tell them to document their trip. Take photo’s o f things they finid interesting, and jot down what it was.  This will keep them gazing out the window, and interested in pit stops you take along the way.  When you get back home, make them a small blog so they can see all the photo’s they have taken along with all their notes!

Stop and smell the roses.      When we get going on the road, it can be a challenge to stop. We get into the “zone” and just want to make it to our final destination as fast as possible. Or, at least faster than our office mates thought we could make it.    But, don’t forget that you are trying to teach your kids the importance of enjoying the journey. So, from time to time it  may be a good idea to stop at a rest area and stretch a little. Bring a picnic instead of munching on unhealthy burgers, and play a little catch, throw a frisby around or just walk around.   .

Do you have any tips to share with our readers? Let us know by using the comment section below! 


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