Kids naturally have a lot of energy, imagination, and playfulness. Traits that are all more endearing at the park than in the confines of the family car. A little planning may make all the difference – even on shorter trips.
- Little Advance Notice – Most people like to know what’s coming up. That goes for kids as well. Something as simple as, “Hey, we’re going to pick up your sister from dance in five minutes” gives youngsters a chance to mentally shift gears from what they are doing and adjust to the new plan. That’s even more important for longer trips. Talking up both the journey and the destination can build anticipation and make the trip seem worthwhile.
- Dress for Success – If the end of the trip is church or a wedding reception, you’ll just have to cross your fingers and hope that the little ones arrive looking something like they did when you put them in the vehicle. Otherwise, let them dress as comfortably as they would like.
- Give ‘em a Break – Nothing extends driving time more than frequent stops. We’re tempted just to keep powering through the tantrums in back. But those little tummies and bladders demand attention. Packing snacks can keep hungry kids satisfied until mealtime. Plan rest stops for potty breaks and just getting their wiggles out. When the sign says “Next Rest Stop 40 Miles”, do you think they can make it?
- Have Fun – Have the kids take along some of their favorite things like books, electronics, games, and coloring books. Play road games like spotting letters of the alphabet, out-of-state license plates, etc. Some parents like to buy a bag of new toys, puzzles, and such. Now and then they break out a new surprise to keep the kids in good spirits.
Of course, we want the kids to enjoy the trip. But their enjoyment is also very important to a safe trip. If things are going well in the back, you won’t be distracted while you drive.
We work hard to make sure your vehicle is mechanically safe. If you are planning a trip, bring your vehicle in for a trip inspection to be sure it’s good to go.