Many young parents dream of taking their children on road trip like their parents did for them. While vacationing with Many young parents dream of taking their children on a road trip like their parents did for them. While vacationing with children is one the best experiences parents can have, it is not without its stressful moments. The key to a successful road trip with young children is preparation. It is essential that parents have a game plan for every portion of the trip and are prepared for any unexpected complications such as stand-still traffic, closed rest stops, and car sickness. Since first starting road-tripping with his son in 2017, Stephen Troese Jr. has learned how best to prepare for long car trips with children. As someone who has learned from his traveling mistakes over the years, Stephen Troese Jr. hopes to pass on his lessons so that other parents traveling with children will be better prepared for its unexpected challenges.
“Are we there yet?” A question that frightens young parents everywhere. To avoid this question on long car rides, parents are encouraged to involve their child in navigation so they can have a better concept of how much of the journey has been completed and where they are in relation to their destination. Not only will this help keep parents sane, but will also help teach young children how to read maps and judge distances. Depending on the child’s age, parents can either bring some paper and pens and ask their child to draw their own map or bring a paper map for them to use.
There are few things more terrifying than a hangry child stuck in a car with no food stops in sight. Parents are encouraged to prepare for this eventuality by packing a plethora of healthy snacks for their children. While chocolate and chips are good snacks for parents with few options, parents should avoid foods with sugar at all costs on long car trips. Although your child may ask for ice cream or candy, sugar rushes and sticky hands do not do well in tight quarters. Instead, parents should pack an assortment of fruits and raw vegetables to keep kids full for long stretches of time while minimizing mess. On the road, less is not more. Plans can easily change on the road, and one traffic jam or a “closed for lunch” sign may be the difference between a pleasant or stressful car ride with your child. Also, be sure to restock when your child has finished the snack reserve!
Stock up on Child’s Favorite Music and Audiobooks
While it’s always a good idea to have games for your child to play on long car trips, parents will often overlook music and audiobooks when choosing their child’s entertainment. Children will often need help setting up car games, fight with siblings over rules, or simply grow tired of playing after 30 minutes. For car trips, parents are encouraged to consider what activities will require the least attention from them, so they can focus more on driving safely. Unlike board games, music and audiobooks can be accessed from a phone, taking up little car space while providing hours of entertainment for your child. Depending on the child’s age and learning level, this can also be an excellent opportunity to introduce children to different educational topics and help develop their understanding of US history, geography, and other topics related to the trip.