You can probably hear it already: the kids fighting over the radio and asking “Are we there yet?” Sometimes a picnic is no picnic. If you’re planning a family road trip this summer, you must plan ahead to ensure you have a smooth ride. Although this can be a daunting task, there are strategies you can put in place so that you’ll have the best trip possible. Just follow these five tips for surviving the summer road trip.
1. Pack Light
This is the worst part. We know. We don’t like it either. But try not to stress too much. Remember, you can almost certainly buy anything on the road. Know the weather of the destination you are visiting, which helps reduce over-packing. Keep in mind the activities you will be doing so you can pack appropriately. The types of accommodation will also determine which clothes or equipment you might need. Pack your bags and then reduce by a third. Then do it again. You will always pack more than you need. Do it! Do it!
2. Food and Drinks
A hungry kid – or husband – is a grumpy kid! We don’t know about you, but as soon as we are hitting the road, all of the sudden you’re getting hungry (let’s be honest, you just want to snack). So remember to bring healthy snacks and water! Great snacks to bring are fruit (nature’s fast food!), nuts or seeds, veggies or crackers (with or without hummus), trail mix (make your own, way cheaper and healthier) and sandwiches to your liking.
How long will your drive take? Two hours? Ten hours? Thank heavens for modern technology (and Google Maps)! Even if you don’t have a drop-down screen in your car, just bring your tablet or smartphone and log in to your Hulu or Netflix account to keep the kids occupied. Try to pick a movie or show they want to see but haven’t yet seen so they pay attention. Blast your favorite music (show your kids “what real music is”) or start listen to an audiobook. There are even great children audiobooks out there. Speaking of books: don’t forget reading books, either in physical or electronic form! Coloring books are also a great way of staying busy and calming you down (kids or mum).
4. Stop Early, Stop Often!
One way to keep the kids from getting too antsy is to take frequent rest stops. Great places to stretch are public parks, playgrounds or picnic spots. If there’s a beach nearby: jackpot! Leave yourself more time for the trip than you think so you don’t feel rushed and can schedule in time for sights along the way. A good rule of thumb is to split drive time and doing stuff 50/50. If you want to know family-friendly activities along your route, check out the app Roadtrippers. Sometimes we are so focused on the final destination that we blaze right by. Having said that, road trips can be exhausting, so slow down and enjoy the journey!