If you’re a newly single parent and you’re taking a road trip with your children this season, it may feel like a very daunting task lies ahead. With so many ways for the trip to fail miserably, a fun vacation for the family could easily turn into a stressful experience if you haven’t planned accordingly.
Here are three tips to help you ensure that your vacation with your little ones goes smoothly.
Inspect the Car
A few days before the start of your trip, take your car in to a mechanic shop for a routine inspection. Make sure that your oil is changed and that your tires have enough tread and pressure. Check that all of your lights and blinkers are properly working. Have your air-conditioning and cooling systems looked over. Your vehicle is one of the most important pieces to the road trip puzzle. If it breaks down, your vacation could be significantly delayed if not completely halted. Have numbers available on hand in the event of car problems. Always keep a charger in the car to keep your phone powered at all times in case of emergency.
Avoid constant complaints from cooped up kids by planning ahead for the long drive ahead. Arm the car with portable movie players and electronics that aren’t too loud and distracting. Coloring books and novels are also good distractions that keep your child’s imagination running. Have a list of several road trip games that you all can play together. Have a sing-a-long to the radio, family-friendly playlists, or your current family favorites. Plan your driving schedule so that you can allow your children to get their wiggles out every few hours. This may extend the driving time a little, but you’ll appreciate taking the time to get that energy out.
Accept the Inevitable
You’re not going to be able to avoid every little hiccup, no matter how well you plan ahead. Restroom detours will happen. Backseat spills will likely happen, too. Your kids might fuss with each other. You might fuss with your kids. Don’t stress out too much about the little things and enjoy the time that you’re getting with your family. Even if everything doesn’t go perfectly, you’re going to make plenty of memories that will last.
By preparing your vehicle, keeping your children happy, and accepting the inevitable, you are well on your way to having a great road trip ahead of you! No matter how exhausting the planning may seem, don’t let yourself talk your way out of the adventure.
Originally published on July 25, 2016.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. Single parenting and the logistics of divorce can certainly be hard on family-fun activities.
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