During the holiday season each year, you probably spend most of your time planning. You have to think about what you’ll make for holiday dinners and what you’ll give to your friends and family. When you’re not putting up holiday decorations, you also might think about where you’re traveling this year.
Many people around the world travel for the holidays to be closer to family. Before you can catch up with those who live far away, you have to load your family into your car and organize all your belongings in the trunk.
It isn’t always easy for kids to ride in a car for hours at a time, but you can make it better with the right tips. Check out these eight road trip hacks every family needs this holiday season. You’ll find a few ideas you can use this year, so your holiday road trips are as fun as the season itself.
1. Leave Early or Late
Kids might like watching their favorite videos or movies at the start of a road trip, but eventually, they’ll get bored. Trips are extra long for children who don’t know where they are until they’ve arrived at your destination.
Cut their road trip experience in half by leaving extra early or late. Either way, they’ll fall asleep as you start on your trip, which makes their experience a couple of hours shorter. That’s less time for them to get bored and more time for you to focus on the road.
2. Bring Craft Supplies
Watching videos isn’t the only thing kids can do for entertainment. Bring craft supplies like coloring books or playdough and provide trays they can use on their lap. They’ll craft the hours away and not even notice how long they’ve been on the road.
3. Overload on Snacks
Most kids love to eat, so it’s something they’ll think about more when they’ve been sitting in place for hours at a time. Load up on snacks and pack extra healthy options to balance out their snacking. Swap crackers with carrots before letting them enjoy a few cookies as a reward for being so great in the backseat.
4. Play Road Trip Games
Your kids will have more fun if you join in on their games, so try family road trip games everyone will enjoy. Challenge kids to spot specific license plates or play “I Spy” as you pass through towns to challenge their minds in fun new ways.
5. Plan Breaks
Depending on how young your kids are, you might need to stop every couple of hours. Before you leave home, map out your trip, and plan your breaks. Instead of stopping at fast-food restaurants to use the bathroom, stop at parks, waterfalls, or other local attractions with public restrooms, so there’s something fun to do while you’re there.
6. Give Roadtrip Gifts
Another way to make road trips more fun is to give your kids traveling gifts they can use while they’re in the car. Binoculars and drawing boards are a great place to start for young kids, and older kids will enjoy a new pair of headphones or a good book.
7. Leave Room for Presents
While you pack up the car before a trip, you’ll likely be thinking about how you’re going to leave on time and if you remembered to pack everything. Don’t forget to leave room for gifts in your trunk if you know your family will give a bunch to your kids. It isn’t fun to leave them behind because of limited space and pay for the shipping when the holidays end.
8. Pack Emergency Supplies
After you’ve loaded up the car with luggage and fun activities for the kids, prepare an emergency supply bag, so you have everything you need if something terrible were to happen. A first-aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, and batteries are just a few of the things you might need if your car breaks down on the side of the road or gets in an accident.
Plan Ahead Early
If you plan your road trip early, your family will cruise through any amount of time on the road this year. Bring games for the kids, pack emergency supplies, and don’t forget the all-important cooler full of snacks, so everyone makes it through your upcoming trips without any whining or crankiness.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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