We just completed what I refer to as the EPIC EXTRAVAGANZA. What else could you call a road trip where you drive 4 province and 13 states in just 17 days? I call it epic especially when you do it with three young children. It is amazing how many people look at me like I am or at was completely nuts. I may possibly be but that is another topic completely. You know what we survived and with our family intact. There are no hurt feeling and no damaging arguments. It was a really good time. So after people hear about this usually they want to know my secret. How much did you drug them? Nope. Did they watch movies and play video games the whole way? They had one maybe two movies a day and 20 minutes each on the leapster. Next the baffled look came.Always with the baffled look. So here is Mama’s tips for travelling success
Frequent quick stops. Do they need to pee? Find a rest stop or at least a good pull out and everyone get out. Run play tag, get the blood flowing do a few jumping jacks have a race. Exercise increases endorphins. Endorphin help make you happy. Fresh air can do wonders as well.
Something new. We got the kids new colouring books a lapboard and new markers. We went for the Colour Wonder stuff from Crayola. This was amazing It kept the boys busy. I never buy this for them regularly, they are fine using regular felts at home. But I had no desire to have a colouring war in the van.
Keep it fun. If it isn’t interesting kids are going to get bored and make things a bit more unenjoyable. The mood tend to set the attitude. So if the mood goes down try and increase it, put on some good music sing be silly. It is really okay to be silly as an adult, we don’t do it enough.
Pack good snacks. Sure treats are great to get them to shhh! for a bit but then they want more and the sugary treats aren’t good for you or your children. Pack stuff that keep hunger at bay, and is easy to eat. Fruit cups aren’t really a good idea but dehydrated fruit is excellent. Now I know regular diet goes out the window but there are good quick options.
Talk it up. The kids knew that we were going on this road trip. They were told it was going to take long drives, but they also knew about the fun things we were going to do. Every stop had something interesting for the children, even if it was just a campground with a pool and a playground. They knew there was something exciting at the end of the road.
Their opinion counts. Ask your kids if they are enjoying the trip. If they aren’t ask them why not? Ask them if there is something that can be done to help them enjoy the trip more? Now you don’t have to change your entire trip around your children but they need to know that you care about their opinion. Understand why they aren’t having fun. On the same token if they are having fun engage them in conversation about what they like. That way if things turn and they said they didn’t enjoy anything you have a conversation to go back to.
So there it is pretty simple.If all else fails the DVD player is still there but I think everyone enjoys the trip more if you engage with one another.