As with many things this summer, your vacation plans have probably been altered by the corona virus. I know ours were. But you can’t let it get you down. Try to go with the flow.
More families are choosing to travel by car, which means trips take longer. Our family takes at least one road trip a year – an annual trip to see family that’s 17 hours away. We’ve been doing this since our first-born was 9 weeks old. So along the way, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to perfect our car set up and entertainment.
Here are a few tips you might find useful.
We usually encourage good car behavior by a promise of a “pick any snack you like at the next gas station stop”. This time round we are not planning on stopping and letting our kids into the stores along the way. But I am packing a few of their favorite snacks and putting them in baggies numbered #1-7. For each hour of the trip that passes without incident, they can pick a mystery bag.
This same strategy can work with activities too.
And don’t worry if this sounds overwhelming or hard to plan for – it will really only add 10 mins to your trip prep. Plop stuff in brown bags or Ziploc bags, write a number on and you’re good to go.
Older kids are usually easier to entertain: books, word searches, sudoku, and travel games can go a long way. Our eight-year-old is obsessed with the license plate game.
Our preschooler is a little more challenging since she can’t read. Our go-to for younger kids have been wikki stix, water wow books, scratch art, window gel stickers, tin magnetic sticker boards. We also play travel bingo, (I found a few boards years ago at the Target dollar bin, but you can just print out some for free). It keeps them occupied for a while and helps our kids keep the car sickness away by forcing them to look out of the window.
And every year our daughter looks forward to stringing fruit loops on a (new) shoe lace 🙂 It has become her favorite road trip snack and takes about 30 mins for her to prepare.
If you have any other great tips for entertaining kiddos during travel, please share them with us. It takes a village!