So, it’s your first time to travel with your family. (Oh, I’ve had those days. And those earlier circumstances never fail to amuse me). You anticipated a glorious, long ride down the roads to nowhere with three- to five-year-old active toddlers in haul, and a loving partner that you wouldn’t want to be without.
You’ve made plans. Packed your bags. Wrote some what-do-to-when-you-arrive lists. Went in and out of your home for last-minute things. And checked your vehicle for the nth time. Everything is impressively organized (or so you think).
To top it all off, well, you’re with your loving family. What more can you ask for? Everything is going to be a cinch. Nothing will go wrong. Nothing will dampen your day. The trip will be a smashing hit.
If that’s your first notion of traveling with kids and your partner, better wake up.
You’re in for a huge surprise down the road to an entire new world that you wouldn’t want to be in (for a few minutes, I guess, until you get your marbles up and about, and working again).
Oh, it may be quite a good road to travel on with your partner since you have been together enough to know each other’s personal antics.
But, with your kids? That’s a completely different story.
What you need to remember is this: This isn’t a fairy-tale. This is real life.
So, expect the ear-piercing screams from time to time. The I-want-to-see-that-too or I-want-to-be-the-first-one fights, the I-am-hungry, I-am-thirsty, I-am-tired, or I-want-to-go-to-the-bathroom situations that will send you faster to a nervous breakdown if you’re not too careful.
As much as this may sound so depressing to you, it doesn’t mean that you have to cancel the trip, and wait ‘til your kids are already grown and mature enough to behave throughout your long road travel.
Here are a few guideposts to make your road adventure more bearable, and (at least) a bit relaxing for your frazzled nerves.
One: Bring Their Favorite Toys.
Whether it’s the latest gizmo gadget around, or the fluffiest or scariest of creatures ever made by man, children would usually have their own favorite toys or dolls that they would ALWAYS like to bring along.
So, don’t forget that teddy bear, that scary monster, or other toys that you know your kids will bawl over, miss so much, or try to persuade you in going back home for.
Two: Keep Them Free from Hunger or Thirst.
Adults can probably hold off their hunger or thirst for a few minutes or so. Typically, kids can’t do the same (and you shouldn’t expect them to).
They get antsy when they’re hungry or thirsty.
So, don’t leave home without eating a heavy meal if you would like to have a better road trip.
While you’re at it, why don’t you grab a few goodies to munch on during your trip? You can have that initially prepared at home. Or, you can just buy them while you’re on the road.
Food is the number one type of distraction that will definitely keep your children busy and satisfied.
Three: Get Ready to Keep Them Amused.
Aside from their toys and munchies, you may also want to play a game with them. Prepare something that you can all do without you having to look at them and taking your eyes off the road. For this, trivia questions may come in handy.
Now, these things are too elementary that you may think that any parent like you would have the earlier notion to do these things to prepare for that travel in a more convenient manner. Fact is, there are many who are still harassed; others may appear nonchalant.
So, keep your eyes on the road. But don’t forget to keep your children safe, happy, full, and satisfied just like how you and your partner would like to feel about this trip. Keep it cheesy and adventurous. And ditch the possible hassles that you will encounter.
Why am I telling you all these things? Let’s just say I had an eye-opening encounter with the unknown…er… with my own children when they were a lot younger than they are now.
EXPERIENCE is still the best mentor. 🙂