Summer is flying by, but there are still plenty of days to take a road trip with your family. Of course, Graco has safety covered with car seats designed to protect your child from his earliest rides, but here we’ve put together some helpful tips to make longer car rides enjoyable for the whole family.
Feel free to add your best tips in the comment section below.
Satisfied tummies help little ones ride comfortably, so be sure to bring snacks along. Portable fruit—that doesn’t have to be peeled (think sliced grapes, berries, apple slices or sliced bananas) —is an excellent choice as are other bite-sized goodies like pre-cut cheese, crackers or portions of cereal. When you pack a cooler, why not freeze some bottled water? That way, it helps keep your other food cold and becomes a healthy drink to keep you and your child hydrated.
Flicks to the Rescue
Movies are a great distraction, whether you’re cozy at home or a passenger riding in the car. If your vehicle is equipped with a built-in video player, make sure to stock up on a variety of films—some old favorites and a new one that your kids have been wanting to see. Or, if you’re bringing along an iPad or computer (don’t forget the charger!), you can preload movies, so they’re at the ready for a smooth ride.
Headphones Keep the Peace
If you have more than one little one in tow, headphones are a great way to allow each child to pick their own form of entertainment. After all, sometimes the older kids don’t want to watch “baby movies” and sometimes the little ones only want listen to their favorite tunes on repeat. To alleviate any strain or disagreement, consider bringing a few pairs of headphones. That way, while one child is listening to the radio or an MP3 player, the other one can watch a favorite movie—all without disturbing the other (or you!).
For really little ones—who might be too young to engage in games or singing—you might consider planning the bulk of the drive time around their napping schedule. For an overnight trip, go ahead and dress your child in their jammies, so that they’re super-comfy while they catch some ZZZs.
Handheld video games—or kid-appropriate games on your own smartphone—are a fun way for little ones to occupy the hours of a road trip. Extra tip: Look for games that have a volume control setting, so you can mute the game for the enjoyment of the other passengers in the car!
Little bag of tricks.
Surprise young travelers with a mixed box of treats from a dollar store for a low-cost way to keep them busy. New coloring books, puzzles, a new stuffed toy, party favor games and action figures will hold their attention for the long haul.
Are we there yet?
Give older kids their own map, so that they can trace the route, looking for landmarks along the way. This way, they won’t ask this inevitable question (as often).
Regardless of where you’re headed, we wish you a safe and fun ride!