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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Helpful ways to make them stop

Road trips are fun, during the first hour perhaps after which everything goes downhill from there.

So how can road trips be fun from when the journey starts up until the destination? The following are tips and advice to help make road trips – especially if it involves kids – fun and happy.

Pack and prepare
As always, prevention is always better than cure. Packing and preparing prior to a long road trip must also include planning the activities the kids could do during the ride. Face it, eight-hour drives are difficult for kids. It will not be much of a help if the stops you make are only at gas stations or when during meal times. Keep your kids pre-occupied and entertained at least.

They are your responsibility and it is you who are taking them for the ride.
Do not forget to pack in some snacks, hopefully some healthy ones, so kids have something to nibble on during the long ride.

Research, research and research
Get to know the road that you are to take prior to you going on the journey ahead. This helps you make the necessary stops and recreational activities that kids may need to pack with them. Stopping at a park or a kids attraction is a good distraction for the long trip ahead. Another helpful advise is that families must make sure to stay clear from same old restaurant chains. Food must be special also and it would help if traditional bbq joints are avoided in favor of specialized and decent road diners.

Depart really late or depart really early
A very looong road trip requires that departure time be in the late evening or early morning. Both options helps avoid heavy traffic. Also, the kids are given the time to have some additional sleep, thus keeping them quiet along the road.
Stop in the name of love
According to a study, it is highly recommended that stops be made at least every hour or two. This allows your kids to have the necessary breaks. This also allows them to avoid carsickness.
Carsickness could best be avoided by walking around. Kids need to do this to keep their blood circulating during the long trip. Avoid giving motion sickness drugs to kids as it could keep them unnecessarily sedated.

Pack some handy game boards
Games that are magnetized and could be easily transported anywhere could provide hours of fun in the car’s back seat. Also, books that have activities on them are good options also. Believe it or not, there is a company that manufactures products and books that are focused on travel. Some of the activities found on these books are crossword puzzles. This is also a good way to make friends in a long journey.

Collect stuff and make them to a scrapbook
Try to encourage children to keep and collect little trinkets found during the journey. Stubs from tickets, brochures and postcards may be kept and be later put into a scrapbook.

Bring in books and DvDs
Thankfully, DVDs have the uncanny ability to keep everyone occupied, at peace and in harmony with each other especially on long trips. Audio books are also a great way to keep kids listening and therefore quiet.

Chill out, sit back and relax
The saying, the journey is better than the destination has never rung so true. The memories of a road trip that is filled with activities and good memories are better than thinking of the stress of actually getting there. In the end, it is better to look back with fondness than with frustration.

Involve kids in your travel plans
The trip will actually be best enjoyed by kids more than adults. So as much as possible, get kids to be involved in the planning. Allow them to look at the maps, show them the guidebooks. They would better appreciate the journey if you let them in on what they are getting themselves into. Who knows, they may even suggest helpful tips to make the journey more enjoyable. Never underestimate their wisdom.

All in all, a trip is best enjoyed if there is less control and if you just let go and allow thing to positively flow.

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