If a long road trip is the most exciting thing on your cards to relax, factor in a whining kid and you have a challenge to keep you on your toes, literally! So along with the exciting parts like deciding the destinations on the way, marking your maps and packing your bags, make sure you think of how you can efficiently stop your kid from whining and making your long road trip a tad miserable.
- Plan the trip meticulously: Chart your route in good detail, find out rest spots, gas stations to refuel and if possible, try to combine the breaks and gas station stops since it saves a lot of time in the long run. Pack intelligently, so that you can put in your hand and pull out what you need to keep your kid happy at the drop of a hat. While travelling with kids, it is of utmost importance to also pack in a handy first aid kit for any contingency such as an unexpected bout of travelling sickness, cuts and wounds during stops etc.
- Talk to your kid: Most kids have just one repeated question during a road trip articulated with a whine – “Are we there yet?” Answer this question with intelligent diversions such as “Just a few kilometers more”, “We are stopping at just a place more for food” etc and keep them guessing. Kids need to feel safe and secure on this trip which is a break from the safe routine for them. Bring a couple of their toys and activities or devise a few new ones! Very soon they will forget about the destination and be happy during the journey.
- Bring on the Road games: There are numerous road games that can keep a kid fully engrossed, at least till the kid again realizes it is a long road trip that is happening. Rent a few DVDs and get a portable DVD player, play small games and in effect, just keep talking and making the kid feel happy. During the break stops, try to get your kid burn off that extra restlessness by packing in a few jumping ropes and monitor the activity at the rest spots to avoid incidents.
- Snacks: This one is sure to keep a kid going happy without too many whines. Pack adequate healthy snacks or find out places where you could pick up a few on the go. Nothing like a happy tummy to keep the kid whine-free. Make sure your kid takes enough water during the trip and has bathroom breaks. Once these are all done, see to it that there is some good space to stretch out or curl up for a little nap.
- The moving caravan: Honestly nothing could be more important than choosing the right new vehicle for your long road trip. All the above steps could mean naught if your ride is a rickety, unsafe and cramped vehicle. You could even rent out your perfect vehicle for the road trip. Efficiency, space, safety and of course, style should be your criteria for choosing such a vehicle.
Taking a kid along on a road trip can be a harrowing time if the kid starts whining, but with some proper thought into it and planning, you can help your kid enjoys the trip to the hilt as well. It helps you set realistic expectations as well. Kids are bound to hit their “happy face-sitting still” limit sooner than later into a long road trip. Instead of ignoring the kid and letting it whine, engage them in conversation and play, be prepared and then step on the gas cheerfully!