Are you hitting the road this holiday season? Road trips can be an adventure, particularly when there are kids involved. Make sure your next road trip is a fun-filled adventure (and not the scary kind) with these tips for staying safe and sane on the road:
Be prepared. If there was ever a time to do a little pre-planning, it is in the days before your family road trip. You can't plan for every emergency, but you can make sure that your car is maintained (oil changed, tires inflated) and stocked with supplies such as blankets, flashlight, candle and matches, first aid kit, batteries, and water to ensure that if something does go wrong, you and your family will be ready.
Show them the way. Take a few minutes before your trip to show your kids where you are going on a map. Point out interesting spots that you'll pass along the way and where you might stop for breaks. Kids who know the route are much less likely to whine about the trip.
Pack the snacks. Once you've taken care of the emergency essentials, it's time to make sure your car is stocked with the really important stuff — snacks and entertainment. Pack a cooler with grab-and-go snacks like carrot sticks, pretzels, nuts, and raisins as well as reusable bottles filled with water. You'll save yourself time and money wasted at fast-food joints and be thrilled later to have had some healthy snacks throughout the trip.
Plan for fun. Bring along a few things to keep the kids entertained. Small toys, books and doodle pads work wonders to ease boredom, as do gadgets like iPods, DVD players and eReaders. Oh, and don't forget essential fight-busters such as earphones and extra batteries!
Get stretchy. When you do stop for gas or restroom breaks, try to encourage everyone to get out and stretch, even if it's just for a minute. Roll your shoulders and neck and touch as close as you can to your toes for an all over body stretch that eases tension and stress.
Also on MNN: