Tips for a Peaceful Family Road Trip

Since the holidays are vastly approaching, families are starting to make travel plans. With the economy as bad as it is, this means many will be trading an airplane ride in for a car ride.

Family road trips in the car don't have to be something to dread. They can be a great time for families to bond with each other because, let's face it, no one is going anywhere so you have no choice.

If you're hitting the road for Thanksgiving or Christmas with kids in tow, here are some tips to make the trip a little more peaceful.

  • Make Frequent Stops

    This may seem like a needless distraction for some parents, but for kids it is probably the most excitement they will have on the journey. Getting out of the car to stretch their legs or peruse the candy aisle of the gas station provides a much needed break from the monotony of car travel. While it would be faster to stay in the car and get to your destination as quickly as possible, it may be worth it to give kids sometime to get fresh air.

  • Set a Schedule

    This may seem a bit strange or restrictive, but it can be great for kids who are already used to a schedule and feel like they have more control with their time.

    For instance, you can tell your kids that from 1:00 to 2:00 they can use their hand held electronic toys, but then they turn it off from 2:00 to 3:00 to read a book or play a game. Since they don't understand what "1 hour" means, they can watch the clock to be "2-0-0" which helps take their mind off the car ride and helps with their numbers and counting.

  • Use Portable DVD Players or TV's

    I know kids watch so much TV at home as it is, so do they really need to watch it in the car, too? Parents may bristle at the thought of their kids turning into TV zombies on their vacation, but sometimes they need to show their kids that they can compromise on some things. Watching a movie or a TV show during a long stint in the car can bring a world of peace to everyone.

    Kids feel less stressed about entertaining themselves and parents don't have to squabble and fight with their kids. Letting them use these items for a short time during the car ride shouldn't really cause any harm, just set rules and time limits in advance so everyone knows what to expect. After all, you don't want to start your vacation off on a bad note.

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South Salt Lake City Natural Family Living Examiner Jessica Sayles is a native Utah and outdoors enthusiast since childhood.

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