Kids. You’ve got to love them! They’re funny and smart and adorable and cute. They’re also demanding work, and very difficult to please a lot of the time! Every parent can be forgiven for dreaming of a great vacation that doesn’t involve changing diapers, wiping runny noses, or dealing with a moody teen. So, when it comes to that all-American, and most grown-up of all vacations, the road trip, would you bring the kids along?
It’s easier than you think to take a road trip with your whole family. These days, you can take all your creature comforts from home and even more with a good-sized RV. And if you’re looking to get them out of the van and doing something more active, you can look for an Airstream RV dealer for towables that could carry all your ride-on toys, bicycles and more. Bring it all with you, pick the best stopping points, and you’ll have far fewer whiny moments on the road.
Of course, kids can’t sit still for ten minutes, let alone two hours at a time in the back of your RV. This is where your parenting skills need you to get creative. The better prepared, planned and organized you are, the smoother your journey. As a parent, you will be grateful for the RV that has a toilet and running water supply for those ‘oops’ moments your kids will probably have. Pack an air freshener, and extra antibacterial and baby wipes.
On the Road Entertainment
Next, you need to consider entertainment. The more you can do as an entire family (safely while you drive, of course,) the better. Think about spelling bees, geography pop quizzes, songs you like to sing, or anything else that will keep you going. Aim for things that will last between ten and twenty minutes, depending on the ages of your kids. Attention spans aren’t always great, especially if they’ve been cooped up for a while.
They might each have their own mobile devices to game, watch TV or listen to music. Try to encourage them to swap it out from time to time. Pack lots of books and set them a challenge to find a new favorite story. This can always include comic books if any of your children are reluctant readers. Don’t forget, kids are pretty good at drawing what they see and illustrating what they imagine things will look like. Why not set them a group project to create a cool scrapbook of the whole journey and detail all the different things you did and saw?
Capturing the Moment
Regardless of any temper tantrums and repetition of the word ‘bored,’ this is going to be a memorable and pleasurable experience for you all. Capture every moment with your camera. You might choose to fit the kids’ bicycles with GoPros. Why not hand your youngest a cheap disposable camera to see what they find interesting down the lens? You don’t have to pay to print any of them if you don’t want to. Upload the ones you like to your social media accounts, or keep them for your digital photo frame at home.
Videos will mean a lot more to your kids in the future, so try to capture as many snippets of action as you can. The photos are often more staged so that everyone fits into the frame. Don’t be afraid to capture those moments that seem quieter or more mundane. You’ll be surprised how they can prompt some great memories later.
So Where Will You Go?
When you’re with your kids, it’s important to have a time frame for your road trip. This will put limits on the mileage you can tackle and therefore limit the number of places you can visit. Should you fill every moment? No, because this is a vacation for you as well. You want time to relax, rest, and take it easy. It’s not all about the kids all the time after all!
You should be prepared for problems. Flats, battery problems, and even fueling errors can crop up. Make sure you’ve got all the insurance and recovery coverage you need. Always have a backup plan in place too. Something as simple as knowing where all the local motels are along your route could prove rather handy in an emergency. Yes, it can be fun taking a road trip with your kids. Yes, it will probably be a lot of challenging work for you. But can you ever pass up an opportunity like this to make some wonderful family memories for all of you?