It’s summertime, which means families everywhere will be hitting the beach, camping sites, theme parks and summer homes all across the country. However, before you can enjoy some fun in the sun, you have to get there. For many people, spending several hours stuck in a car together can feel excruciating. Family vacations shouldn’t be something to stress over, so here are four tips to making your upcoming road trip fun and stress-free.
Keep Your Family Comfy
When breaking down all the reasons why families get frustrated during road trips, you can start to figure out strategies to beat back the stress and anxiety that comes with being on the road. One of the biggest reasons why teens and kids will feud with one another is because they are feeling uncomfortable. Everyone likes having their own space, and if things are a little cramped in your vehicle, you might be creating the perfect environment for conflict.
The best way to avoid grumpy travelers is by giving everyone enough room to comfortably enjoy the trip. Lean the chair back, pack a pillow and blanket, and keep the sun out of everyone’s eyes with some shades when traveling during the day. If there’s no way around driving in a packed car, be sure to compensate by stopping more often to let everyone stretch their legs.
Keep Your Family Entertained
Another way to keep everyone happy while on the road is by giving them something to do to pass the time. In today’s world, this can be achieved by simply handing them a tablet filled with movies and games to keep them entertained while on the road. However, too much time on phones and tablets can be bad for the eyes, and if you want your family to be a little more engaged with the trip, then there are plenty of old-school road-trip games you can play.
Keep Your Family Rested
People tend to feel grouchy when they are tired compared to when they are well-rested. A great way to ensure that your children are in good spirits for the trip is by putting them to bed earlier than usual so they can wake up ready for the road. Another strategy you can try is by leaving a couple of hours earlier in the morning -- or even at night -- so that your children spend part of the trip asleep. Of course, make sure that your driver gets plenty of sleep to compensate for the early hours, and if necessary, switch between drivers during your trip so that everyone is feeling rested when you arrive at your destination.
Keep Your Family Well-Fed
Being hungry can oftentimes be enough reason for families to snap and bicker at each other. When we feel our stomachs rumbling, it’s our bodies telling us we need sustenance. Hunger means low blood sugar, which means tired and irritable people. If this happens while on the road, then you can expect your trip to head south, quick.
The best way to curb “hanger” from happening in your vehicle is by packing healthy snacks for the trip itself. There are lots of snacks available that are specifically created for being eaten on the go, but if you’re looking to save some money and add some healthy variety to your road snacks, then you can prepare snacks of your own. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, wraps, protein boxes, and pre-cut fruits all make for great pick-me-ups while on the road. Keep your snacks and drinks in a small cooler that you can keep in your vehicle and divvy them out when things start to get a little testy while on the road.
No one wants to start their vacation with an hours-long trip filled with backseat bickering and raised voices. By following these four tips, you can help curb these negative attitudes and get your next trip started on the right foot.