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Family trips are meant to be fun. However, if you’ve ever heard your kid say, “Are we there yet?” for the fifth time in an hour, it’s no surprise that fun can go out the window very quickly. To avoid things like this and maximize your family’s adventure to the fullest, plan ahead. Below are some helpful tips and useful resources with advice for parents of children of all ages.

Leave the Rules at Home

Yes, you read this correctly. It’s vacation! Think about it this way: Would you like to spend your entire vacation adhering to all of the same rules you follow at home? Probably not. If you’re kids typically have limited screen time on iPads or iPhones, traveling is the perfect occasion to loosen things up a bit. By doing so, you provide them with the opportunity to relax and have fun. In return, it frees up time for you to nap, read, or do whatever you’d like during your travels — providing you’re not the one driving, of course. As an added bonus, a little screen time en route will give them a chance to read up on your destination. This is especially important if you’re heading out for a safari or ecotourism excursion.

Play Games

Ever heard of car Bingo? This is just one of the many fun games you can play during your travels. Here’s a helpful resource for other ideas. You can also have your children guess the types of wildlife they’ll see on your trip.

Take Frequent Breaks

No adult likes staying cooped up in a car for several hours on end. Imagine what it must feel like as a kid. It probably seems like the car ride is never-ending.

Giving your family a moment to take a break welcomes more fun, entertainment, and creativity into the monotony that’s associated with traveling. According to Psychology Today, getting up and physically moving around can reduce the negative effects from too much sitting. Plan ahead by scheduling breaks for your entire trip. Choose either rest stops or locations with playgrounds.

Eat a Meal or a Snack

If you’re interested in recharging your mind and body at the same time, nibble often. According to Reader’s Digest, you should eat every four hours. Instead of resorting to junk food, keep the whole family happy with car-friendly meals and snacks that are both tasty and healthy. Your standard peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a great selection because it’s travel-friendly and it’s also usually a favorite at any age. If you’re looking for another meal alternative, try a wrap sandwich of some sort. They’re usually mess-free and can easily squeeze into a small cooler.

As for snacks, opt for items like crackers and veggies with hummus. Single servings of fruit like bananas and grapes are always good choices, as are protein boxes. Often, protein boxes contain hard-boiled eggs and a small amount of peanut butter with apple slices. If you choose to prepare your own, skip the eggs and go for something more odorless, like pieces of cheese and mixed nuts.

A side note on snacks: if you’re taking a bicycle tour when you arrive at your destination, you’ll need extra snacks and plenty of water. Make sure your trash is put away properly so you don’t interfere with nature.

Leave Earlier

You’re probably used to getting up early, especially if you have younger kids. Why not wake up a few hours sooner and get a head start on your travels? This gives you two advantages. For starters, your kids can sleep on the way, which means less time for them to be bored in the car. Second, it’s a way to avoid travel delays, like rush hour during the week and construction on the weekends.

Fun and educational travel adventures are worth the hassle and deserve attention when planning. Forget about the potential stress and focus on the fun. Remember, it’s not only about the journey but also the ride. Cheers to your family and the memories you’ll make!

Blog credit: Daniel Sherwin

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