There you are on your way to the Capitol, but the volume level of the disagreement in the backseat is enough to make you want to eat a nightshade berry. The Victors in the back have pressed every single button you have left, but show no signs of stopping. As their mentor, you attempt to calm them down and not draw attention to the fact that you are still four very long hours away. You fear rebellion and so you stop and grab some drive through chicken somethings.
dWhy on Earth did you agree to a family road trip?
“May the odds ever be in your favor!” How to survive:
One month before the trip, start looking for and purchasing clearance or deeply discounted things that may entertain the kids. Michael’s deeply discounts their seasonal kids craft kits. Don’t have time to think that far ahead? You can purchase ready-made busy bags on Amazon.
The sentences, “I am hungry!” and “I am thirsty!” reliably are said within the first fifteen minutes of being in the car. We’ve solved the problem by packing each kid two gallon baggies filled with juice boxes and snacks. One bag is for the ride there and the other for the ride home.We calculate two snacks per hour per kid. If they eat through the snacks in the first hour, they are out of luck. It only took one road trip for them to learn this. Don’t forget a cooler to pack things that will melt into it. Here’s looking at you M&Ms!
“But Mommmmm! It huuuuurts!” Whether it is a tummy ache, blister, or simply an imagined hurt that needs a treatment RIGHT NOW, be prepared. Not much can make an entire car crankier than someone whining about something hurting. Instead of arguing and telling the traveller that they are fine, just bandaid that business.
With your expectations laid out, you make the tiny tributes aware of the consequences of not playing nicely with each other. “Look, at our first pit stop, I have $3 for each of you to get a special snack. If I have to ask you to stop fighting, you will lose your money and chance for the snack of your choosing.”
Busy kids are happy kids! Busy bags are a must. Whether you are making them yourselves or picking up strategic items, keeping busy is sanity saving. Items we suggest:
- Cookie sheet and Play Doh (Bring a baggie, so when the lid is dropped on the floor they have a way of picking up still.)
- iPad with movies loaded
- Washable window makers
- White printer paper and washable markers or crayons
- Pillows, blanket, and favorite toy
- Enjoy these games if you want to engage as a family
- Don’t just wear comfortable clothing in the car, be sure to pack extras!
- Shoes that are easy on and off are best!
- Neck pillows and eye masks help kids sleep without noticing every single pair of headlights.
- Wear black on travel days. It never fails you hit the bump in the road as your coffee cup hits your lips!
Best decision ever! Bring a babysitter on vacation with you. Does it cost quite a bit? Yes! However, there is not much better than somebody else sitting in the backseat to buffer the behaviors while you have grown up conversations in the front. Having an extra set of hands to either pump gas or take kids to the restroom is priceless. Then there is the beauty of them watching your little ones in the hotel or villa while you go out for a dinner!
May you all find yourselves safely in the Victor’s Village after surviving your family road trip!