Taking a Road Trip With the Kids: Everything You Need to Know

After putting your time in at work for the past year, whether that be performing surgeries at a place like Northwest Surgery Center or constructing houses in the sun, it’s time for you to take a trip and recharge your brain. And what better way to do so than with a road trip! You could go pretty much anywhere in the country that you’re willing to drive to, and what’s better is you get to bring the whole family.

But traveling long distances with kids can come with their own set of challenges, so before you pack up the car and hit the road, there are a few things you need to know.

You’ll Need to Stop

Making the occasional pit stop is inevitable, even when traveling without kids, but this is even more apparent when they’re along for the ride. Just accept that no matter how many times you implore them to use the bathroom before you leave, they’re going to have to go within thirty minutes. They’ll get hungry. Thirsty. Then have to use the bathroom again.

The best thing you can do here is to use your best judgment. If you make sure they go before you leave and they say they have to go again, there’s nothing you can really do about it, but you can pack snacks if they get hungry and waters too, but regulate how much they can drink at once.

Stay Patient

Your patience can wear thin pretty quickly with a car full of kids, and as much as you love them, nobody can blame you. They get loud, they fight, and you’ll undoubtedly hear the age-old phrase, “are we there yet?” at least a handful of times before you’re anywhere close to your destination.

But don’t let it get to you. This is a family trip, after all, and getting angry at kids for being themselves isn’t going to help the situation much. Instead, prepare yourself by expecting to get annoyed at some point and in doing so you’ll be able to control your emotions easier. And if things get out of hand, take a deep breath and explain to them that they need to calm down, be quiet, and keep their hands to themselves, otherwise you’ll turn the car around—even if we both know you won’t.

Keep them Entertained

Kids get bored easily, but there are a few ways you can keep them entertained along the way. Pack some games that everyone can play while driving, like trivia, and come up with ones on the fly, like having everyone name their favorite movie, superhero, or song. Bring along a handheld game and make sure phones and tablets are charged. They can even download a movie or two for the road!

With any luck, you just might make it there without a tantrum.

Are We There Yet?

Eventually, the answer to that question will be a relieving “yes.” Once you’ve made it there, the hard part is over and you can enjoy the rest of your vacation doing whatever you and your family wanted. But after it’s all over, you’ll need to load the car up again and drive home—but this time you’ll be prepared.