Have you had a summer road trip this year? Was it fun or did you swear you’d never do it again? This weekend we’re expecting more people on the road as there’s an extra day off. And it’s going to be really hot. Parents I know tell me they seem to find themselves recreating the trips they did when they were young….so be prepared, as getting from A to B on long car journeys with kids can be hard work. Check out my ideas to help keep you on track.
- Look after yourself first. One of my friends makes sure she does less the day before she travels and plans in some time for her to rest on that day. It isn’t easy when we have a lot on our plate but better energy levels help us to stay calmer.
- Consider logistics – avoid travelling at peak times so you can get there with fewer delays. Pack extra water bottles. Wipes or a damp cloth in a bag can be a godsend for inevitable clean-up’s.
- Blast off some of that extra energy – a quick run around before getting into the vehicle can set everyone up for a better time or leave early or have a stop planned somewhere where you can run around.
- Plan something to do on the trip. Oh no, not “I spy…” I hear you say. Play the “Would you rather game” eg. “Would you rather have fingers as a tongue or tongues as fingers?” “Would you rather wear wet socks once a week or wash your hair once a week?”
- Get the kids to think about what the family could listen to – if audiobooks or podcasts are your thing there are lots to choose from. Librarians are gold dust here and can make some age-appropriate suggestions that suit your kids, plus this is a free service. Little ones love Roald Dahl and David Walliams, older kids might like the Spirit Animals. One family we know listened to “The Power of One” on one trip and even sat in the car to hear the end, even though they’d reached their destination.
These micro-skills require planning and thinking ahead, something we call setting up for success. Even if we don’t have the sort of personality that naturally plans stuff we can learn new strategies to help set things up to go well rather than reacting when they go wrong. For more ideas email me your parenting questions: Justine@gtgparenting.co.nz