If you are waiting for the perfect time to take a road trip with kids, the answer is, there is no time like right now – even if your family comprises teens and younger children and you wonder if it really is possible to keep everyone happy! When you are traveling with car seats, toddler equipment, and a whole host of of must-have tech devices and toys, a road trip may sound like the ideal plan. By the looks of it, other Americans agree. A recent AAA survey shows that nearly 100 million Americans – that means four in 10 of people surveyed – planned to take a road trip last year, and numbers are only set to rise in 2020. If taking a road trip to some of the best places to travel in the US sounds like an ideal getaway for you, keep the following considerations in mind!
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Planning the Road Trip of a Lifetime With Kids
If you have a teen who is mad about Fortnite or other games, they may not be ‘over the moon’ about a road trip to a national park or other natural area. However, scientists are consistently warning Americans that they simply aren’t getting enough Vitamin ‘N’. Most children spend up to 90% of their time indoors, which means they are being deprived of the stress-busting, concentration-enhancing effects of the Great Outdoors. When planning your trip, it is important for everyone to have a little say in the types of places they would like to visit. Your list may include art galleries, kids’ activity parks, water parks and the like, but ideally, a big of time under the wonderful sunshine should be included as well. Unstructured outdoor play is vital for older and younger children as well. Research by Susan Herrington and Mariana Brussoni has found that unstructured play opportunities have diminished seriously over the years. This despite the fact that 88% of all pediatricians surveyed by a Harris poll stated that time playing in the great outdoors is vital for kids’ development – both physically and mentally.
Choosing the Right Vehicle For A Family Road Trip
Once you have decided your choice of destination and everyone has made their own bucket list of activities to be enjoyed once you get there, ensuring you have a safe, sturdy vehicle is important. Your daily sedan may not cut the cake when it comes to fitting suitcases, strollers, and even the family pet (who will need to travel in a well-secured crate). Many families find that renting an RV can kill two birds with one stone: it provides them with all the space they need but also allows them to stop wherever they fancy. With an RV, it becomes easier to take a less structured approach to the trip, allowing for longer or shorter stays, depending on how it all goes for kids and adults. Because you are with kids on this road trip, it is important to find places that allow them to play sport, swim, trek, and take part in other activities that may be more available in places you had not initially considered visiting.
Taking Care of Health Matters
In addition to packing all the medications and natural items you may need in your first aid kit (think vinegar for jellyfish stings, anti-bacterial cream, bandages, tweezers, etc.) you should also ensure that any place you visit has optimal medical and emergency installations nearby. Also, ensure to bring along preventive treatments for conditions like motion sickness, to which children aged two to 12 are more susceptible than adults. The larger the vehicle, the less susceptible it is to motion, so an RV or van may be ideal if your kids have motion sickness. Bring snacks and encourage kids to eat small amounts frequently. Natural remedies include ginger (kids can chew on raw or candied ginger) and peppermint. Aim to visit your pediatrician before you leave, in case they recommend medication. This might be the case in severe cases, which are fortunately rare.
Bringing Fun Games For The Kids
Road trips with kids – particularly those centered around camping and nature – allow for so many occasions in which the family has time to simply ‘be’ together. During those odd moments when activities aren’t filling your day, why not take a nice hike together, toast marshmallows by the fire, and play games? Bring an arsenal of games that includes those that older and younger children can enjoy. These can include card games like UNO, Twister, and Pictionary!
To hit the mark when it comes to pleasing younger and older children, making nature a focal point of your trip will do wonders. This is because teens can enjoy adrenalin-charged activities like ATV riding and zip lining, while smaller children will simply love walking through meadows, smelling the flowers, and partaking in a fun picnic on the beach. Older children should ideally research places they would like to see, so that everyone in the family manages to immerse themselves in their own idea of paradise on your next road trip.
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