“How much longer?” “Are we there yet?” “I’m bored!"
Do these phrases sound familiar? If you’ve gone on a long road trip with your children, you may have heard them before.
Those rides to your family’s favorite far-away spot can mean spending several hours – or even days – in the car. They’ll also leave you wondering how to keep your kids occupied and test your patience as a parent or travel companion.
So, what can you do? Here are four tips to make the trip more engaging and memorable for your kids.
- Use technology to your advantage. This isn’t limited to just videos or handheld games, whether it’s an iPad or a Nintendo Switch. If your child is interested in books, find an audio book from your local library. Connect your music device to the car stereo to enjoy your favorite songs together. Or use the fade feature in your car to let the kids listen to music while you have a conversation in the driver’s seat.
- Stretch and run around during breaks. Try to make short stops at least every two hours where your kids can move, walk or even run around. Look for rest stops with open areas or a nearby park where your kids can stretch their legs for 15 minutes. Maybe take a frisbee or a ball for a quick game of catch.
- Create your own games. This works well for younger children. But even older kids can find enjoyment in license plate games, like trying to find every state or each letter of the alphabet in order. For younger kids, try games like “I Spy.” You can even get creative and make up your own games to best suit your family. For example, pick a word and see if you can hear it in a song on the radio. Who knows? It might become a family tradition!
- Pack a kit special to each child. Find books or activities that you know each individual child would like to do. If one of your kids likes stickers, a new sticker book could occupy them for a while. Take pencils and paper if they are into drawing, or their favorite book if they like to read. For the longest stretches of trips, hold back their favorite activity until they could use a new distraction.
And no matter what, remember to keep things in perspective. Making good time on your road trip isn’t nearly as important as making great memories with your family along the way.Whether it’s a visit to the beach, the mountains or a distant relative, ERIE has you covered for whatever happens along the way. Contact an agent in your neighborhood and discover the ERIE difference.