Over-Prepare With Snacks And Activities
Kids change what they want and like as much as the wind. If you are going to be doing a lot of driving with your kids in the back seat, have as many of their favorite snacks as possible. This will avoid the complaints about not wanting something because it’s not their current flavor of the month.
The same can be said with having things to do. Traveling with lots of their favorite books and games is better than hearing the complaints about being bored. If you don’t mind them using electronic devices, make sure they are charged early and often too.
Have Loads Of WipesKids are not the neatest eaters and love to touch pretty much anything. Given the current state of the world’s health, it will be very important to make sure their hands and mouth are clean and sanitized. So stock up on hand wipes, sanitizer and other hygiene products.
Encourage your kids to make a habit of cleaning their own hands regularly while traveling. Obviously we don’t want to make them paranoid and afraid of the pandemic, but creating some awareness and forming healthy sanitizing habits while traveling is a good idea.
Stagger Your TripKids don’t deal well with monotony, so long periods of driving or flying might not be best practice. Kids are not able to switch off and will grow restless and irritated if they are confined to a seat for hours on end. Consider multiple rest stops if driving and overnight stops. This may be unavoidable for flying, but talking to them about this should hopefully prepare them for what’s to come.
Switch Things Up
If you are driving for an extended period, it might be prudent to let your kiddo ride shotgun for a while. Kids might perceive this different seat assignment as a new role of responsibility, because that’s where mom or dad sits. Letting your child sit in the front seat will make them feel like a co-pilot. In the meantime, mom or dad can rest up in the backseat.
As an extension of this idea of a ‘new role’, consider assigning your kid or kids roles for a trip. Make one in charge of sanitizing, one a timekeeper, one a photographer etc. Give them something they are exclusively in charge of to take their mind off of restlessness.
Include ThemBecause they are sitting in the backseat and might have headphones on, it’s easy to forget that you have some backseat passengers. Remember their presence and talk to them. Talk to them about the destination, what they’re seeing on the road or in the sky. Ask them what they’re watching or reading. Including them in discussions will keep them engaged and not catch the boredom bug.
Buy MementosCommemorate the trip by buying your kids something to remember it by. Clothing is usually quite popular with parents, but kids won’t necessarily connect memories of the family trip with them. Clothes lack that sentimental connection. An item or gift that you purchase for them is much more effective. Kids don’t care about how tacky or silly a gift is; often they are more attracted for these. So take them to the gift store!
Obvious Alert: Do Something They’ll Like!
And finally, you are taking your kids on a trip, so make sure you are at least doing something they’ll look forward to. Really hype this up too! You would be surprised at how many trips parents take their kids on that have literally nothing fun involved for kids. Sure a trip to Las Vegas could be good, but not if mom and dad spend all their time at the bar and casino while the kids stay in the room. Ensure activities are family friendly, pandemic safe and for kids!