- Playing instead of boredom
Engine on and the grumbling starts? Make sure that boredom doesn't set in. Depending on your children's preferences, you can make use of sticker books, coloring books, magnetic board games or cards. Comics can be of good use as well. Further are games suitable which don’t require any paraphernalia, for example spotting brands of cars, telling stories or playing “eye spy”.
- Snacks are good for the soul
When hunger adds to boredom, the overall mood might quickly sink to a low point. Therefore, on longer journeys, pack a bag of snacks and drinks but make sure that the food does not create crumbs, is not sticky or greasy. Good examples of suitable snacks are dried fruits, energy bars or slices of fruit and veggies that are easy to serve in a lunch box. Perhaps you will have your kids' favorite candy ready for stressful situations. Or you can hand out something sweet at certain milestones along the route.
- Audio book instead of radio
Very few children are excited about listening to a two-hour election campaign analysis on the radio, and even your choice of music won't necessarily be theirs. An exciting children's audio book can be a good alternative and is likely to be fun for everybody. If you have kids of different age, you can think ahead about what audio book will please them all. Or each child can listen to their own story on the iPod with headphones.
- A stop for the playground every two hours
It is far worse for children than for adults to have to spend a long time sitting still. Therefore, always give them the occasional opportunity for a run around, a climb and a stock up on fresh air. For small children in particular, romping about before setting off can be worth its weight in gold. While one parent is occupying the children, the other can finish loading the car in peace and do the final check in the house or apartment. With any luck, the kids will then fall asleep not long after the drive begins.
- Timing is crucial
Find the right time for your family to travel. Perhaps it’s early in the morning or in the evening – when the kids will sleep for part of the journey. Drive outside of rush hours, so that you avoid traffic holdups as much as possible. It is also advisable to pack an emergency bag in case you have to spend the night somewhere en route.
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