3 Tips for Keeping Your Kids Calm and Happy on Long Car Trips

Taking long road trips with kids can end in a variety of ways. For some kids, riding in the car is like taking a couple sleeping pills. For others, car seats and limited options for entertainment can be a recipe for disaster. So to allow your family the freedom to travel around like you want without driving you to drink, here are three tips for keeping your kids calm and happy on long car trips.

When Screens Won’t Cut It

Although using your smartphone, tablet or laptop to play movies or other videos is a great way to distract your kids for an extended period of time, watching movie after movie can be aggravating for little ones. When this happens, you’ll want to have some other way to entertain your kids. Erin Gifford, a contributor to the TravelChannel.com, suggests having a few classic car games on hand to help pass the time in a more traditional way. Some of the games you might want to try with your kids are I Spy, Mad Libs, or the license plate game. These games will be more interactive for your children and may help keep them occupied when screens won’t cut it.

Prepare For Medical Emergencies

When you have little kids, you know how to be prepared for almost anything. From diaper blowouts to spilled juice and lost pacifiers, you probably have a way to address any one of these scenarios. However, something you may not be as prepared for is a medical emergency on the road. Candyce H. Stapen, a contributor to USA Today, recommends packing things like a thermometer, band-aids, motion sickness medicine, pain relievers, fever reducers, allergy medicine and other basic medical supplies on the off chance that your child needs more than just your attention and a new toy to feel better while in the car.

Using Music to Set the Mood

Once you’ve left on your road trip, you’ve got to work with what you have in order to make the best of any potentially bad situations. One way to easily change the mood in the car when you have tired babies or angry toddlers is through music. AJ Gretz, a contributor to the Art of Manliness, shares that playing soft classical music can help calm your children and diffuse tense situations. This tactic can be especially useful during nap times when you want your kids to settle down and catch a little shut eye. Bring along a few different music options so you have tunes on hand for a variety of circumstances.

You’ll never know how well your kids will handle a long road trip until you try it. And while you might find that your particular family isn’t built for this type of travel, there are things you can do to ease the pain. Use the tips mentioned above to do just that.