How to Survive a Family Road Trip

blogWe adults are pretty funny creatures, especially when preparing for a family road trip.  Funny how?  We spend so much time on planning our travel routes, making sure we’ve packed enough to survive Armageddon, and cancelling newspaper and mail delivery, that we tend to neglect our kids.  As if it’s enough to tell them to be good “or else,” and then wondering exactly which what else’s you’re actually prepared to dole out that won’t hurt you more than them.

Might not it be a tad easier to expect little Johnny, Susie, and Muffin to misbehave even just a little and plan accordingly?  Absolutely, and here’s where to start:

Timing is everything: Plan ahead for when to leave and when to take breaks based on your kids’ schedules. For babies still taking naps, don’t leave at the beginning of nap time. Give yourself about an hour before the nap to let your children play and be excited about the trip, and then relish the bonus time once they fall asleep in the car. Once they wake up, that’s a great time for a road break so everyone can stretch and even vent a little.

Timing is everything Part II: Leaving very early in the morning or at bedtime can buy you some extra-long quiet time in the car.  Have some breakfast snacks ready for when they wake up assuming you still have some distance to go.  For an afternoon leg of the trip, bring a new toy, game, puzzle, or coloring book. Let them play for a while with their new item, and then hand out snacks and drinks again.

Organizing: If you have multiple kids all around the same age, you can head all kinds of fighting off at the pass by color coding similar or identical toys and things.  It’s also smart to get each one their own car toy and gadget container where things not in use get returned before the next one comes out.

A place for everything: Given the number of snacks and such likely to be consumed, you’ll definitely want to pack one or more small garbage bags.  In addition, what about the child who has a cold coming on your daughter who wants to play grown up even while driving?  For all such contingencies, pack a utility kit that might consist of some or all of the following:  tissues, a box of bandages, sunscreen, a flashlight, hair brushes and ties, baby wipes, bottled water, and whatever else has come in handy on past trips

If you plan to be gone for two weeks or longer and not leave anyone home to hold down the fort, there’s no better time than now to contact Optimum Air to replace your main thermostat with a programmable model with remote Wi-Fi access.  That way, you can control your indoor temperatures no matter where your travels might take you in accordance with changing weather conditions at home, and end up saving a bunch of money on cooling or heating an empty house while you’re gone.  Contact us today to schedule installation or for a free quote.

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