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Road Trippin' with Kids

7 Hacks for Fun, Stress-Free Road Travel

The road trip vacation your family has been anxiously anticipating is almost here. The question is, are you prepared for a long ride, sibling squabbles, food and drink spills, umpteen rest stops, and being asked a hundred times or more, 'are we there yet?'  With a little pre-planning, you can drastically reduce the discomfort, the stress, the hassles and turn your time on the road into a fun, family experience for all.

How you get there is important!

Enjoy traveling with the kids in an award-winning Volvo SUV that puts safety on the road first with its intelligent technology.  A Volvo SUV is a luxurious Scandinavian estate on wheels designed for exploration.  With quality and natural materials, the Volvo XC60 and XC90 give attention to details and use of space working together to create an uncluttered interior design, comfort and a warm and inviting environment.  Volvo SUV cabins are like living rooms and Volvo infotainment systems offer seamless connectivity for everyone's devices.  Your communication with the rest of the world and Volvo's navigation system will keep you on track and informed.  Visit Johnson Volvo Cars Charlotte, 7040 E Independence Blvd., Charlotte, NC, 704.563.1000, before your travel date and check out their Volvo SUVs.

Now that you've settled on the vehicle you'll be riding in here are other items for your traveling with kids checklist:

1.      Restroom breaks. Immediately before heading out, have everyone go to the bathroom, whether they need to or not. Just before and while on the road, limit beverages, particularly caffeinated ones, to reduce the frequency of restroom stops. When you do have to stop for something, have everyone use the restroom again, and don't accept anyone's claim, “I don't need to go.”

2.      Reduce stops. Strategize where you choose to stop so you can cover all the bases at once. Fuel up, grab food and beverages, use the restroom, and go for a walk or play a game of tag so everyone can stretch and exercise.

3.      Drive through the night. Kids typically sleep through the night on the road in a comfortable vehicle like a Volvo SUV.  So it'll seem like you've reached your destination in the blink-of-an-eye, which will reduce your overall stress. Parents can switch off driving while one another sleeps.

4.      Snacks and drinks. Bring along a cooler and a variety of drinks and snacks to reduce pit stops.  Breaking up the time with small meals and snacks will also help keep kids pacified. When packing snacks, include some nutritious ones like carrot sticks and apples. Also, keep in mind the messiness of particular types of foods. To reduce messes, avoid foods that melt, smear, and squish, such as chocolate, cupcakes, and yogurt.

5.      Plan fun or scenic stops. Do some advance research to find a fun stop along the way, and build it into your vacation. Look for a state or national park, national monument, mountains, beach, kiddie fun-land, river walk, or water park.

6.      Activities while riding.  Before your trip, visit the library to pick out books, audiobooks, and music CDs. Bring streaming devices and portable electronics too. But don't let the kids have the items until you're on the road. That way, the kids will have fresh entertainment.  Also, take along some car games, and print a list of games that don't require pieces or power for playing. Some ideas to get you started include the license plate game. Have everyone write down the states of the license plates as they spot them. The person with the most states wins.  Even try the "Would you rather?" game. Take turns asking everyone what their choice would be between two gross or unpleasant situations. For example, would you rather be trapped in a closet that's crawling with hundreds of centipedes or eat a worm?

7.      Screen time. While limiting kids' daily screen time is a best practice, consider making an exception for your road trip.  Depending on the length of your drive, it can be a challenge to keep kids amused for the duration despite all the other entertainment you bring along. Limit their screen time on the road by allowing them 30-minute cycles of screen time broken up by other activities.

Enjoy this precious travel time with your kids.  Before you know they'll be all grown up and driving themselves to their favorite destinations.