Taking a road trip in and of itself can be a stressful experience. What with the potential for inclement weather, crazy drivers on the road causing car accidents, and the possibility of your car breaking down, it can be hard to find a moment’s peace when on the road. But add to this equation a car full of kids and you being the only adult and this could be a recipe for disaster.
Luckily, with the right planning and preparation, you can make it through your solo-adult car trip and even find some ways to enjoy yourself along the way. To show you how this can be done, here are three tips for road tripping as the solo adult in a car full of kids.
Keep Snacks Close By
One of the best ways to keep kids both happy and quiet when stuck in the car is to give them plenty of snacks. Keep in mind, however, that when you’re the only adult in the car, who’s also driving, you’re not going to be able to get complicated snacks for your kids while still keeping your eyes on the road.
To deal with this, you’re going to want to pack your car so that the snacks are close by your kids when they want or need them. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, a contributor to Trip Savvy, suggests packing a cooler with healthy snacks and drinks that you keep right next to your kids. As long as they’re big enough or strong enough to open the lid, they should be able to find the food they want without needing your help.
Pack The Right Entertainment
Keeping your kids entertained when in the car can be a real challenge. If you have another adult there, you can rely on them to make sure the kids don’t get too bored, fussy, or loud. But when you’re on your own, it’s important that you pack the right entertainment to use along the way.
In addition to using things like movies or songs that your kids enjoy, Christine Knight, a contributor to Lonely Planet, recommends that you plan for some non-screen activities as well. Try to give each of your kids things like games, toys, coloring books, or other favorites that will keep your child happy and entertained while sitting in their seat.
Take More Breaks Than You Normally Might
When traveling with kids, you’re likely going to have to make more pit stops than you normally would if you were traveling completely by yourself or with other adults. But while you might typically see this as an inconvenience, making more stops could be a good thing when you’re driving on your own with the kids in tow.
By giving your children more chances to move around, Lydia Klemensowicz, a contributor to Fodors.com, shares that your kids will be able to stretch, get their energy out, and be happier when they get back into the car.
If you’ve got a road trip coming up where you’ll be the only adult with your kids, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you maintain your sanity during this time.