Tips to Help Make The Miles Roll By on Family Driving Vacations While I am a big advocate of family vacations, taking young children on driving vacations can certainly be challenging at times. The classic questions like “are we there yet?”, “when will we get there?”, and “will we be there soon?” are bound to begin coming from the back seat of the car. That being said, there are a few things that you can do that can make the time and miles roll by more smoothly.
The first thing you can do is try to avoid your children becoming impatient and having those questions come up for as long as possible, by setting some expectations on a rough time frame and be sure to set those expectations longer than what you actually expect. The reason to set an expectation at all is because young children may not have a good concept or reference point as to how long the trip should take. For example, you realize that you are probably going to be driving for five or six hours to get to your destination, but your youngest child’s point of reference my be a trip across town, because perhaps they have never ridden in a car any longer than that. So if you do not give them any reference point then once they have been riding for longer than they ever have in their life, then they naturally will begin to think that you must have gone far enough.
So for a five or six hour drive, you might want to tell them that you are going to be riding in the car for quite awhile today, but perhaps after dinner tonight they can go swimming in the hotel swimming pool. You actually expect to be there by the middle of the afternoon and if you make it there anytime in the afternoon, then you either avoid the “are we there yet” question altogether or at least until quite awhile past lunch.
Another suggestion is to go ahead and get the family up and going early. If the kids say they are tired or want to sleep longer then set the expectation that they can sleep in the car. While having family conversation and playing games is great, most dads won’t mind having a little quiet time during the drive. Of course there are always electronic devices that can keep your kids occupied during the drive such as hand held video games, iPods, walkman’s, and DVD players, just to mention a few.