07/17/2012 07:56 EDT | Updated 09/16/2012 05:12 EDT

Five Tips for a Sanity-Saving Road Trip With Kids

It's summer time and you have dreamed of the perfect family vacation full of sight seeing, adventure, and great photo-ops. However your kids think everything you want to do is "lame and boring." So how do you make it a trip you will all enjoy? Here are some simple tips that can help your trip go more smoothly.


Water Parks

Before your trip, try to find a water park along the way to your destination. Most parents just want to get wherever it is they're going. But, breaking the trip up makes it so much more fun for the whole family. My daughter still talks about the crazy windy slide we went on together last summer on the way to visit my son at camp. Those are special moments the kids remember and appreciate.

Find a playground

Kids are not meant to sit in a car watching DVDs for eight hours. As you drive, pull over when you see a jungle gym and let the kids out to run around and play.

Plan your meals

Stopping for fast food whenever someone gets hungry or has to go to the bathroom can make for lots of stomach aches and crankiness. Decide when and where you will eat your meals before you leave so the kids have some structure to their day and know what to expect.

Bring their favorite things

While kids can't bring their whole room in a tight car, give them a choice of three of their favorite things. That soft blanket can make all the difference on a long trip.

Download before you go

Don't forget to download some great movies for them to watch in the car. Make sure you have extras in case you get stuck in traffic.

Remember, your trip should be a memorable one that everyone enjoys!


Five Tips for a Smooth Road Trip