We live in Seattle; my husband's family lives in southern Oregon. Several times a year, we gear up and make the 400-mile journey to spend time together, and while it's always worth it once we get there, the drive itself is never easy.It's not as bad as it used to be, because at least I don't have to repeatedly crawl into the backseat to take care of a squalling infant, but toddlers aren't exactly known for the their patience and tolerance of discomfort either, you know?No one likes to sit in a car for 7+ hours, no matter how many granola bars they have access to. Our older boy is pretty good about limiting himself to the occasional dramatic sigh and announcing that THIS SURE IS A LONG DRIVE, but the 2-year-old ... well. Around hour 4 or 5, he's had enough, and by god, you're going to hear about it.
My family and I will be road-tripping it to our favorite beach town in Massachusetts this summer, and while I know it will be wonderful once we get there, I'm not looking forward to all of the inevitable car-related "fun." There will be traffic jams, a screaming, bored baby who wants out of her car seat, and the never-ending battle with Mr. Cafe Suzanne over the air conditioning. He likes the windows down; I like the AC on. But this year, I plan on winning that argument once and for all: Research shows that using the air conditioning can keep you healthy.
About two-thirds of parents think going on vacation with their kids is more stressful than being at work, according to a story in U.K.-based Human Resources magazine. Almost fifty percent of parents say they don't look forward to family trips.
Back when you were younger and had car trips with friends, maybe you sang 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. That's not going to cut it with the kids. So how can you keep them occupied on a long (or even short) drive to your family vacation destination?
I've got some suggestions for moms with kids of all ages.