The holiday times are back and a road trip is a great alternative to avoid busy airports. But how many times has a car trip with teenagers turned into a small disaster? And it all gets even worse when all passengers are in a bad mood…
With a few tips and preparation in advance you won’t need to worry, just enjoy the trip!
Plan the trip together
- The first thing to keep in mind is to let the kids help and be part of the road trip. Show your teens the route and let them know how many hours approximately it will take to arrive at the destination. It’s important to take unexpected traffic jams and delays into account.
- Ask them to research and find out the best food stops on the way, or if there are any interesting places where you could stop for a short visit. Take advantage of the car trip also to show them books, guides, or travel Apps, so that they can choose for themselves some activity to do or the restaurants to eat. Remember that making strategic stops along the way is vital, especially for long journeys.
- Another tip is to ask them to share some songs from their CDs or iPod or MP3 player that they want to listen to during their trip. It will be an opportunity to get to know your teens better and they will appreciate that their parents want to listen to the songs they like.
The most important thing is to listen to your kids’ needs and to involve them in all the choices to make along the way.
What to eat
Snacks and water are a must-have on a road trip packing list. If you have teenagers, you know they like to eat, especially if they feel bored. Snacks in addition to providing the energy for the body also serve to break the monotony.
To avoid chips and cookies, that besides being unhealthy will make them more thirsty, opt for snacks that will not only avoid extra stops, but also prevent that upon arrival, the car will be full of stains and crumbs.
Dry fruits, nuts, and seeds hold huge quantities of nutrients and will definitely ease hunger. Pack a variety of raisins, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, etc. separately in small individual zip lock bags. It’s practical and each person can choose their favourite. Or how about some yummy and easy to make oatmeal jam bars?
Another easy snack to take on a road trip is a roasted turkey and cheese sandwich. Use wholewheat bread for an extra boost of fiber, adding a sprinkle of chia seeds (they won’t even notice) and a lettuce leaf (or even a slice of avocado). To avoid breadcrumbs in the car, wrap it in foil as an envelope and pack it in a resealable plastic bag. It will be easy to eat and won’t be messy.
What to do
Beyond hunger, with teenagers, you also have to deal with boredom. The heat, sitting for a long time, and the stress of traffic can make the journey more difficult to bear. Phones, tablets, and video games fully charged, and a charger to connect them in the car, is on the top of the list. So, making sure the car charger works before leaving is an absolute must.
Playing a game together is a great way to pass the time and bond. The Charade game is our road trip favourite. It’s a fun and engaging game for all ages, and it’s perfect, especially traveling with siblings. Download the game before the trip for IOS or Android on your phone or tablet.
Another fun game for the whole family is ‘Once upon a time‘. One person starts a story with a sentence, then each person takes a turn adding another sentence to the fictional storyline. Laughs are guaranteed.
Choosing a podcast or an audiobook in advance that the whole family will enjoy and listen to together is another good option to pass the time. Here are a few ideas!
Teenagers like to be in groups, so finding themselves alone with their parents, far from friends, and with many hours to fill can make them feel bored. Even for adults a particularly long journey could be boring.
But road trips also represent an occasion to be together with your teens, without television, phone calls, or dinners to cook. During the trip encourage conversation, perhaps by telling stories from your teenage years. They will love to know what their parents were doing at their age.
By making the occasion fun for the whole family and being prepared (also taking into account extra pit stops on the way), you will make it memorable.