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How to Stay Sane While Road-Tripping with Kids

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According to a recent AAA travel survey, nearly 100 million Americans have a vacation planned this year. 53 percent of them will be driving to their destinations. Whether you’re a new parent taking your baby for their first road trip, or have a few young children that will be riding along, you might be dreading the potential noise, screaming, and/or tantrums that might occur on the journey. Here are four tips for making the ride more relaxing and enjoyable for everyone.

Minimize car sickness

No one likes getting motion sickness on a road trip. If your children are vulnerable to this symptom, discourage them from reading in the vehicle. (Audiobooks can be a pleasant alternative, in this case.) You can also invest in motion sickness bracelets. Packing cool washcloths and bland snacks, like crackers and peppermint-flavored candies, are other good strategies to help alleviate car sickness.

Map out pitstops

It’s also a good idea to plan out pitstops beforehand. Try to look for outdoor locations, like rest stops and parks, where your kids can get out and stretch their legs. Consider packing some outdoor toys like frisbees or a ball to make these types of stops even more fun. You can also map out frozen yogurt or candy shop destinations along the route.

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Choose quiet pastimes

Audiobooks with headphones will help foster children’s imaginations while keeping them quietly engaged on the journey. Mad Libs is another quiet activity worth packing. Magnetic doodle boards and puzzles, as well as coloring books and other activity books, are other low-noise suggestions.

Distract with snacks

Snacks will help keep children’s tummies full until it’s time to stop for lunch or dinner. Clear space in the cabin or on a spare seat to place a cooler filled with drinks and snacks for the whole family. Puffed grain snacks and animal crackers are good picks for toddlers. Granola bars, fruit-juice snacks, nuts, and rice cakes are healthy options for older kids.

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News Sources: The Boston GlobeTravel Mamas