The only thing harder than moving cross-country? That’d be doing it with kids.
Kids are notoriously bad on long car trips — constantly asking “are we there yet?” and fighting with their siblings for backseat real estate.
What can you do to keep the peace during your upcoming move? How can you ensure everyone’s happy and in one piece by the time you reach your destination? These tips can help:
- Plan stops — fun ones. Treat your move like a bona fide road trip. Stop for food and bathroom breaks, sure, but also make a stop or two each day for a fun family activity. Maybe go to a museum, catch a baseball game, or see a national monument. Do your research ahead of time, and have a few potential activities for every day of your trip.
- Get their input. Don’t make the move seem like something they’re just along for the ride for. Involve them in the process. Have them pack their own toys, get their input on where to stop, what to eat, and what to play on the big drive, and take them shopping for a road trip item or two — snacks, games, a new CD, etc. Let them take charge some of the time!
- Pack entertainment. Be sure to pack some games for the car ride. Things like cards, “I Spy” books and even blocks can be good road trip entertainment. Depending on their age, you may also want to consider a portable DVD player or even just a tablet connected to Netflix.
- Have a route — but stay flexible. You should absolutely have a planned route, as well as daily distance milestones you plan to hit. But as with anything that involves kids, don’t expect to stick to that plan 100% — or even close to that. Be flexible, both in your route and your timing, and make sure to have backup plans for bad weather, traffic, or other delays that could come up. (Because they will!)
When you have kids, moving across the country — or anywhere, for that matter — can be difficult, but the task isn’t impossible. Make sure to involve them in the process, keep them entertained and active on the drive, and roll with the punches as you make your big move. It will keep you, your little ones, and your entire family a little saner as a result!