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Make the Most Out of Spring Break: How to Plan a Kid Friendly Road Trip!

If you plan on taking your family on the road for your spring break vacation, take a look at these tips to help bring order to your car, and keep your ride calm and peaceful.

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Are you driving to your Spring Break destination and looking for a way to keep the peace between your kids during the hours spent in close confines?  Regardless of age, it is hard to drive for long periods of time with kids in the car, as boredom or arguments is inevitable.  To reach your vacation spot without the kids driving one another (or you) up the wall, take a look at some of these activities and tips for keeping the kids busy during your spring break road trip:

Pack Books
For kids who do not get carsick from reading, be sure to pack lots of their favorite books, and consider buying them a special new book to hold their attention for the trip.  About a week before you leave, check out the bestselling books for your child’s reading level and purchase one that they may be interested in.  They will definitely be excited for their new “present,” which can also be given to reward good behavior in the car. You can also check out your local library for the latest kids books, and have each child select something they'd like to read. Many will allow you to hang on to the books for a week or two - just remember to bring them back when your trip is over!

Don’t Forget the Toys!
If your child has a favorite toy, make sure you bring it with you on the trip to help maintain a sense of normalcy.  You can also give them new inexpensive toys, such as coloring books, puppets, puzzle games, or dolls.  Here is also where electronic devices work wonders, such as Nintendo DS games, iPads, audiobooks, and Leapfrog games, which will surely keep your kids busy for hours.  Be sure to pack charging devices and batteries if necessary. 

Give Each Child a Journal
Tell your kids that you will be making a scrapbook for their spring break trip, and they will have to write the story to go along with it.  Give each child a journal, pencils, and crayons so they can write down their thoughts and favorite memories of the trip, and also draw pictures of the things that they see.

Create a Scavenger Hunt
When the kids start getting bored, pass them a scavenger hunt including things that they are likely to see on the road, including license plates of different states (or all 48 continental states, if you’re traveling far and ambitious), landmarks, fast food chains that are only found in certain states or regions, or animals that you may see.  Games like I Spy and Twenty Questions are also great ways to pass the time and keep kids alert.

Teach Map Skills
Print out a map of your trip for your older kids to see, and teach them how to read a map.  They can also trace the route so they can see how far they have gone, and so you won’t have to hear “Are we there yet?”

Eat Well and Eat Regularly
Being hungry is the first step towards having an angry kid, so be sure to pack snacks and drinks that are within reach.  If you pack healthy foods, kids will be less likely to jump into a sugar high that could leave you with a massive headache.  Think of easy-to-pack snacks, such as apple slices in sandwich bags, sandwiches, water bottles, and granola bars – and be sure to have enough for everyone.

For those who prefer day trips, the Long Island Rail Road will be offering discount New York City getaway packages, which include train fare and a visit to one of the city’s most thrilling museums, including the American Museum of Natural History, the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum and Madame Tussauds.

If you choose to go with a shorter road trip, consider taking a day trip to Garvies Point Museum and Preserve in Glen Cove. Two special events are planned for each day from Tuesday to Saturday during spring break, including exciting live animal presentations, bird walks, birdhouse building, and mosaic crafts.  Find out more about all of the upcoming fun happening at the Garvies Point Museum and Preserve programs right here.