“But I don’t want to ride for that long! I’ll go nuts!”
“Ugh, another road trip?”
“Are we there yet?!”
Not the sorts of things we want to hear from our kids when it comes time to hit the open road for vacation, right?
That said, great outdoors vacations and road trips are awesome opportunities for families to bond and for your kids to get acclimated with nature. And given that RVs are more cost-effective than ever according to Outdoorsy, there’s perhaps no better time than now to consider becoming a long-term camping family.
But even when you can bring along all the comforts of home in an RV, there’s no denying the potential headaches of long stretches on the road if your kids aren’t accustomed to such trips. Likewise, if you’ve never handled your munchkins after you’ve set up camp, you might find that they aren’t as prone to entertaining themselves as you had assumed
If you want to avoid potential tantrums and ensure that your next family camping trip is one that everyone will enjoy, keep the following tips in the back of your mind.
Make Frequent Stops
Simply put, be prepared to stop more often than not at rest stations or restaurants to let your kids stretch their legs. As a result, it pays to be a bit loose with your plans when traveling to and from your destinations. Most campgrounds are relatively flexible check it comes to check-in times, for example, but be prepared to call ahead if you wind up hours off schedule.
And if you do end up off schedule, don’t stress out. Sometimes the stops you make are the difference between a good day and a total meltdown.
Let Your Kids Get Their Energy Out
The great outdoors is obviously ideal when it comes to providing your kids the opportunity to wear themselves out. From child-friendly camping activities such as hiking and biking to simply walking or taking a dip in the local lake, anything you can do to tire them out by the end of the day is fair game.
Give Them Some Space
Make it a point to let your children spend some time apart from each other, swapping activities between yourself and your partner so that not everyone is together 24/7. While you obviously don’t want to leave your kids totally alone, bear in mind that camping trips are an awesome opportunity for your children to reflect on nature and get lost in their thoughts.
Take advantage of your time away from home and the hustle bustle of daily life as you bond with your kids and they bond with nature.
Let them Do Some Planning
Giving your kids some take in your trip is so important but so easy to overlook. Whether picking out activities to choosing what you’re going to eat for dinner, they’ll feel more involved and willing to cooperate when they feel like they’re involved in the trip versus being dragged along for the ride.
The more you plan in advance for your next camping trip, the more likely you and your family are going to have a good time. By sticking to these tips and covering your bases, you better ensure that your next vacation results in happy memories versus temper tantrums.