As great as the beach is, your family may be impatient to get there, but the drive to the beach doesn’t have to be boring — the journey can be half the fun! Try using these awesome tips for road trips to keep everyone happy on your way to the beach.
Pack car snacks
A hungry kid is a grumpy kid, but you don’t want to have to go through the drive-thru for sustenance. Fast food is terrible for your family’s health. It’s high in calories and nutritionally deficient. Eating fast food increases your risk of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Fast foods that are high in saturated fats also negatively impact cognitive function and memory. The excess sodium increases the risk of kidney stones and renal disease. Fast food also causes bloating, inflammation, and high cholesterol. And if you feed it to your children too often, they can even become addicted to junk food.
Making your own car-friendly meals ahead of time allows your family to stay full without filling up on fat, sodium, and sugar. Wraps are popular with kids and don’t need to be heated to enjoy. Try filling your wraps with kid-approved ingredients such as strawberries and almond butter. For snacks, go with classics like hummus and veggies, fruit cups, and mixed nuts. Also, don’t forget to fill up your water bottles so kids can grab them when they’re thirsty.
Plan ahead With a beach bag
Once you arrive at the beach, the kids are dying to get out of the car and hit the sand and you’re ready to stretch your legs. Rather than delay the fun in the sun by having to stop by the store to gather supplies, have everything ready to go in a beach bag or two. You’ll need the essentials such as sunscreen, towels, bathing suits, sunglasses, water bottles, dry clothes, and a first-aid kit. Bring along comfort items such as beach chairs, blankets, umbrella/tent, and a cooler for snacks and drinks. Do your research ahead of time and check for any rentable activities in the area such as surfboards, kayaks, and jet skis.
Check out some roadside attractions
Kids get bored on road trips because they have a hard time sitting still for so long. Break up the monotony by scheduling enough drive time to check out any cool roadside attractions. The United States is home to some of the weirdest and most wonderful pit stops in the world, from life-sized dinosaur models to replicas of foreign landmarks. These sites also tend to have gift shops with souvenirs, snacks, and, more importantly, clean bathrooms for the kiddos. Plan ahead by looking up what roadside attractions you’ll pass en route and pick out a few you can visit every one or two hours of your trip.
Make kids laugh
Having a good laugh together is one of the best ways to make the time fly by when you’re long-distance driving with family. Laughter makes us feel less stressed and alleviates other negative emotions. When you’re laughing, you’re also giving your cardiovascular system a good workout, which actually burns a few calories in the process. There is even some evidence that shows laughing can help boost your immune system.
Download a few family-friendly comedy albums you can put on once you hit the road. Generally, these can last somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour and a half, so make sure you have enough options you can choose from for the duration of your trip and back. Look for albums from family-friendly comedians like Jim Gaffigan, Ellen Degeneres, and Brian Regan.
If you’re planning an awesome road trip to the beach, make the journey as great as the destination. Instead of stopping for unhealthy fast food, pack some car-ready meals and snacks that keep kids full and happy. To break up the monotony of the drive, make time to stop at roadside attractions where the whole family can marvel at oddities. Finally, make those long stretches in the car more bearable with family-friendly comedy albums that inspire laughter.
This post was written by Daniel Sherwin, a fellow Dad blogger. You can read more about his single parent exploits and get more top tips at Dad Solo. No money or goods have been exchanged. I just thought this was a good post with good advice for parents, and Daniel was happy to share it.