Sometimes taking a long road trip with teens can be even tougher than taking one with toddlers. When teens get bored it’s not a pretty sight and the last thing you want is to be bickering with your adolescent while you’re driving. Here are some ideas for taking long road trips with teens.
Plan Your Route
Make sure you plan your route carefully and don’t just rely on your GPS. Take some maps with you in case you lose your way in an area with spotty cell phone coverage. Ask your teens to help you navigate, and if they’re old enough, have then take a turn with the driving.
Don’t just stop for bathroom breaks. Not only is driving without proper breaks miserable for the driver, it’s no fun for the passengers. The best thing to do is keep a lookout for signs indicating lookouts, rest stops, and restaurants. Even if you just pull over on the hard shoulder and stretch for a minute, it’s much better than spending hours at a time on the road.
Keep Them Busy
They’re probably not going to have Wi-Fi access throughout the whole length of the journey, so make sure they have plenty of apps on their smartphones or tablets to occupy their time. As well as books, games, and music, think about some apps that inspire creativity, such as mandala coloring pages.
Stock Up On Snacks
Make sure you’re cooler’s packed with plenty of snacks for your road trip. You know how irritable teens can get when they’ve got the munchies and there’s nothing to eat. Get them to choose their own snacks before you leave. Don’t forget to have plenty of bottles of water, soda and juice drinks.
Play Road Trip Games
Silly and fun road trip games are a great way to pass the time with your teenagers. Group Storytelling is always a favorite. Someone begins a story and after a few sentences passes it on to the next person who adds a couple of sentences and then passes it on and so on. If you’re in a car full of relatives with a sense of humor everyone will soon be laughing. Another good one is The Car Next Door, where you make up stories about the people in the cars traveling next to you.
Following these tips will help you and your teens arrive at your destination painlessly. Make sure everyone’s wearing comfortable clothes so there will be no griping and complaining. Remind everyone to buckle up so you all have a safe journey. And don’t forget, the key to their happiness is contingent on keeping them occupied.