As a single mom, I say a nice mix of “travel vacation only” digital goodies plus a healthy dose of good old car games is the answer. For my son, snacks are always key, special treats he wouldn’t normally get yet, no high doses of sugar as he’ll melt down and I’ll have created my own monster! Here’s what my son and I did JUST last night driving from Canada to the States!
1. Fruit, granola bars, tortilla chips, mini bagels, Gatorade (coffee for mom!)
2. Busy road? How many different License plates can you find? How many people in each car? See if you can get other cars to wave back at you… (We’re kind of goofy that way!)
3. Quiet road? Hang man- it’s a running joke that when it’s a 3 letter word I always scream JOY!!!?
4. Finish my line: We create a story… I’ll say… Once upon a time there was this ugly green…. Then he’ll finish it… step mother who had tons of warts. Yet deep inside she had always wanted to… (can be totally hysterical)
5. Ipad non-violent games that he only gets when we travel
6. Shuffle, his music which gives me time to listen to MY podcasts
7. DVD player- cool movies we save up over time for car drives only
Other tips are to let them ‘win’ with choosing their music or choosing where or when to have lunch (so long as it’s within your parameters) so they don’t feel so ‘trapped”… we’ve had picnics in a 18 wheeler semi parking lot before because he thought that would be cool!
Lastly, have a plan then throw it away… something will most likely come up and if you see this as a glorious adventure into the unknown vs. something you need to control into perfection, you’ll enjoy the process AND the destination.