Are you heading to the beach or Grandmas house this summer? Long road trips with small children require plenty of advanced planning to be successful. Engage your children in the process and follow these tips from the experts to ensure a successful trip for the entire family. Keep in mind that allowing your children, no matter, their age, to glue themselves to a video screen or smart phone for the duration of the trip has infinite downsides. Most importantly, youll lose the opportunity to create family memories that will last much longer than the latest video or snapchap. Kids, and adults for that matter, that spend consecutive hours watching a screen become irritable, lethargic and have difficulty re engaging. Theres a price to pay at the end of the silence!

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Head to HSN to stock up on games and books for the car. Have the kids decide which snacks and drinks to pack. Check that the car has been properly serviced and the tires have adequate air pressure. Plan to begin packing several days prior to departure if youll be gone for a week or more. Include the kids in this process. The more engaged the kids are in the planning, the more ownership theyll take once in the car. Depending on the age of your children, have them alternate being the copilot, reading the map and keeping track of distance and estimated time of arrival. While all this can be accomplished in short order with a smart phone app, its important that the children learn how to navigate, read maps and determine arrival time based on travel speed. Theyll be math wizards by the end of the trip.

Depending on your destination, plan your departure so youll arrive in major cities outside of rush hour. This will decrease both frustration and driving time. Designate stops along the way so every two to three hours the family can get out, stretch and even see an interesting site along the way. Finally, plan to take it easy, leave the stress at home and build memories for a lifetime. This is a vacation after all. Good luck and safe travels to you and you family!