My guess is that a large percentage of our readers will be hopping in the car to travel somewhere within the next few weeks. Whether you have a two hour trip or a twenty hour trip on the horizon, it can be extremely painful if you have a car full of whining or hyper kids!
We travel quite a bit with our children and we have tried numerous different ideas to keep them entertained … books, art supplies, lap desks, games, singing, cards … you name it, we’ve tried it. Last year I drove to Fort Lauderdale (13 hours total) by myself with my two children, and it was the most pleasant trip we have ever taken. There was no fighting, no whining, no questions of how much longer. Why?
Plain and simple. DVD marathon day is the answer! We do not have a permanent DVD player in our car, so when I break out the portable players that hook onto the back of the seats, it is always a special privilege.
Now, here is the key. They need NEW videos. Videos they have never seen before that will keep their attention and help them forget that they still have ten hours left in the car. Prior to our Fort Lauderdale drive, I took the kids to Target and let them choose $25 each worth of vidoes. They quickly learned that they could buy a lot more if they searched the $5 section. (I did not choose to do Redbox because I did not want to worry about returning them or discs getting damaged or lost.) Let me tell you what, that $50 was the best money I ever spent. My sanity was salvaged on that trip and the entire vacation is remembered as extremely peaceful.
Our DVD players are two separate players, so each child gets their own TV and their own headphones, which is another huge bonus. If you are on the lookout for DVD players for the car, I highly suggest this route. You also do not have to worry about them arguing over which video they do or do not want to watch because they each get to pick their own! Glorious!
Finally, the BEST part of the video-watching marathon … HOME VIDEOS! Yes! A few years ago my husband gave me a Christmas present which was all our home videos compiled onto about 10 DVD’s. My kids have the best time watching these on our road trips. I hear them laughing as they watch themselves as little kids and they love seeing videos of their grandparents who have passed away. So not only are they occupied in the car, but there is some nostalgia thrown in there as well!
So there you have it. My dirty little secret for successful traveling. I don’t worry about the fact that they are glued to electronics for the day at all. The majority of their time at home is spent outdoors, doing homework assignments, or playing with friends anyway, so one day of DVD madness won’t kill their brain cells.
So get your DVD players and discs ready, fill up the gas tank, toss a cooler in the back of the car with some snacks … and you’re rollin!!!
Happy Holidays everyone and best wishes for a fabulous 2014!