Taking a road trip with children can be a substantial undertaking. How you go about it will depend upon the ages of your children. Taking a toddler or preschooler is more of a challenge than taking a school aged child.
Taking a teenager offers you a whole different set of challenges than either preschoolers or elementary school children. However, with some advance planning, you can have fun on a road trip no matter what the ages of your children are.
Preschoolers are fun to take on a road trip. Their interests are still developing, making it easy to get them interested in new things. The biggest problem you are going to have on a road trip with toddlers or preschoolers is that they do not have very long attention spans. Keeping them in their carseats for long periods of time may prove difficult.
The best thing to do is make sure to plan to stop after no more than two or three hours of driving at any given time. By planning to stop frequently, the drive may take longer, but your sanity will stay intact while you let your little ones burn off energy at each stop.
School aged children
School age children present different challenges. Fortunately, most school age children no longer need to be in carseats, making them more comfortable along the drive. They are better able to communicate with you what they want to do, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on whether they agree with what you want to do.
At this age, you may find that you trust them more in places like museums and other places where they need to show a little bit more restraint. They may also be able to sit still for longer periods of time, allowing you to keep driving for longer periods of time when necessary. This is the best age for road trips as they are still young enough to enjoy the things you do, but old enough to sit still longer.
Teenagers are the last age group. Teenagers present their own set of challenges. They are easily bored in many cases, and you may find yourself in a battle for them to have fun. If you can get them to have fun, this may be the best time for a road trip. You can keep most teenagers occupied with a portable game console, or by letting them text their friends while you drive. If they are old enough, you may even want to arouse their interest by letting them drive on occasion.
No matter how old your children are, if you plan activities that they can do on the road, you will be able to have a pleasant road trip.