Some of your family’s most cherished memories will come from the hours you spend together on the open road, packed cozily into your RV while the sights stream by.
However, we all know that herding your children together in an enclosed space, then spending long hours packed together like sardines is a recipe for conflict.
Save your sanity!
Here are some tips for fight-free road trips that the whole family can enjoy.
Ways to Reduce Fighting on Road Trips
Tip 1: Spread Out the Kids
Rather than having your children sitting next to each other all the time, separate them so that each has plenty of room for their own personal use.
It might be smart to designate a place within your RV that is an Interruption-Free Zone. Whoever is in that space has a little bit of guaranteed privacy, and the rest of the family can talk to him or her when she comes back out.
Tip 2: Use Rewards
Some parents offer to buy their children a small treat or souvenir and each stop as long as there’s been no fighting since the last break.
Other parents use sticker charts to track behavior. For each 30 minutes without fighting or whining, for example, a child earns a sticker. 10 stickers earns a prize.
Incentivize good behavior in whatever way it makes sense for your family.
Tip 3: Take Plenty of Breaks
Sitting too long in the RV can be stressful for everyone, not just the kids.
Enjoy the landscape! Pull over at scenic overlooks to take pictures and stretch, and read all the little historic plaques beside the road.
Check out gift shops, roadside attractions, and quirky local businesses along the way.
Pulling off the road before sunset also helps with fatigue. Watching the sun go down and day turn to night can affect your circadian rhythm and make you sleepy, so have dinner or do something else inside around sunset.
Tip 4: Embrace Electronics
There’s nothing like an iPod or a smartphone to help alleviate boredom and diffuse a potentially explosive situation.
Your family might have a no electronics rule, especially when the whole family is together, and that’s great. Just remember that alone time is important, especially for kids and teens, and plugging in a device can help give your kids a much needed break.
Tip 5: Play Classic Road Games
Old standbys like I Spy, the Alphabet Game, and the Name Game get the whole family engaged in a fun activity together.
You can also find lots of road-friendly games like Mad Libs, magnetic puzzles, and even art kits made for road trips.
As adults, we’re excited to see the sights and experience the stunning variety of landscapes across the country, but children don’t always find the same things interesting.
Pack some entertainment, be prepared to address situations before they escalate, and have fun!