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First of all, bravo, you are one brave parent. Some might think you’re crazy, packing your car and travelling with your kids in a confined space for a significant amount of time. But we know how much fun road tripping with your kids can be.

However, turbulent times will come and you need to be prepared. Here are some great tips to help you keep your sanity.

Don’t be in a hurry

We’re always at our most stressed when we’re late, or in a hurry. Our patience, and usually manners, go out the window. But remember with road trips it’s the journey and not the destination that matters (cliché as it may sound.) But if you do have a time appointment, such as a hotel reservation, be sure to leave plenty of time to arrive on time.

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Cherish the time together in the car

Car journeys are the best place to get your kids to open up about their lives. You will have plenty of undisrupted alone time with your driving partner and kids so you should make it count. Have discussions as a family; reminisce about past holidays and events, and share stories about your fondest family memories.

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Eavesdrop

Whilst the kids have conversations between themselves on the backseat you’ll find that you’ll discover so much about their lives outside the family home: their school, teachers, and friendships. It’s not that they’re hiding this information – just that they never thought to tell you. So take advantage of this. Similarly, the kids will overhear your conversations and observe how you and your driving partner interact. So make sure you present behavior you want your kids to witness, it will shape who they are.

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Involve the kids in decision making

The kids are more likely to enjoy the trip if they’ve had some sense of involvement from the start. Gather some sharpies and a big map and ask the kids where they want to go and what they would like to see. You probably will have a destination in mind; so instead, give them a choice between two activities enroute, so they at least have the illusion of choice. Once you’ve picked a destination all you need is your car rental and you are ready for a roadtrip. Want some inspiration for the best road trip destinations? Check out our article The Most Beautiful Road Trips in the World.

IMG: littlepepercorn, Emlyn Stokes, gqil, Judy**/ Flickr cc.