You’ve heard it before. You’ve only been on the road for two hours and there are another two hundred miles to go before you reach the campground.
“Are we there yet?”
When you’re traveling with children, this question is an indicator that the dreaded “travel boredom” is about to set in. It starts as a murmur, escalates into a whine and, left unchecked, blossoms into full crabbiness. If you have multiple children in your RV, they can start passing the time by annoying each other which in turn annoys you. “Did so!” “Did not!”
The good news is there many creative cures for travel boredom! We’ve compiled our favorite family-friendly RV activities to pass the miles while you’re on the road, as well as some activities to keep young campers busy when you get to your destination.
ACT IT OUT
Charades is a timeless classic, proven to help when the view out the window isn’t entertaining anymore. To add a fun travel twist on this tried and true game, try creating specific travel-oriented categories like things found in the state you are visiting, or actions you do while camping. If you don’t want to come up with topics on your own, download the app Heads Up!
TELL A STORY
There’s nothing better than a story around the campfire. But if you’re on the road, you might need a little storytelling inspiration. Making story stones is an easy way to spark inspiration and encourage creativity. For this, you will need to find some smooth-faced rocks and paint items or characters of your choice on the rocks. Place a number of these stones in a small cloth bag, and take turns drawing the rocks out randomly one at a time. Use whatever character or item that is drawn on the stone as the basis of a new story. This is a creative way to pass the time, and each story will be different! Get the full tutorial on how to make story stones here.
The idea is to entertain the kids, right? Bingo! Playing travel bingo turns the road trip into a fun game. Download and print these bingo cardsbefore you hit the road. The challenge of becoming the first one to win will make children forget that you’ve got three more hours on the road. For longer trips, print off the license plate checklist and see who can be the first to check off all 50 plates.
Transform the windows in your RV into a canvas by providing your kids with dry erase markers. They could play games like Pictionary, or classics like tic-tac-toe. Provide a boxed out area on the window as a boundary so you they do not draw on anything that can’t easily be wiped off. Make sure you have tissues or paper towels handy for easy clean up.
FIND THE TREASURE
Geocaching is known as the real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. It is essentially a scavenger hunt network, and all you need is a handheld GPS to find hidden prizes. Go to the geocaching website and select a location for your first cache. If you are a beginner, try choosing a cache that has a difficulty rating of “1.” To make sure the geocache is still in place and findable, the geocaching website shows you a log of most recent finds.
For this one, leave the smartphone GPS inside. Try getting around your campsite area the old-fashioned way – by reading maps! Choose a hiking trail as your destination to make this idea more active. All you need is a map of the area and a compass. Your kids will learn valuable map reading skills if their smartphones were to ever run out of battery!
Once you’ve reached the campsite, have a nature hunt. Have everyone come back to the RV with six different kinds of leaves and then identify what type of tree they are from. This is a fun way to stretch your legs after the long drive, and an opportunity to teach your kids about native trees in the area.
Stargazing is a fun activity when you have reached your campground. To make this more educational, pack a telescope and download a sky map to input your location and time of year. It’s a great family activity at the end of the day when everyone is together outside looking up at the night sky.
“Are we there yet?” doesn’t have to be a cry of desperation. It’s just a sign to put on your thinking cap and make the journey a fun adventure for everyone no matter what the age. And who knows? You may find the miles pass more quickly for the adults, too!