ADHD · Parenting

10 Ways to Prepare for Your Road Trip: ADHD Style

We are about to take off for Spring Break. So ROAD TRIPS are on my mind. As a kid my parents would take us on epic road trips traveling all across the country for weeks on end. These always made for the best memories (and stories).

I’m not sure my family is quite up to that kind of marathon bonding time but I am determined that we can pull off a week. Here’s a quick list of how to plan a successful roadtrip for your family while keeping their ADHD symptoms in check.

  1. Food Pack plenty of healthy snacks. It’s hard to eat healthy on the road.  And what would a vacation be without a daily indulgence?  With all these stumbling blocks it helps to have some familiar and healthy foods stashed in your car or purse for a healthy refuel.
  2. The License Plate Game We have a long drive ahead of us tomorrow.  I know there will be plenty of movies to pass the time but this classic always seems to break up the trip a bit for us.
  3. Magnet Coloring Ok fellow parents this looks super cool and I know my kiddos would love it but we are about 24hours away from departure and I’m not so sure I’m going to pull this off.
  4. Familiar Objects My kids have never been attached to a blanket or a stuffed animal but this is the stuff I am talking about.  Just a little piece of home to make them feel more relaxed.  I won’t be leaving home without a few of their favorite books.
  5. Audiobook Another tactic to break up the long drive is we all decided on a book we would like to listen to during our journey.  We chose the Roald Dahl audio collection.
  6. Make a Plan Kids with ADHD do better when they know what to expect so to the best of your ability include them in making plans and limit the surprises.
  7. Sweet Dreams Our family is so much nicer to be around when we are all well rested!!  This can be a challenge for Pickles (my daughter with ADHD) because even in the best environment she has troubles falling asleep.  I make sure to pack her sleep mask and white noise to ensure a good night’s sleep.
    Little surprises (bribes) make everyone happy campers. 
  8. The Toy Box This box only gets a seat in the car during long road trips.  I stock it with small gifts the kids can unwrap at key moments (like right before I sense a meltdown is going to hit).  This time I’m making sure to stock it with some sensory toys like stress balls.
  9. Sick Sacks We don’t leave home without them!!  Knock on wood we haven’t had an incident in quite some time but there were a few years there where any long road trip involved at least one puker.  I think it has something to do with sensory issues???
  10. Downtime The last one is the hardest for me.  In order for your ADHD kiddo to have a good trip you have to let them have some time to decompress.  This is hard for me because I really want to cram some action packed fun into every moment but this is a recipe for disaster.

Anyone else have some fun plans for Spring Break??  Ok, enough procrastinating I really need to go finish packing.

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