Southern Bingo: What to Look Out For on That Family Road Trip
Planning the next big trip is one of the most exciting things you can do as a family. After all, there’s nothing like a little family bonding while you take in some of the country’s most breathtaking views and interesting attractions on the open road. The beauty, history, culture (and quirkiness) of the South is something that can definitely be explored and appreciated with the entire family.
This can be easier said than done, especially when you have children who don’t like to ride in the car or are easily bored on the way to your next landmark destination. However, with a few tricks and tips, you’ll be able to keep them occupied and educated on the wonders they’re encountering with each passing mile.
Stock up on toys
With the right toy, you’ll be able to keep young ones occupied in the car while setting them up for a little education on the history of the region. In fact, there’s a wide range of toys for 5-year-old boys that can accomplish this.
Are you planning to make a stop at South Carolina’s Fort Sumter? Then, how about surprising the kids with a toy soldier, while explaining some basics of the Civil War before they see the historic landmark for themselves? Or visit a local bookstore to find some stories about what you’re visiting.
In an age of digital distractions and handheld games, these small gestures can open their little minds to a big world of possibilities.
Make the entire trip feel like a fun game
It’s easy for people to dismiss children these days and label them as unappreciative. But there are some effective car games that help them to understand the past, live in the present and appreciate the things they have today.
For example, playing a little ‘Southern Bingo’, where the kids can tick off each landmark you visit, can be a crucial part of keeping them entertained, engaged and excited about what the next place you have in store for them. A few landmarks to look out for include the Mississippi Grand Canyon, Bigfoot in Georgia, the Bell Witch Cave in Tennessee, a giant eyeball sculpture in Dallas, Texas, or the Land of Giants in West Virginia.
If you really want to make things more interactive, you can even offer incentives like fun treats if they can name some facts about each landmark you’ve visited.
Provide snacks but save room for local cuisine
When you have a long way to drive, stopping off at service stations every half hour can cost you time and money. What’s more, depending on the Southern state you’re driving through, it may not always be feasible. So cut down unnecessary expenditures by bringing your own food and drink.
But, in between these money-saving meals, make sure you plan a few stops throughout areas like Georgia, South Carolina and Louisiana to enjoy some fresh local foods as a family. Nothing gives you a better insight into the cultures and customs of the state you’re in quite like a bowl of shrimp and grits, link of boudin or some roadside boiled peanuts.
No matter which of the Southern states you’ve made plans for, as long as you’re enjoying it as a family and spending quality time together, you’ll create long-lasting memories while giving your kids a better understanding of the places they visit. Plus, they’ll learn a little something along the way.