Most folks spend this time of the year with their families preparing for summer vacations. As a parent, you may have thought about taking your kids on a road trip to visit family or friends. Road trips can be a fantastic way to bond with your children. They allow you to spend time together and explore new places.
However, they also come with their own set of challenges if you’re not well prepared. If you want to make sure that this experience is as enjoyable as possible for everyone involved, here are 8 tips that will help!
1. Keep Them Occupied
The last thing you need when you’re driving is a bunch of bored kids. Have you ever tried to drive while your child is kicking the back of your seat? Not fun!
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because entertainment is essential for any long car ride. You can entertain a toddler with just about anything; books, family games, magic slates, building blocks, and even a small toy. The key is to bring enough for the journey!
2. Spoil the Kids a Little
Kids need to be spoiled a little on these trips. They’ll forget about the ills of having to sleep in a ute bed rack and will have many happy memories when they’re older from these times together as a family. Therefore, splurge a little and treat them to a few things they like, such as eating out at a fancy restaurant or buying something they want on the trip.
3. Take Care of the Driver
While keeping the kids happy is essential, you shouldn’t neglect yourself, especially if you’re the driver. If you’re traveling for a long time, make sure to stop now and then so that you can stretch your legs.
If possible, avoid driving late at night or during rush hour traffic; if not, bring snacks or drinks so that it’s more manageable! This way, you’ll ensure you’re in tip-top condition to take care of the little ones as well.
4. Go Easy on the Electronics
While it’s always a good idea to bring along some form of entertainment, don’t overdo it. People drive for hours without realizing that the kids are just playing with their phones and tablets!
Try not to overload your vehicle with too many gadgets. Instead, use the road trip as an opportunity to bond and encourage the kids to use their imagination rather than consume data non-stop.
5. Don’t Forget to Bring Along some Necessities
Rainy weather may force you to bring your umbrella, a raincoat for the kids, or even an extra pair of shoes! However, you never know what will happen on the road, so it’s always best to be prepared.
Some of the things you should include in your family road trip checklist include:
- Bucket for motion sickness
- Travel snacks
- Plastic trash bags
- Pitstop playthings
- Roadside emergency kit
- First aid kit
- Toys for long drives or traffic jams
- Cell phone charger with USB port
- Extra batteries for every device the kids are using on your trip. This will also reduce charging time and be able to provide power during a prolonged blackout!
- Coloring books and crayons
- A change of clothes
- Baby wipes and toiletries for kids
6. Pack Healthy Snacks
When you’re traveling with kids, it’s also crucial to pack healthy snacks. Rather than going hungry or being upset about not having a specific food they want, give them nutritious options like applesauce pouches and cheese sticks. It’s also a good idea to involve them in the process to ensure you include snacks they want.
7. Give the Wingman a Break
Most people prefer having their partner sit at the front during family road trips. While this isn’t a bad idea, it’s advisable to have the kids sit at the front for a while. This will allow them to get comfortable with this idea and feel like they’re not being left out of anything. Besides, it gives you a chance to bond and catch up with your kids.
8. Create a Road Trip Schedule
The kids, much as adults, enjoy knowing what is going on next during their trip without having to ask every few minutes. Therefore, find a schedule that works well for everyone and stick to it. This way, you’ll avoid arguments and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Traveling with kids can be a lot of fun. However, it does take a little bit more preparation and work than with adults. Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure the trip is enjoyable for everyone involved.
By following the tips in this article, you’ll be sure to have a great time! However, don’t panic when things don’t go as planned. Take it easy and have fun!