It is a known fact that kids and travel do not go well together if you are not prepared well for the journey. This is especially true if the kids are younger than five years old.
There are many things you need to consider before setting out for the road trip. I have listed below some tips that should help you prepare for your trip.
Consider the below factors to design an enjoyable journey with your little ones.
1. Duration Of The Trip
Children get restless when you coop them up in the car for long. If you keep driving in and out of tourist places for days at a stretch, it would naturally result in irritated kids and sometimes non-stop crying.
With small children, 2 days out in new places would be exciting, but then they get cranky if it goes on for long. Ideally, you should be back home on the third day and put the children back on home turf as familiar surroundings soothe them. Their diet goes for a toss if you are too long on the road.
2. Breaks On The Road
As mentioned earlier, continuous road drives can upset the kiddos. So, plan to take short breaks every three hours and relax. Pull over into a grassy area if possible and let the kids run around for a bit to burn energy. Then when they are tired they will rest in short naps when you drive again.
3. Comfortable Seats
The kids need to be comfortably seated for the long journey. Make sure that their car seats meet the latest road safety guidelines and are safely latched to the seats. If you have the time before your trip, wash their seat covers so that they have fresh cloth to be seated on.
4. First Aid Kit
Have a first aid kit handy as you can never expect what little ones can manage to do in mere seconds when you are out and about. Before your trip, read about how to watch out for signs indicating a child is choking or suffering and learn how to handle such situations without panicking.
5. Efficient Packing
Pack clothes into separate Ziplock packs for each set and label it with the day it would be used. Keep your diaper bag well-stocked. Carry extra wipes to clear any mess on the car seats. Pack a few plastic bags to pack away possible soiled or wet clothing on the trip.
6. Time Pass Ideas
Keep the children engaged with games that interest them. Like you could give them color pens and paper and ask them to note down or draw things they see along the road in different colors. Look up more ideas online and note down the ones that your children would like. At the end of the trip reward them with a badge or a snack for their efforts.
Pack a few toys that the children have not played with for a while for the trip. Also bring their favorite soft toys along. If there is an infant on the trip, do not forget to pack a rattle and a few colorful toys. You can get a toy camera for them to click interesting things along the way.
Bring tons of snacks. Toddlers love to chomp on them to while away time. You need not bring candy. Pack cereal bars or rice crispies and juice boxes. Avoid snacks that can spill easily to avoid getting the car messy. Do carry plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated on the trip as the car air conditioning can quickly dry your skin.
9. Strollers And Backpacks
Bring along your child’s stroller if you planning to do long walks on your trip. The kiddo would love to rest his legs and even take a nap for a while when you explore the tourist spot. If you have two kids, it makes sense to take a double stroller instead of lugging around two strollers.
Invest in a good backpack to carry the essentials instead of taking a diaper bag that can be inconvenient to carry around. Also, if the child loves sticking to you, pack a baby carrier too.
10. Involve The Kids
Last but not the least, involve your children in the trip planning right from the start. Give them a few choices of destinations that you already like. This will have them excited to go to the destination and hopefully you won’t get the ‘Are we there yet?’ too often 😉
Sometimes how much ever we prepare for the trip, kids do cry, they simply express their feelings that way if they are overwhelmed. So, just be prepared for all possibilities and keep calm.
Have a memorable trip!