Surviving a Road Trip With Kids is Possible
There isn’t probably a more picture-perfect vacation than a family road trip. However, the idea of listening to “Are we there yet?” from the back seat over and over again or having to stop those never-ending little quarrels between your children can easily turn the ideal trip into a living-hell nightmare. Road trips are quite a rite of passage and they can be enjoyable experiences if you plan them carefully and ahead of time. Successful family road trippers master the balance of enjoying new discoveries and quality family time with miles of co-existing in cramped quarters. Are you one of them? With this road trip surviving kit for families, you’ll definitely be!
On the days prior to your departure map out your journey to have a realistic picture of how long the road trip will take. Look out for all the nice, fun, can’t-miss, want-to-see attractions on the road and plan some nice, interesting and leg-stretching pitstops. Look for parks and other green areas where you can relax and children can do some outdoor play! After spending a couple of hours cramped in the car, you’ll need it!
Have realistic expectations about when you’ll be arriving. You’ll probably have additional or longer stops than if you were travelling alone or with your spouse so avoid getting stressed out with minor delays that are just unavoidable!
Apart from taking your vehicle to the mechanic for a thorough revision and fixing any issue that may arise, make sure that car insurance policy is current and that your car safety kit is complete. Check the current regulations to make sure you have everything you’ll need for a safe road trip.
Don’t forget to include a first aid kit and any medication you need to take regularly or that you or your family use when they are not feeling that good.
Are you renting a car? If renting a car is in your plans, there are more things in which you need to think about. As you’ll be driving a car you’re not familiar with, opt for a brand, model and type of car you already know. It is advisable that you choose a vehicle that allows everybody to travel more or less comfortably. Bear in mind that you’ll be carrying extra luggage so having some extra space will make a huge impact!
Don’t forget to invest in a good car rental insurance policy. There are many options available in the market and you won’t find it hard to find one that suits your budget and needs. One of the best options, in fact, can be found here.
Drive at Night!
If there are toddlers in your family, driving at night can make a huge difference. They usually sleep throughout the night and that makes it easier to travel more miles, thus making the road trip shorter for them. And a well-slept child is less fuzzier during the day.
It’s better for parents as well as they can indulge in longer uninterrupted conversations. Ideally, if you and your spouse can take turns while driving, you can both enjoy some rest.
Put An Adult At The Back (If Possible)
Having your partner at your side while driving is nice and more comfortable, but for the sake of your peace of mind, send the other adult to the backseat (at least for a while).
It makes it easier to chat with the kids, play with them and (mostly important) keep things under control!
Snack Wisely and Mess Free
When children have their mouths and tummies full, they are less prone to quarrelling over small things. However, if you don’t choose their snacks wisely and give them sugary, salty or greasy snacks paired with fizzy drinks you’ll end up with stomach aches, fuzzy children and a mess in the back seats.
Skipping the drive-thru restaurants is also a good idea as many a time they don’t have healthy choices in their menu.
It’s definitely wiser to go for healthier homemade food for the road trip or healthy options you can find in supermarkets. Boiled eggs, sliced apple, baked rea, pecans and other nuts, cereals, fruit, crackers and water. If you have older children, you can pack them in plastic containers so that they can choose what they want to eat and drink. For younger children or toddlers is probably easier if you give them what they want to eat.
Fight Off Boredom!
Although fighting off backseat boredom can be a big issue, there are plenty of alternatives nowadays to keep children entertained and engaged. It’s important to avoid messes and excessive noise that can be disturbing for the driver, who has to be focused on the road.
Movies and travel apps as they keep the children hooked to the screens for a relatively long period of time. Try to limit screen time, however. But they are not the only option you can consider. From popular pen and paper games to magnetic boards and tiles, legos, small toy sets, traditional oral games, music that all passengers like, etc.
Don’t forget to invite children to enjoy the scenery. If you choose some scenic roads for at least part of the road trip, children will have a nice time simply looking out of the window.
If you’ve planned your road trip correctly you’ve included breaks along the way to stretch your legs, move your body and let your children burn energy. Skipping the rope, throwing and catching a frisbee, playing with a ball or simply playing catch me for a while can recharge everyone’s batteries!