Road trips with the kiddos are fun, yet full of challenges, and at times, messy. There is the inevitable “Are we there yet” scenario before you can reach your destination. But, it’s possible to enjoy the road without the noise at the backseat and still make everyone enjoy the time in the middle of the trip. If you plan to have a road trip with your kids, here are some of the most important things to consider keeping everyone happy.
Plan Your Route
If you’re heading to a familiar place and passing a familiar route, there’s no problem and delays with the road trip. You can get to your destination in the shortest amount of time possible. However, you may check with Google maps if you use a new route. Exploring another route is also fun when road tripping with kids. Just make sure that you’re willing to add extra hours driving if you’re the driver. When you consider an alternate option, choose the ones that take you off the mind-numbing interstate and maximize sightseeing on smaller highways.
Ensure the Driver’s in Good Condition
One of the most important things to be the top priority when road tripping with kids is the safety of everyone and the good condition of the driver. Happiness and enjoyment of the kids are important, and a safe driver is also essential.
Make sure that your driver is feeling well, has enough rest days before the trip, and has slept enough the night before he drives you and your kids to your destination, no matter how near or far it may be.
Leave your home before sunrise. This approach has many advantages. Kids love a 5:00 AM wake-up call. It signals adventure. If your road tripping with a younger kid, you can just let him sleep in the car while on a trip, so he has energy when you reach your destination. Catching the golden hour is a majestic view.
Leaving earlier also relieves the pressure of making it to your destination on time, and it builds in the room for spontaneous park visits.
Play their Favorite Movie
Although you have established a strict screen time rule at home, you can be extra generous on a road trip with kids. For example, you can make them watch their favorite movie but seriously instruct them not to be noisy and loud inside the car.
Streaming movies is a good way to keep the peace on longer trips. You can pack one laptop and a set of good headphones. Save some of their requested shows or movies and have them take turns watching.
Don’t Overload on Electronics
Road trips are the best time to keep your kids away from their time on screens. However, there are more imaginative and better ways to entertain your kids besides movies and travel apps. For example, you may opt for a DVD player and iPad a little more wisely and play some classic, electronic-free games instead.
Pack Healthy Snacks
Prepare healthy and not messy snacks for you and your kids. You can bring some of their favorite bread or sandwiches, healthy cookies, boiled eggs, sliced apples, and some oranges. You can be extra creative by making a bento box with healthy snacks inside. Popcorn and protein bars, and string cheese are also excellent road trip snacks.
Map Out Breaks
Before the day of your road trip, research your route and note some local eateries or cafes, great roadside attractions, and other spots for a good pit stop. You can also look for pit stops that will surely burn some kids’ energy, so they feel tired and sleepy when they go back inside the car to continue the trip.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
This is one of the things you must not forget. First aid and emergency kits are essential when traveling, especially road tripping with children.
Ensure you have a roadside emergency kit stocked containing antiseptic, bandages, instant cold packs, scissors, bite and sting treatment, extra food, water, and blankets, especially during a winter road trip. In addition, use large Zip-Loc bags, where you can store used clothing or may serve as a toilet for small kids in an absolute emergency.
One important thing to also bring with you on your road trip with kids is the emergency contact numbers of pediatricians, closest friends or relatives, and roadside assistance. If you bring a map or the written directions for long trips to have in the car, write contact numbers on the map. This information might prove invaluable, especially in the event of an accident.
Bond with Kids
Although it’s very important to prepare all the road trip essentials, make sure that you don’t miss enjoying the fun of traveling with them. It’s not everyday that you get to have a road trip with your kids, so maximize the time to have a special bond with them, and that is priceless.