It is inevitable that a road trip with kids will have to be endured at one time or another. I have created this handy little guide to give you some tips on how to keep the little ones happy on a long journey. Also, to help alleviate some built up tension you may be experiencing when thinking about the day as it approaches. Despite their age the principle of travelling with children in general is the same. Happy kids happy you right!?
1. Ensure you plan your journey – this will give you an idea of how long it should take and how many stops you are likely to make. From this you can then narrow down how much time you are expected to fill to keep the kids happy on your road trip.
2. Allow plenty of time – try not to rush your journey or set a specific time you are going to arrive by. Things like unscheduled stops or being stuck in traffic will only add pressure and in turn stress you and your fellow passengers out.
3. Take regular breaks – this is not only good advice for yourself but it is good for having a change of scenery, stretching legs, getting a little fresh air and overall get a little rested before you continue with the next leg of the journey.
4. How about a new toy – for younger children take a new toy that they haven’t seen before, or for an older child an activity book or magazine appropriate for their age.
5. Take the tablet or iPad – even if you usually limit the time they use it under ‘normal’ circumstances, consider bending the rules for the duration of your journey. You might be amazed at how fast time flies when they are occupied by their favourite game or programme.
TIP – Remember to charge the device before leaving and ensure games/programs are downloaded onto the device if they are WI-FI enabled only.
6. Watch a movie – depending on your journey, age of your children or how often you travel it may be worth investing in an in-car DVD player/s. These simply connect to the back of the headrests which allow your children to be watching a movie hands free. Despite what I originally thought they are very competitively priced.
7. Music or audio books – both of these can be good for half an hour or so of entertainment. Just keep in mind that even though it may be driving you mad it is being aimed at keeping the children happy, so best pick something they are likely to enjoy.
8. Snacks and lots of them – bring more than you think you will need! The less messy the better, and I would suggest steering away from chocolate unless you want to experience ‘a sugar rush whilst confined to their seats in the car’ moment. Also, don’t just bring snacks for them, bring lots for you too. Oh, and don’t forget to keep hydrated at the same time!
9. The power of sleep – I have found that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you are still capable of drifting off to the motion of the car. You might find they sleep for longer than usual which is a bonus!
10. Last but by no means least make sure you have a little bag that contains wet wipes, tissues, and a couple of bags, for rubbish or if one of the passengers is suffering from a little travel sickness (and haven’t made it in time to stop the car quickly enough).
I hope this has helped you with a few ideas! Why not let me know how your road trip with the kids goes? Good luck and have a safe journey!