A vacation is a very exciting time in a family’s life, but what can really spoil this wonderful experience is the various unexpected situations that happen while you drive with kids. Now, if you’ve ever taken a long car trip with children, you already know that for the trip to go as smoothly as possible, there are a few preparations that need to be made. Are you getting ready for a family vacation right now? Then you’ll find these next few tips especially useful!
1. Get a first aid kit
Every driver must have an emergency kit in their car at all times, but if you’re travelling with children, make a few adjustments. Fill the kit with band-aids, antiseptic solutions, anti-fever medicine, some medicine for stomach pain, antihistamines in case of an allergy, and some toilet paper for emergency stops when there are no public restroom. Plus, if your kids are still wearing diapers, don’t forget to bring plenty of diapers and some cleaning products for an emergency change.
2. Make sure your car is ready
When you travel a lot, your car should always be in a spotless condition, but sometimes it’s hard to achieve. However, driving with children puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, which means that every part of your car should be working flawlessly, from brakes to windshield wipers and from air conditioning to having a spare tire in your trunk. Not only does your car need to be 100% safe, but it also has to protect you from any emergencies.
3. Strap kids in
We can’t stress the importance of having a proper car seat for children enough – these things have been invented for a reason, and if there is a way to increase your kids’ safety while travelling, it’s a car seat. Even if you’re taking a short trip to a park, secure your children’s position in the car seat with the help of straps, and don’t take the kid out of the seat while driving – you never know when the crash can take place. If the kid is hungry or crying, better pull over and take care of him when the vehicle is not moving.
4 more tips on page 2
4. Choose the right time to leave
If your children are heavy sleepers and you know for a fact that they sleep well in a car, then leaving very early in the morning might be your best option. Start packing beforehand, so that at 4 or 5 am you could quietly take the kids out of their beds and strap them into the car seats without even changing the clothes – you can always dress them during your first stop on the way. However, if your kids refuse to sleep in the car, then it’s best to drive in the afternoon, when they are tired enough not to make too much noise.
5. Make the drive more fun
The key to making the kids enjoy their road trip more is to keep them busy all the time. When they are doing nothing, they soon become bored and start whining, arguing, or behaving badly. This is why it’s important to bring some toys on your trips. You can even let them play with a smartphone or tablet on the way. Another great idea is to play some games – that way you’ll keep yourself busy in addition to entertaining the kids. And make some stops along the way: in a park, at a candy store, near a picturesque location – something the children will be impressed and entertained by.
6. Put on some audio fun
If your kids are too small to enjoy a smartphone or tablet, but still refuse to sleep on the way, put on something fun for everyone to listen to. It can be some nice music, an audio guide to the places you’re planning to visit, or an audio book about your children’s favourite characters, or even an entirely new story you know your kids will enjoy. If you’re all listening to the same story, you can have little discussions as the story progresses to make sure everyone understands the plot and has fun.
7. Keep a schedule
When your road trip takes more than one day, it’s important to maintain a routine, so that kids don’t notice any changes compared to their usual schedule. For example, if you’ve started your journey early in the morning, make sure to stop for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time you would have them at home. If you’re stopping for a night in a hotel, remember to put the kids to bed a bit earlier than usual, so that you could be on the way early in the morning and they still would get enough sleep.