Going on a road trip with your family is a great way to bond and create precious memories. You get to spend a lot of time together, learn more about one another and connect over shared experiences.
In theory, it sounds nearly magical. In reality, there’s a high chance you’ll lose all your nerves while your kids argue screamingly in the back seat over whose fault it is that soda got spilled all over everything and whose turn it is to play video games on the one tablet you’ve brought. To avoid these types of situations and to actually enjoy your road trip, check out these tips.
Make timely plans
When taking your kids on a vacation, you should plan everything thoroughly before you set off. Have a family meeting and decide on a place for your vacation together. When you include your kids in vacation planning, they’ll appreciate that they have a say in things and you’ll get to hear what they want from the vacation.
This can make it easier to choose a place which offers various sights and activities you’ll all enjoy. Of course, you and your kids will have a different vision of what’s fun and interesting, and that’s why it would probably be best to plan all the activities and when and where each of them will take place, so that your kids aren’t bored, and you don’t get exhausted by the end of the day. Don’t forget that kids need more time for everything, so plan a slower-paced vacation to avoid mindless running from one place to another. If your children are nervous and unhappy, they’ll certainly make sure you are, too.
Be well prepared
There are many things you have to think about when preparing for a road trip, especially one that involves kids. First of all, you have to make sure that there’s nothing wrong with your car. There are some things you can check out yourself, but taking it to a garage and having a professional do it for you is a much better idea.
Also, travel insurance is a must when traveling with little ones. Next, you should make all the reservations early enough. This may get you some discounts for accommodation or meals in hotels. If you’d rather stay at a camp, a tent is an acceptable option if you’re expecting the weather to be nice all the time. However, if you really want to have an amazing road trip and want your family to be cozy and safe at all times, you should consider family caravans with comfy beds, fully equipped kitchens and even a TV for your kids to watch while you drive.
Another thing you should check as soon as you decide you’re taking a vacation are your documents, so that you can renew any passports which are about to expire. If you’re worried that you’ll forget something, make a checklist and stick to it, so that nothing gets left behind.
Be practical when packing
It’s a tricky thing to find the middle ground between being prepared for every situation and overpacking.
For instance, when packing your kids’ clothes, pack them in separate bags for each of them, so that they don’t have to go through everyone else’s luggage when looking for something of theirs. Use zip lock bags to pack outfits for every day and tag them accordingly, but also pack a day or two of extra outfits, in case something gets dirty or torn. The toiletries you bring can all be packed in a single cosmetic bag, which then you can put in the bathroom, where you can all use it.
Also, it might be a good idea to pack a swimsuit and a clean set of clothes for you and each of your kids, and keep them with you in the car. That way, if you see a nice beach along the way, you can make a stop and go for a swim, then change your clothes, put the wet ones in a bag and continue your trip.
Keep your kids busy in the car
No child will be happy if they aren’t entertained in the car, so make sure you have something to keep them busy throughout the entire trip. A tablet with their favorite cartoons is one option, but a healthier one is to bring some puzzles, coloring books and crayons for them, or to teach them some of the classic travel games.
Also, hungry kids are grumpy kids, and you don’t want that. You also don’t want them to feel ill in the car, so pack them some snacks and drinks, but don’t let them eat too much too fast. Finally, be prepared to make frequent stops for them to go to the toilet or simply to stretch their legs, since that can make the trip more bearable for them, which will consequently make it more pleasant for you as well.
For one last tip, you should charge your phone or camera, so that you can make photos of the most exciting and beautiful moments of your trip. And have fun. After all, that’s what it’s all about.