Going on a family road trip is an exciting adventure, whether you’re headed somewhere you’ve never been, or simply visiting Grandma a few hours away. But little kids and a long road aren’t always a great mix, so careful planning is necessary to keep everyone happy, safe and comfortable for the extent of the trip.
In The Car
The first step in completing a safe and fun family road trip is to make sure that the vehicle you will be driving is safe, running well, and doesn’t require any maintenance that may slow you down. Easy and mess free snacks like pre-cut fruit and veggies, granola bars and crackers should be readily available at any point that someone starts getting a little hungry. You’ll also want to be ready with an arsenal of road trip activities to keep everyone busy and happy. Some fun music that your kids like to sing along to, as well as some audiobooks are good to have on hand. But toys and games may buy you more time. Try a whiteboard or chalkboard instead of paper, and the drawing can go on indefinitely without wasting tons of paper, and try having games, books and small toys organized in a handy place where the kids can reach them easily.
On The Road
If the goal of your road trip is simply to get to a destination as quickly as possible, starting your trip at bedtime may be the most effective option. Brush teeth, read a story, and complete your bedtime routine right before you load them up for the trip. Pajamas, blankets, pillows and loveys are necessary for this approach, and if it helps your kids wind down, an audiobook on the road can help keep everyone quiet and occupied until they fall asleep. If this isn’t an option, or your road trip goal is in search of scenery and family bonding, then you’ll have to plan your trip accordingly. When you map your route, look for parks or playgrounds along the way that you can stop at to let the kids run around for a little bit before getting back on the road. And as long as your kids are out of diapers, you can count on needing to stop for a bathroom often.
Being well prepared for the reality of a road trip with children can help you ensure that the whole family has a good time. With books, toys and a plan of action, your family vacation can go off without a hitch.