Driving the family car is the most popular mode of travel for vacations. Traveling with kids offers many opportunities for some wonderful memories, but it can be a daunting task to prepare the whole family for the road. Here are 8 tips to get your family ready for the road.
1. Make a List
Start by making a list of all the things you will need to pack. It’s not likely your first list will be your final one. Ideas will pop in your head in the weeks and days leading up to the big day, so the list will be ongoing up to your departure.
2. For the Little Ones
Pack disposable diapers, wipes, formula supplies and jars of food within a bag to be stored close to you for easy access. Traveling with babies who still need a warm bottle and warm food, consider purchasing a bottle warmer and portable food warmer that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter socket. Removable window shades are essential for blocking direct sunlight. A toy organizer attached to the back of the front seat will be within easy reach for their entertainment.
A portable potty could be a great solution for children in the midst of potty training. A parent might feel they should make a stop every time a child says they need to go. It will be right there every time you hear the words I got to go. It’s the perfect answer for when any aged child who has a need-to-go-now emergency especially if you are stalled in traffic on a highway with no end in sight.
3. For School aged Kids
Organize a travel bag for each child. Encourage them to fill it with their own choices of games, toys, books, and scribble pads. A shoe box could be a good choice to stow their chosen items, it can also double as a lap desk.
4. Go for the Gadgets
Electronic devices such as iPads, DVD players and hand-held games will entertain you children and help the miles fly by. Have plenty for everyone to reduce arguments about whose turn it is to use it. In addition to having plenty of gadgets, make sure you have ear buds for everyone. This will help eliminate hearing too many competing sounds in a confined space.
5. Surprise Them
Pack a few new games or toys and pull them out when frustration is apparent. Something new to play with will hold your child’s attention far more than something that has been played with a dozens of times already.
6. Plenty of Healthy Snacks
Have plenty of pre-bagged snacks and drinks ready. Avoid sugar loaded items and sodas which will raise energy levels, but not in a good way. An occasional sweet snack is fine. But, too many sugary treats will increase their chance of a bout with carsickness. Place the snack bag and cooler somewhere up front with you, so you can have some control over it and get to it without stopping. Have hand sanitizer and wet wipes for clean-ups. Don’t forget a plastic bag to collect the garbage.
7. A Traveling Medical Bag
A first-aid kit will be convenient if a booboo occurs. Frequently used over-the-counter medications and all prescriptions used by the family should be stowed in a common bag.
8. Sleepy Time
Have their favorite pillow and blanket ready for naptime so they are comfortable and warm. A good nap can help pass the time and give your children some much needed down time. For you, it will provide you some moments of peace and quiet.