Road Trips with Kids
Whether it’s a short day trip or numerous days on the road – we all know how long it can feel if the kids are unhappy. My husband and I have spent many hours in the vehicle with our girls and we have learned a few things that seem to make our road trips with kids a little easier.
1. Comfort – I know I don’t love traveling if I am uncomfortable, so I can’t expect my girls to love it either. Having a safe and comfortable car seat can help children last longer sitting in the vehicle before needing those “get-out-and-stretch” breaks. My 5 year old loves her Diono Radian®RXT car seat. I love that it really is the only car seat a child really needs. It’s good from 5-120 pounds. (It has so many great features worth checking out).
My girls do not like wearing sunglasses for hours, but they complain if the sun is shining right in their eyes while driving too. I remember the days of sticking a blanket in the window a bit and closing it to hold the blanket there to keep the sun blocked. I’m glad those days are over now that there are products like the Cool Shade™ that not only block the sun, but also filter both UVA and UVB rays.
2. Snacks – “I’m Hungry” – those 2 little words can turn a road trip with kids from a pleasant to an unbearable situation pretty quickly. Have healthy snacks ready in kids friendly containers. Tip: If your kids love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, make some the night before – cut them out using cookie cutters and freeze them. Take them out just before you leave and after hours on the road the kids have a fun sandwich for on the road.
3. Entertainment – Portable DVD players and other handheld electronics such as e-readers etc have their place, but think beyond that technology. Coloring books, stickers, finger puppets and travel games are fun to break-up the hours too. A travel organizer that hangs on the back of the seat in front of the child can help keep everything in order when space is limited.
One thing I do when we take long trips is buy a few gifts for my girls at the dollar store. I gift wrap them and hide them in the glove box or somewhere in the front seat with me. Along the trip I pull out the little surprise gift at the half way point. It makes everyone happy and gives the kids something “new” to do.
4. Being Prepared – Having a daughter who gets car sick has really helped me be prepared on trips. As much as we hope our kids won’t get sick it can happen. I make sure to have a little first-aid kit, some wet wipes and a refill for my Bag It™ portable trash bag dispenser. The change of clothes is already packed in the suitcase, but these other things are nice to have easy access to when traveling with kids.
What are your go-to road trip tips?