With spring here and summer fast approaching car trips are looming on the horizon for a lot of families. While our family doesn’t take many long vacations we do head off on a lot of day trips! The beach, the zoo, hiking, visiting family and friends who live farther away. You name it and we tend to try and pack it into a summer road trip. It didn’t take us long as a young family to learn that traveling with kids can be a challenge!
Kids get bored, have accidents and seem to be bottomless pits when it comes to food. All of these things can make getting from point a to point b on a long road trip a bit more difficult than normal. Despite these challenges, summer roads trips build memories that will last a lifetime. They are completely worth it – but here are a few tips to help you remember that!
Traveling with Kids, Trip Essentials to keep you Sane.
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Beat the Boredom
Kids aren’t built for sitting still. I love that my kids are active, curious and creative but these traits tend to bite me in the butt when it comes to long car rides. First, they start asking how much longer till we get there and then they start to bicker about who is taking up more space. Sound familiar? I’ve been there!
The trick to solving this car trip trouble is keeping them occupied. A bit of pre-planning can make your trip a breeze! What exactly you bring along for your trip will depend a lot on your kid’s age and personality. Younger kids can typically be occupied with activity kits, stuff a bag with stickers, crayons and a coloring book or two. You can pick up a lot of cheap craft supplies and coloring books at your local dollar store. I have even seen some prepackaged ones with Disney themes once or twice! A few favorite toys can also keep younger kids occupied for a while!
If you allow your kid’s screen time then this is a good time to break out the tablets. Make sure they are fully charged the night before and loaded with offline games/activities or movies that they enjoy. Don’t forget to pack the chargers for the return trip or make sure you have everything you need to charge them up in your vehicle.
Older kids who like to read can be kept happy with a new book from their favorite series! Audiobooks or podcasts with headphones on a tablet might also be an option!
Often the best course of action is to have several options available and rotate through them as they get tired of each one.
Keep the Snacks Handy
Packing snacks is a good way to save both money and time when your traveling with kids. There are only so many pit stops for snacks that your wallet and sanity can endure am I right?
Invest in some decent Tupperware and a small cooler. You will congratulate yourself later for these purchases! Spend the night before rounding up and packing whatever snacks your family prefers. You can even take this a step farther and pack yourselves a full lunch.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Bring blankets and pillows in case the kids get sleepy. My kids rarely sleep in the car but once in a while, on long trips, they surprise me! Having a few home comforts can make car naps great for everyone. This is especially important for the trip home after a long day trip.
Packing extra clothes and some towels is a must. You never know when there might be an accident or a mess to clean up. Things get spilled and sometimes the closest rest stop turns out to be just a little bit too far. It’s easier on everyone if you can clean up such problems quickly and get back on the road without issue.
Since you might need to grab these items quickly make sure you pack them in an easy to reach location!
Make Sure Your Vehicle is Good to Go!
I can’t think of a worse scenario for a family road trip then a breakdown. Nobody wants to spend time in an auto shop waiting room on the best of days. Doing this with cranky tired kids is a special level of torture.
There is no way to avoid every possible scenario, sometimes bad luck just happens! But! You can really head off a lot of potential problems by making sure your vehicle receives a pre-travel tune-up and diagnostic before you go!
Taking your vehicle to a trusted auto shop like Urban Motor Works, with highly trained mechanics and the latest in diagnostic tools means you can go on your trip with an easy mind. Urban Motor Works is located in Atlanta Ga and offers repairs for all makes and models of cars and motorcycles!