Whether you want to go home to visit your grandparents or you’re planning a lengthy business trip that your kids can accompany you on, traveling with children in a car is no easy task. Whether your road trip is five hours or five days, it is incredibly important to come up with new and interesting ways to keep your children entertained and happy during the journey. Nothing is quite as frustrating or as stressful to be miles upon miles from home and stuck in a tiny vehicle with a child who is unhappy.
Fortunately, even if you have never traveled a long distance with your child before, there are a number of ways you can make sure your road trip is a successful one. Here are some tips on how to travel with children in a car.
Plan as far in advance as you can.
Never try to “wing” a road trip with a child unless you absolutely have to. Consider the route you’ll take and whether or not there are plenty of rest areas. There’s nothing quite as tricky as having a child who is potty training and being unable to find a restroom to stop. Choose hotels that have swimming pools and complimentary breakfast bars, if possible. Careful selection of your hotel will not only provide your child with a bit of entertainment in the evening, but will cut down on some of your road trip expenses.
Make sure you pack everything you need to survive anything your child can throw at you.
For example, if you are potty training, consider bringing the training potty. If you absolutely have to stop on the side of the road, you’ll have it. Bring plenty of baby wipes even if your child is no longer in diapers. They can get out stains and wipe sticky hands in a bind. Easy-to-eat and non-messy foods are a “must” especially if your child loves to snack. Don’t forget towels and a change of clothing in case your child unexpectedly gets carsick.
Bring things to entertain your child in the car.
For infants, consider packing extra pacifiers and favorite stuffed animals. Toddlers and preschool children may enjoy coloring books with Color Wonder markers. This will make sure the marker stays on the paper and doesn’t end up on your chair. Older kids can benefit from video games or even books. Let them pack as many as they want. If your car doesn’t have a built-in DVD player, you may also want to consider investing in one or purchasing some movies to play on your phone for your little ones. While watching television isn’t something you should do all the time, it can certainly be a lifesaver in the car.
Regardless of how long your trip is, it’s possible to make traveling with children go smoothly and be entertaining and fun. The more time you have to plan, the better your trip will be.