Road tripping with kids
No matter how many kids you have, or how many trips you’ve gone on, travelling with kids remains daunting!
Hopefully the tips below will be making your trip more bearable (and save you from going insane).
Family road trips should be fun for everybody, including mommy, even if she has to think of everything to pack, plan meals and entertainment, and make sure the kids are fine for long stretches of time, often in a very confined space. (Think: lack of social distancing on repeat for hours on end!).
Pack warm clothes for the cold, and light clothes for when it’s hot. Sometimes I pack too much and then actually bring home clean, unworn clothes. I pack a day or two in advance, just to make sure I dont forget anything. We all know that forgetting something means you have to look for a shop on your way to your destination, then make purchases that fall outside your budget, and most probably also need to deal with kids who are cranky from the road and hubz very worn out from being in such close quarters to cranky kids!
If you are lucky enough to have lots of boot space, you can pack whatever you want – good for you! It’s always best to have more and need less than to need more and have too little (especially when it comes to kids).
Packing healthy snacks is imperative, because the last thing you want is to be stuck in a car with kids on a sugar high. I usually pack sandwiches, peeled boiled eggs, chicken drumsticks, yoghurts, chippies, cut fresh or dried fruit and nuts. Think foods that don’t spill and aren’t messy to eat.
Entertainment for the kids
Babies are easier on road trips than older kids, if they sleep most of the time, but things change as they become older. I always have kiddie-friendly entertainment my boys enjoy, like cards, colouring books and some of their favorite toys. Watching DVDs, if you have a portable one for the car, helps a lot. The road becomes shorter and the kids are calm and occupied. It’s wise to limit screen time in the car. We have a maximum of 45 minutes at a time.
Another important thing to always take with on holiday or short trips is a medicine box. I stock mine up with the following:
- Panado for pain
- Valoids for nausea
- Lomotil for diarrhea
- Coryx syrup for colds and flu
- Empaped suppositories for fever
- Allergex for seasonal allergies
- Iliadin nasal spray for stuffy noses
- And Germoline ointment.
These are the basics I take along. Stock up your medicine box at least a week or two before your trip. I always take along some pain meds for adults as well like Myprodol – you never know who might need it.
Stop for a break when possible
Stopping along the road enroute to your destination gives everyone a much-needed break. Stretching legs and running around a little gets blood moving. We would usually stop at every town with a Wimpy. Why Wimpy? Because they make the best coffee and the kids love their menu. Plus they have a play area!
My two boys are very different – Ayden, the eldest, is the one who won’t even take a nap on a trip, he needs to be kept busy and entertained the entire trip, while Carter, my youngest, is the total opposite: whenever we get in the car for a roadtrip, he falls asleep.
Traveling with kids isn’t always easy but over the years it became better for me, so I hope these tips offer some help. See what works for you, and who knows…it might even end up being FUN for Mommy too!