Packing the kids in the car and hitting the road is a summertime rite of passage for many families. What better way is there to see the sights and bond? Yet long hours on the road can lead to whinging and crankiness if you're not careful, particularly if you're travelling with small children. To make the most of your family road trip, you'll want to be prepared!
Plan on Frequent Stops
Although a big part of the fun of a road trip is the spontaneity of it, you'll also want to research potential destinations carefully to find a kid-friendly route. Plan on driving for no more than 2 hours at a stretch when travelling with kids, and try to time your departure around naptime for best results. Look for parks, rest stops, and fun attractions along the way that will tire your children out for the next leg of the journey.
|BUsy watching their movie during our recent road trip.
Choose a Comfortable Car
Your Fiat 500 might be a great car for zipping around in the city, but it won't necessarily be the best option when you've got 3 kids in the backseat along with all their gear. It might be worth renting a reliable family hatchback for your journey, such as a Ford Focus or Nissan Pulsar. If you're going to rent something, you could even splash out on something larger and more luxurious, like Infiniti cars or a full-size SUV. You'll want a car with a high safety rating and plenty of space in the backseat to keep the whole family happy and secure.
Prepare your Car
Along with choosing a family-friendly vehicle, you'll also need to have it inspected before you hit the road. Make sure your oil has been changed and that tires are filled properly so that you can help reduce the chance of a breakdown in the middle of nowhere.
Bring Snacks and Distractions
If you're making frequent stops, it's tempting to take advantage of all the fast food and convenience shops along the way. However, taking the time to pack fresh, healthy snacks will keep the family's spirits high. Bring a cooler with fresh fruit, cheese, healthy drinks, trail mix, and cereal bars to meet cravings. Get your children involved in selecting special toys or games for their road trip, and don't let them play with their new toys until they're in the car. If you're travelling with a baby or toddler, handing over one small new toy per hour is a good way to keep them occupied.
-the snack I prepared for our road trip-
There's never a way to guarantee that a road trip will go smoothly when you're travelling with children! But with a bit of time and preparation, you can make everyone more comfortable along the way.