Taking a road trip with your kids this summer? Here's what you should keep in mind
I have a toddler and a young child, and ever since they have been less than a year old, we made sure we take them along on these road adventures.
One of the main pleasures that we indulge in as a family is to head out, whether somewhere near for a day trip or a quick weekend getaway, or a more elaborate week-long affair. And one of our favourite ways to travel is to travel by road.
As individuals, both my husband and I have always loved to travel. Whether it is heading out with friends, or going with the family or even alone, traveling is something that always helps me stay sane and focus my energies better on a day to day basis.
Even after I had my two kids, I made sure that I take off on those breaks alone. But yes, that does not mean that I do not travel with the kids.
I have a toddler and a young child, and ever since they have been less than a year old, we made sure we take them along on these road adventures. While the first few times were more of a trial and error mode, with more and more such trips, we soon figured out what would work best for our kids and how we could make the most of these travel times, without making them uncomfortable.
The fact that both our kids have severe motion sickness made things a little difficult initially. However, we didn’t let that stop us all from getting in the car and heading out. Many of our friends have commented on how we take the kids along on road trips all the time, something they find it hard to even think of. But the fun part is that the kids have always really enjoyed these getaways.
Start with short trips...
One of the first tricks that we tried out was to start small; which means that we started taking small day trips at first, heading out early in the morning and returning late at night. While doing so, we made sure the next day was an off day so that the kids would get enough rest and sleep. This ensured that the kids were getting used to the idea of spending long hours in the car.
For the first few trips, I was always very worried about what foods to carry and how much to take along. I soon realized that no matter where you are headed to, there are always some basic good foods that you can pick up on the way for your kids.
For instance, whenever we head out of the city, we find a number of farmers’ markets or roadside stalls selling extremely fresh vegetables and fruits. Some of our favourites that we pick up on the way are bananas, watermelons, guavas, grapes, oranges, cucumbers and so on; not only are they fresh but are also filling and help to keep the children hydrated.
The one hassle with planning a road trip with your kids is getting stuck in long traffic jams. Sitting in one place can be extremely difficult for kids, as it makes them cranky and bored. To avoid the city traffic, we head out really early, sometimes leaving as early as 4 am and almost reaching our destination by the time the day is on in full swing.
This also means that sometimes we reach our hotel hours ahead of the check-in time. This happened on a recent trip to a beach destination, and as we were way early, we headed out to the beach, let the kids play for a few hours, helped them change in the car and then went to the hotel to check in.
Take a couple of short breaks
One very important thing to keep in mind is that because you are traveling with kids, it is always good to take some small breaks in between. This will give them a chance to stretch and take a break from the confines of the car. Always helps to avoid kids turning cranky :)
Here are a few other things that can be really handy when going on a road trip with your kids
- 2 sets of clothes for each kid and a light or warm jacket for each.
- Pillows, stoles and sheets
- A separate bag of snacks, water and fruits
- Hand towels and tissues
- Plastic bags to contain any sudden incidents of vomit, especially as the younger one still suffers from motion sickness
- A ready playlist of music with kids’ favourite tracks
- Colouring books, crayons, and books
- A set of sandals for the kids
- A basic travel medical kit with anti-nausea medicines, band-aid, cotton balls, wipes, doctor prescribed medicines for kids for cold and cough, fever, loosies.
We just came back after a super fun trip to a beach destination, and then again to a dessert attraction. And soon in line is a food trail that will take us to the center of the country. Are any of you going anywhere with the kids soon? Do share your road trip tips with kids and favourite destinations :)
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