Now that summer is fast approaching, it is time to start planning summer vacations and road trips. If you have kids, there is going to be a lot more planning involved, because you need to make sure that you have everything they need, and that you find ways to keep them from getting bored and whiny. Here are some tips for surviving a road trip with kids.
1. Pack a First-Aid Kit
You never know if someone is going to get a cut or scrape, an insect bite, an allergic reaction, etc. Be prepared with a first-aid kit that contains bandages, gauze, triple antibiotic ointment, peroxide, Q-tips, etc.
2. Bring Movies
If you are going to be driving for long periods of time, keep the kids occupied with movies. Bring movies from home, or rent them from your local library. When the kids start to get bored, pop a movie in. Chances are, they may even fall asleep.
3. Bring Toys
Toys, puzzles, and travel sized games are ideal for road trips. Make sure that you bring along plenty of batteries for certain toys and games, otherwise the kids are going to start saying that they have nothing to do.
4. Bring Books
Older kids may not be interested in bringing toys with them, but they will likely enjoy books. Bring along a selection of stories that all of your kids like, puzzle books, coloring books (with crayons), etc.
5. Check the Car
Before you leave, make sure that there are no issues with your car. Check the tires, brakes, lights, etc. Also, make sure that all of your paperwork is with you, and that your car insurance is up to date and has all of the coverage you need.
6. Pack Cleaning Supplies
Messes happen, and they always seem to happen inside your car, and not just with the kids. This is why you need to make sure that you pack cleaning supplies, including paper towels, moist towels, glass cleaner, fabric cleaner (for the seats), plastic grocery bags (to use as garbage bags), hand towels, etc.
7. Pack Early
Unless you are traveling on the spur of the moment, take the time to pack a few days before your trip. That way, you have plenty of time to add more items in case you forgot anything. Make sure you have plenty of changes of clothing for everyone, bathing suits, toiletries, baby items, and anything else you would normally need when you are at home.
8. Pack Snacks
Be sure to pack plenty of snacks for the road, so you don’t have to stop at every store the kids see along the way. Not only will that cut into your time, it will also cost a lot of money if you buy something at every stop. Package up things like pretzels, granola bars, gold fish crackers, etc. Also be sure to have bottled water on hand.
9. Stop for Picnic Lunches
You can save a lot of money, and have loads of fun, by stopping for picnic lunches along the way. Pack a cooler with sandwiches, drinks, and other light foods that are easy to eat no matter where you are. This is going to be a lot healthier than stopping at restaurants and take-outs.
10. Bring Pillows
If you are going to be on a long road trip, be sure to bring along pillows and blankets. That way, everyone can get comfortable and have a nap when the drive starts to get too long and boring.
11. Get Organized
You know how messy your car can get when you are traveling with kids. Nip this problem right in the bud by getting organized before you leave. Hang shoe holders over the seats, and you have places to keep small toys, books, crayons, etc. Put storage bins in the trunk for larger items that aren’t needed throughout the trip.