Planning a road trip with kids is not easy. But today, with the bustling travelling industry and easy access to internet and gadgets, it is not only easy but is fun too. And a bit of planning never gets wasted too. Here are some tips:
- Start small with short trips
To begin with, start taking you kids to short trip first. You would get an idea about your kid’s needs and issues when on road.
- Pack separate bag for kids
Whether an infant, a toddler or a little younger one, always pack a separate bag for your kids. Keep all their clothes, caps, toys etc in this bag. This way it is easier and faster for you to dig out things for the kids when needed.
- Pack light. Buy on the run
Do not over pack. Be a smart packer. A lot can be packed in a small space, learn the techniques. There are a lot of things that can be bought on the run, like snacks. Take empty water bottles and fill it on the run. List out unnecessary baggage and leave it at home.
- Never forget the prescription/medicine
Always keep along some basic medicines with yourself. It is better to keep the doctor’s prescription with you always. Common medicines for allergies, mosquito repellents, balms etc should always be kept handy.
- Cary Eatables/snacks and water without fail
Kids are always hungry. Also it acts as a good distraction too. Pack a lot of your kid’s favorite snacks. Also do not forget to pack some water and keep refilling it.
- Loo stops
Whether your kid wants to go to the toilet or not, make sure you get them out to the toilet and ask them to “do it”. Ask them again and again especially when you know that they have eaten and have had enough water. It is frustrating when you have just started from a stop, and two minutes to it, the kids want to go to the toilets. This happens a lot.
- Strollers and Car seats
Car seats are not only safe but are comfortable both for the kids and the parents. You would not want to carry your kid in your arms or lap all the time. This makes you and the kid tired too. Also carry a stroller which again is easier to move with.
- Avoid night trips – take rest
With kids it would not be a good idea to drive at night, no matter how “fresh” or comfortable you are with it. Instead take a stop, eat well and take rest. Sleep well and start early if you want.
- Take some entertainment along
It is difficult to keep kids engaged. Take along their favourite toys with you. For older kids, take puzzles or books. If the toys are new, the kids will be entertained for a longer time.
- Safety first
Never let your kids wander off. Always keep an eye on them, especially on short stops. Do not keep your kids alone in car. Take them with you wherever you go. Make sure your kids can tell their name, parents name, address and phone number. For younger kids attach an “About me” card in their pockets. Keep talking to your kids and explain them well about strangers and other unsafe conditions.
- Take time, plan well
With kids, it is important to not hurry. Add extra spare time in your travel plan. With a proper plan things hardly go out of hand.
- Carry a GPS and also download the maps beforehand.
- Always keep the gadgets charged, carry a portable charger too.
- Keep the necessary documents and print outs handy and keep them safe. Like driving licence, registration, hotel bookings, ID cards etc. Keep the copies on your mobile phones too.
Apart from all the preparations it is of utmost importance to be mentally prepared. Often you feel tired with kids, especially while travelling. Be mentally prepared for it. Take rest. Things might go unplanned but if you are prepared you can brings things on track.