Jun 21 , 2023
As more families plan to travel by car this summer, we've compiled a guide with do's and don'ts that every parent would be happy to know and do or don't on long car rides. Some of these tips and hacks will make a smoother ride this summer.
What is the best time of day to drive with kids?
If it is a long ride, it might be a good idea to leave early in the morning, even before the kids are awake. This way, kids will continue their sleep in the car for the first part of the trip, and by the time they wake, they'll be already closer to their destination.
Plus, leaving early in the morning means avoiding traffic and rush hours.
Sometimes driving at night seems like the only solution, especially when traveling with infants or toddlers. Even though you can't do sightseeing as you would probably do during the day, it might be a much smoother ride and a time saver. Also, you don't have to stop as often as driving during the day with kids being awake. Ensure you are well rested before hitting the road and take driving shifts if possible. And o remember that sleep is equally essential for you and the kids.
PREPARE, PLAN, AND ANTICIPATE!
Let's be honest; the secret to successful road trips is to prepare, plan and anticipate, no matter how long they take.
Prepare- do as much as you can the day before to have a calm and easy morning before leaving the house. Fill the car with everything necessary (from luggage to toys, wipes, food, first aid kit, etc.
Plan the stops, the itinerary, and food breaks, but keep flexible. With kids, there's almost always an extra stop or arriving a little later than planned.
Anticipate sickness, boredom, fights, naps, toilet breaks, rest stops, etc.
How do you entertain kids on a long car trip?
Listening to their favorite story or maybe new ones can keep kids entertained and SILENT for a while. This is a must if you are traveling with more than one kids. Each can pick what and when to listen to their music or stories. Kindle Kids Edition can now access Audible audiobooks from Kindle Free Unlimited (a subscription to their kid-friendly audiobooks).
2. Road Trip Activities!
Children have much shorter attention spans than adults do. A five-year-old would have an attention span of maximum 15 minutes. So having multiple backup entertainments can take you from home to your destination quickly. Think about word searches, crossword puzzles, mazes, favorite characters to color, brainteasers, travel journals, road signs hunt, tic-tac-toe games, and more. Check this Paperback Road Trip Activities and Travel Journal for Kids on Amazon with 100 games.
3. Get fully prepared with HEALTHY snacks
It would help if you relied on something other than fast food or gas stops for meals or snacks. Prepare nutritious snacks in small individual lunch boxes or have a cooler in advance. This way, your kids won't have to wait another hour until the next stop. Have always within arm’s reach filling snacks to offer(graham crackers, bananas, veggie sticks, grapes, or any other tasty snacks that don't cause stomach aches. And when the time's right (or really bad), take a fast food/gas pit stop to bring the element of surprise into the ride to give that moral boost on the last miles.
4. Always have a surprise bag/box
This will be used along the ride to keep them in a good mood. You can include Lego, Hot wheels Car, tiny dolls, crayons, coloring books, buckle toys (like this quiet travel fidget toy) and sweet treats.
5. Invest in a Quiet Book
It really does help make traveling with kids easier and with no mess activities. It's usually filled with hands-on activities perfect to be done in their car seat. This Quiet Book has 9 Montessori activities that will keep any toddler occupied for long periods. Any youngster will be kept busy for a long time. This book's genius lies in the fact that there are no loose pieces, making it suitable for children as young as one.