“WE’RE GOING ON A ROAD TRIP!” Those words could bring up a lot of mixed emotions. Are you excited? Frustrated? Already feel like pulling your hair out? I just got back from doing a road trip to the beach with kids and I thought there are many like me that could use some helpful tips that I have learned along the way. It isn’t easy going on a road trip with kids and toddlers, heck even 30 minutes can be a handful! Nonetheless, road trips can also be fun if you go prepared. There are a few must haves when going on a road trip with kids.
- Pack Food! But, not just any food – Have you noticed how you feed the kids right before going somewhere and the minute they get into the car they ask you, “what’s to drink?” or “what can I eat?” and you’re like I JUST GAVE YOU FOOD AND DRINK – which you did not finish because you said you were full. Well yes, this is going to happen all the way through until you arrive and even the moment you walk into your hotel. Oh, and also during your stay and on the way back home. What I am trying to say is pack all their favorite snacks and drinks and have them handy. Your kids may even go through 3 juice boxes in one go so pack enough. You could even go with a little more than enough. You just never know.
- Favorite Cuddle Crew – Make sure you have their favorite teddy bears and favorite blankets. This comes in really handy when they want to sleep during the road trip which you might appreciate and also helps a lot when your toddler has a nightmare and need some comforting but you are too far away. Little brown bear to the rescue! It always amazes me how their favorite teddy bears soothe them instantly when they fall or get upset.
- Electronics – We have to admit that we are amongst Generation Z and electronics are always life savers especially when it comes to dealing with little kids. Pack all the electronics you have that the kids are allowed to play on. What really helped on our road trip was that we hooked them up to the Wi-Fi on my phone so they had internet to download and watch videos, if you do not have that function then the next best thing to do is download the videos and games ahead of time, games usually work without internet and it reduces the ads too. Brownie points for mom and dad.
- Charging cables – Electronics are great until they run out of battery and then the screaming begins. Make sure to pack enough cables and extra plugs that allow you to connect more than one cable at a time. If your vehicle has the outlet option in the trunk, make use of it! A great idea is to connect a multi-outlet extension cord to the outlet that will allow you to plug in at least 3 cables and setting it directly behind your kids so that it is reachable and they are able to play whilst it is charging. It is like World War when electronic access is cut off from the kids and there is not much you can really do when you’re stuck in a car for a few hours.
- Wet wipes, paper towels and a few plastic bags – Spills have become a screaming emergency and sticky hands mess up everything; phones, windows, seats, clothes. Having wipes and paper towels handy help diffuse that problem quickly. Carrying a few plastic bags serve as trash cans to dump all your trash instead of creating a huge mess on the floors of your car. It also means a quicker clean up when you’re back from your road trip.
I love road trips! And if done right, it really can be a lot of fun. It is a great way to spend time with the family and get in touch with your creative side. Times have changed, but it does not mean you cannot kick it old school, play games like I-Spy or count how many red cars drive pass. The kids may not be interest but, there is no harm in trying. Happy kids = Fun, laughter, peace, less grumpy adults and many more.