Are you planning a road trip with young children in tow? You might be panicking and wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into, but GoBundu is here to save the day with our tried-and-tested tips for road tripping with kids.
First thing’s first: give yourself ample time
Make sure that you plan your trip – as well as each rest stop – ahead of time. Schedule in regular stops for young ones to stretch their little legs (and for mom and dad to stock up on some much-needed coffee!) Plan on taking a rest stop roughly every two to three hours along your journey, and be sure to give yourself enough time for these stops.
Leave while the kids are still asleep
It’s a good idea to leave during the early hours of the morning while it’s still dark, as it’s likely that your children will fall right back asleep and it will shorten awake time during the journey considerably.
Pack extra clothes within easy reach
Make sure that you have spare clothes handy without having to unpack half the car – particularly helpful for younger children who are prone to spills or accidents. Also ensure that you have baby wipes for wiping sticky hands and faces, cleaning up messes in the car, and more!
It’s a good idea to also bring your little one’s blanket or teddy from home. Not only do these provide a familiar cuddle item, they can keep your child warm during naps or giving your child something to lean their head against in their car seat.
We love the idea of having each day;s outfit packed in a separate Ziplock bag, so you can just grab a bag and it’s filled with everything that your little one needs (shirt, pants, underwear, socks, etc). Makes planning and packing for your trip that much easier!
Stock up on snacks
There’s nothing worse than a hangry toddler, so make sure that you have plenty of snacks and juice boxes on hand for when your little one gets peckish. Mini cheese squares, grapes (cut in half to prevent choking), droe wors, cold meats, and Provitas are all great snack options for long road trips.
Create a pulley system for snacks
Use a bucket and rope to create a pulley system to easily hand over snacks, toys, or books from the front seat to the back. Beats having to turn around and lean over any day!
Do a countdown
Children love doing countdowns, so try offering them a new activity, toy, or book once every hour passes. This not only keeps them busy, but also helps to communicate how many hours have passed.
Try doing a Scavenger hunt
Before leaving for your trip, write down or draw pictures of things that your little ones can look out for throughout the journey, put it on a clipboard, and give them a pencil or crayon so that they can tick things off a they go. This is a great activity for older children, and can include things like a blue car, a wind mill, a specific border post, an ostrich, etc.
Create a DIY colouring case
Use an empty DVD case to hold a notepad and some crayons for a portable colouring case.
Download audio books for the road
Join Audible and download a few family friendly audio books for the road. These won’t only keep the kids entertained, but will also ensure that the driver is entertained and stays alert.
Download movies on Netflix
Sign into your Netflix account on your laptop, and download a few of your kids’ favourite shows and movies ahead of your trip. Be sure to charge your laptop before leaving, and let your kids enjoy their favourite film when things start to get a little hairy.
Do you have any great tips for travelling with young children to add to the list? Be sure to leave your advice in a comment below – who knows, you might just be a fellow parent’s saving grace!