For the foreseeable future road trips are king. More and more people are taking to the open road for their family vacations because of the pandemic. There are fewer crowds to deal with, and fewer points of contact. You get to experience most of your trip from the confines of a comfortable vehicle. Plus, you don’t have to deal with invasive security checkpoints that don’t even do a great job with their screening practices. In some cases, a road trip is even cheaper. It’s hard to argue against taking a family road trip. However, a road trip with kids has its challenges. There is even a popular movie about the subject. In order to plan the best family fun as you kick up some dust on the highway, here are 11 fantastic family tips for your next road trip with kids.
Related: Safe Travel and Maintaining Low Risk During Pandemic Conditions
1. Bring lots of distractions
The first base you need covered is entertainment. Since there will be a lot of extra time spent in the car, your kids will need distractions. Travel games, puzzles, activity/coloring books are all really good ideas. Video games are okay but try as much as possible to discourage electronics as they are more challenging to get kids to put down, when it’s time to move their attention to something else, like Niagara Falls.
2. Bring Extra Everything
There will be mishaps. clothes changes are imminent. Be prepared. In general, bring more than you think you will need of everything. Take advantage of your trunk space. The less you need to buy on your journey, the more time and money you can spend on the perfect road trip.
3. Plan on Frequent Stops
You will need to make a lot more rest stops on a road trip with kids than on a regular road trip. This trip is less about making time and more about having the best time with your family. Don’t worry about all the potty breaks and take the opportunity to stretch your legs and look around.
Related: Road Trip with Baby: A Survival Guide for Parents on Long Car Trips
4. Keep Face Masks, Anti-bacterial Wipes, and Hand sanitizer Secure
Have a central place where you keep everybody’s face masks, including backup masks. Carry plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer as well. Don’t lose important items like these or spend valuable time hunting for them in a pinch. keep them in a case together so you always know where they are.
5. Have the Kids Curate a Road Trip Playlist
A great way to keep bigger kids involved is to let them create a road trip mix. Have them pick the songs they want and create a playlist just for the occasion. They will better enjoy the trip and it’s a great opportunity for bonding over the music they take an interest in.
6. Load Up on Car Snacks
You can cut back on a lot of excess complaining and save some time on the road by bringing a lot of provisions along with you. Either plan a grocery trip beforehand or stop at the first place you gas up. Give the kids some spending money to put together their own bags. It’s super fun for them and it will keep them from getting too cranky after a long stretch of driving.
7. Stay Informed on Weather Updates
Download a good app like Accuweather. It will help keep you knowledgeable on what weather you should prepare yourself for. Check the forecast regularly and plan ahead based on the season and where you are going. Don’t let a change in the forecast catch you off guard.
8. Update Your Plans Regularly
Like staying updated on the weather, or balancing your monthly budget, you should revisit your plans regularly during your trip. Keep tabs on how far you’ve gone and continually adjust what you need to do to stay on course. You should also evaluate the stops you plan to make and see what changes in the plan are necessary or favorable.
9. Two Words: Family Suite
All right, when it comes time to check into a cozy hotel, don’t settle for a standard room, unless it’s all you have room for in your budget. I recommend trying to make it work though. Move what you can in your budget to get an upgraded room or a family suite at least once or twice during your road trip with kids. It makes all the difference after riding in a car for hours upon hours.
10. Bring an Emergency Kit
Another thing you should bring along and keep safe is an emergency kit. Your kit should include first aid, important documents, medications, and other items to pull out in the event that anything comes up out of the ordinary. Include first aid for your car, too. Tire gauge, tire iron, road flares, and other emergency car maintenance tools are crucial to a safe road trip with kids.
Related: Things to Keep in Your Car If You’re a Mom on the Go