School holidays signify many wonderful experiences and some not so wonderful – one of which is car travel. As a seasoned expert when it comes to car travel with kids, I thought I would share some of my tips on how to survive.
When planning your road trip, I suggest thinking long and hard about the time of day that best suits your kids in terms of sitting in the car for long periods of time (never is not the answer).
Some children including younger children travel well if it is on or around their regular sleep times. Other children travel better first thing in the morning and if you are lucky some travel well at any time of the day or night.
Since we are living in the age where technology is rife use that to your advantage as well. Many cars have in built DVD players which can entertain the kids for many hours. If not you can always pickup a reasonably priced portable DVD player and most of them include a car charger to ensure you benefit from hours of viewing pleasure. I suggest investing in individual earphones for the kids so you do not have to listen to “ tomorrow, tomorrow” over and over again.
The IPAD also assists in keeping children of all ages occupied for hours and hours. Be sure to be organised in advance so that all age appropriate games have been loaded onto your IPAD and are ready to entertain your kids. Other portable gaming devices such can also provide countless hours of entertainment and more importantly keep the kids occupied.
As good as all of the above entertainment options are there is the obvious backseat pushing and shoving between siblings that seems to peak during long car journeys. My tips to help keep this under control include predetermining the allocated time frames with each electronic device. This way you should avoid hearing – “ it’s my turn for the IPAD now.”
If your children do suffer from car sickness then make sure you are prepared with the necessary medications and make sure this is taken before you commence your journey! Also, keep a supply of sick bags and mints handy just in case.
As well as planning entertainment for the journey, you will also need to plan plenty of food and water for the car. Again, it is wise to plan in advance and think of foods that do not require refrigeration and make as little mess as possible. I also suggest dividing portions of snacks to avoid any more sibling disputes in the car.
Plan your rest stops in advance so that children can stretch their legs and use the bathroom. When you plan your journey look ahead and see if there are any interesting places for rest stops. We have stopped at small farms before where the kids can have look at animals during the break and it gives them something else to talk about other than “ are we there yet.”
My final tip is to remain calm, ignore the backseat bickering and focus on your destination and the great memories you will create together.
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Tags: school holidays