Summer is almost here, which means school is about to end and we get to spend more quality time with our kids through things like road trips and walks to the parks. Parents have been driving their kids across the country for decades, and whether it’s the money-saving factor, the freedom of traveling anywhere at your own pace, or the ability to pack what you want rather than what you need, as shared on Nomadic Matt, people love being out on the open road.
But for families that are traveling for hours in the car for the first time with their toddlers, the journey could end up being a disaster and ruin what was meant to be an amazing bonding experience. To keep the mishaps to a minimum, here are a few things that you’ll need to prepare:
Bring the right clothes (and some extras!)
If it’s an overnighter, you’ll obviously need to pack a set of PJs and clothes for the next day, though just in case of spills or accidents, bring another set of clothes. Other than having extra clothing readily available, remember to bring and dress your kids in the appropriate clothing for whatever activity you have planned once you reach your destination. Given it is summer and you’ll be spending lots of time outdoors, Lisa Dwyer Hogg a blogger for unisex fashion label Tootsa reminds us, “The sun is lots of fun but of course we have to stay safe, and keep our skin protected.” That means, hats and sunglasses in addition to sunscreen for beach getaways and generally any time under the sun are ideal. But as Dwyer Hogg reminds her readers, keep these items of clothing fun-looking and it will encourage your children to wear them.
Interact with your kids throughout the ride
While their favorite toys and blanket may provide the comfort of home in the backseat, the little ones can still get pretty antsy from sitting for long periods of time, leading to boredom, mood swings, and everything else that parents’ nightmares are made of. If there’s room in the back, contributors of Parents Magazine suggest that one of you sit with the kids for a portion of the ride and play games like patty cake to distract them.
Drive at 2-3 hour intervals
Another strategy to avoid cranky kids, having a rest stop every couple of hours of so will benefit both the adults and the toddlers. It gives the kids the chance to run around while the driver can stretch their legs. The key is to plan ahead for your stops, making sure that there are parks, gas stations, rest stops, and attractions along the way, because once you’re on the road, Baby Center explains that it can be difficult finding out where to stop.
Written by Aislinn Chrissy