Summer is here, and it’s time for vacation! If you’re planning to take a trip with your kids this summer, then you’re in luck. We have some great tips that will help make your vacation successful.
Kids need different things than adults do on vacation – they want to be entertained, see new sights, and learn about nature.
So here are 11 tips for a successful summer road trip with kids:
Make sure your car is in good condition before you leave. What will you do if there’s a problem on the road?
Make sure your kids know what to do if there’s an accident. First, buckle them up, and make sure they’re in the backseat. Then, teach them not to leave the car until you or someone else says it’s safe.
Don’t let them play with the heating and air conditioning controls, as this could unexpectedly change your car’s temperature.
Teach kids to look out for cars behind them, so they know if they’re being tailgated. Have them turn off any bright lights inside the vehicle if that happens.
Keep an emergency kit in your car, and check it regularly to ensure everything is still there.
But don’t forget the comfort of your children
Still, keep in mind that this is not transportation of valuable cargo with maximum precautions, but still a family trip. Therefore, put yourself in the children’s shoes and think about how comfortable it would be for them to be in such conditions on a long journey.
If you’re using a car seat, ensure it’s installed correctly and is the appropriate size for your child. You don’t want them to be uncomfortable or unsafe during the trip.
Check the car before you leave
Make sure everything is working correctly. If there’s a problem which you know about, take care of it before you hit the road.
Bring two sets of car keys in case something happens to one. If you lose your keys or get locked in the car, you’ll be glad you have a spare set.
Please make sure you have jumper cables and know how to use them.
Pack your cellphone charger!
If you’re going to be far from home, make sure you have enough battery power on your phone. You may need it for directions or emergencies.
Make sure you have a full tank of gas!
The last thing you want is to run out of gas on the highway with kids in tow. So make sure your tank is full before heading out.
Set up a packing list for the kids in advance
Involve your children in the journey by starting with a packing list a few days before you leave. This will help them get excited about the trip and know what to expect when they arrive.
Pack some of their favorite toys and books, and snacks that they like. You don’t want them getting cranky in the car!
Walk through the journey in your head
Make sure you know the route you’re taking and have a backup plan in case something happens.
Do you know where the closest hospital is if something happens to one of your kids?
What about gas stations and restaurants along the way?
Stock up on water and snacks
Pack enough bottled water and snacks in the car so you don’t have to stop frequently along the way. We usually bring a big cooler full of drinks and snacks – it’s beneficial.
What about entertainment?
Surprisingly, kids don’t usually need much in the way of entertainment on long car trips. Instead, they get excited by seeing new places out the window or looking at guidebooks along the way.
Bring some small toys or games can be fun but don’t overdo it. The trip is more important than any toy.
And don’t forget to take plenty of diapers (in case the kids are still using them) and wipes!
Think about how the children will have fun on the road
Plan some fun activities for the car ride. These can include singing games, telling stories, looking at picture books, or playing I-spy.
Take breaks along the way. Make sure you take regular breaks so the kids can get out and run around. This will help keep them from getting restless in the car.
You’ll also want to make sure you don’t start too early. Have some fun nighttime activities planned for later in the trip to avoid being tired and cranky at first!
Keep up with your child’s nap schedule as much as possible
If your child takes a nap during the day, try to keep it as close to their usual schedule as you can. This will help them stay well-rested on the road.
Take along some familiar objects from home. Having something of comfort and familiarity with you (like a favorite toy or blanket) can make this trip easier for children.
Don’t forget the first aid kit
You never know when you’ll need it, so bring a first-aid kit with you on your road trip. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Plan your stops ahead of time
At one point, you may have to stop the car, so they can get out and stretch. Then, make a list of places that have restaurants and kid-friendly stores.
Create an itinerary that includes stops at all the best attractions along the way
Take frequent breaks from driving every few hours (or less if possible) to get some fresh air and stretch your legs, e.g., stop for lunch or take a walk around town when stopping for gas.
Keep an eye on gas levels, so you don’t run out in the middle of anywhere.
The journey is a process
Be flexible about travel plans – detours are part of the experience!
Please make it so that the trip itself gives you pleasure, rather than being an unpleasant necessity when moving from point A to point B.
It’s a journey, not a race! Enjoy the ride.
Preparation for a car trip with kids can seem daunting, but if you take the time to prepare in advance, it can be a fun and stress-free experience.
And that’s it for our tips on preparing for your car ride with kids. We hope these help make your journey as smooth as possible.
Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to hit the road! Have a safe and fun trip!