Going on a road trip soon? Not sure about how the kids will handle it?
Here a couple of tips based on my own experiences over the last couple of years. I’ve been traveling with my four kids alone (hubby commutes by plane over weekends) and have learnt through my years of experience.
- Important facts!
- Have a good nights rest the day before you travel.
- If you have a choice, choose to travel between Monday’s and Thursday’s – weekends are much busier, even through the Karoo.
- If your trip is longer than 9 hours, do a pit stop. Book yourself into a lodge and sleep.
- If you sleep over, do the majority of your trip on the first day! Makes the second day fun and exciting if you only have two to three hours to go.
- Plan what you pack in the car and what you pack in the trailer. This is essential for emergencies.
- Essentials in the car, basically on hand!
- Food. Lots and lots of munchies for the kids. I normally do biscuits, crisps, small packets of Jelly Tods, biltong and muffins. I don’t do chocolate or lollies. Chocolate melts and before you know it, their hands and your car will be covered in melted chocolate and lollies just gets really sticky and messy. All the food is in easy reach for me. This way I can manage how much they take in of what as well as to make sure they don’t waiste and mess too much.
- Drinks. I make sure that I have enough water in the car. I freeze some of them but not all. I like buying the 330ml small waters from Woolies or Thirst Because it can’t mess, it’s got the easy open top that flips up. I also buy the Oros Juices and Oros Ice teas, just enough to quince the thirst and it can’t mess. I don’t do cans or 500ml bottles. It always lands up on someone’s lap. This too is in easy reach for me, and my kids know they can’t have a new drink if the previous drink is not finished.
- If you have a baby that’s still on milk, make sure you have of what ever they drink on hand in the car.
- Dummies, I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but these little things can go missing in a flash and you basically have to off load the entire car to find it again. Have enough extras in the car, on hand! You can find all the missing dummies when you have reached your destination.
- I normally have 6 plastic packets in the car, packed away with one out. This way all the junk goes in there and the car stays relatively neat and clean. This always helps when you have a kid that gets car sick. My second born gets it bad and with our last trip she was sick in a packet which actually helped a lot. We can’t just pull over anywhere anymore.
- Wipes and toilet roll. You can never have enough of this in the car. Hands, bums, spills, noses…. it helps with anything and everything.
- Music, now this is essential. You will get to some point where there’s nothing to talk about, make sure you have at least one or two good cd’s in the car with THEIR favorite music. Trust me, it’s some down time for you.
- Ipads. My kids each have their own Ipad and although Roxy can’t even look at the screen without getting sick, it sure helps with the other three. The battery doesn’t last 9 hours but for the couple of hours it does last, it helps a lot. I pre-load some of their favorite movies on there, and they can each enjoy their own movie while traveling – yes just like in a plane 🙊
- PANADO – Always have Panado in the car. If I travel alone my head can get really sore after a couple of hours and Panado does the job. Doesn’t make me tired and it takes away my headache.
- Chargers – never forget your car charger for your phone!
- Essentials if you sleep over!
- Two point plugs! Not all lodges, hotels and B&B’s has this on hand. Remember you’ll arrive latish so make sure you have a plug to charge you phone.
- Some toys (coloring books and crayons) to keep the kids busy in the room.
- If you have a baby, a bottle brush to wash all the bottles.
Finally, I have one golden rule when I travel with the kids.
Don’t stop at least for the first five hours unless you really have to!
I find the longer you drive the first stretch, the better the kids can handle the hours ticking by.
Happy traveling over the Festive Season and more importantly – BE SAFE and God bless.