If your holiday plans include packing up the family vehicle and heading out with kids, we know you’ve already got a lot of on your plate! Here are a few of our favorite tips for road-tripping with kids.
Child-Sized Backpacks Let your child pack a few activities that they think will be fun to do in the car, helping establish responsibility and planning skills. In our experience, said items are very seldom used, but it’s all about education, right? Just be sure to take a peak inside the bag before you leave. You don’t want to find our your kid packed their favorite messy paint set once you’ve already hit the road.
Keep Sugar to a Minimum A sugary snack or two is great to have on hand to distract your kid from a potential epic meltdown. However, it’s best to minimize the sugar kids eat in the car. When you’re confined to a vehicle, there’s nowhere to run off a sugar buzz.
Small Snacks & Drinks Keeping plenty of snacks on hand is key to making any road trip more enjoyable. Chop up fruit and veggies into individual serving sizes the night before. Personal water bottles or sippy cups are great to fill up with small quantities, as needed, hopefully reducing the amount of potty stops.
Unique, but Cheap, Activities Think out of the box when it comes to activities. We’ve seen toddlers keep themselves busy for an hour by building a “fort” around them with a roll of masking tape. Old-fashioned car board games and songs can also make for enjoyable family memories.
Baby Wipes & Hand Sanitizer Even if your kids are past baby stage, wipes and sanitizer are a must. If you have kids, then you don’t need the many uses of these items explained!
Ensure Everyone Gets a Good Night’s Sleep (or Not) You know your kids better than anyone. If you want them to sleep in the car, ensure they’re tired when you start driving. But if your children are the kind that have a hard time falling asleep anywhere, make sure they get a good night’s sleep before the trip. Getting plenty of rest will also go a long way in giving you extra patience when everyone else gets cranky.
Take Your Time This is especially true with smaller children. With all that energy, toddlers do better on the road if they can get out and stretch (run) their legs every once in a while. Taking your time benefits you as well. Experts recommend that drivers pull over to stretch about every two hours or 200 miles.
Finally, don’t forget to bring your vehicle into Jiffy Lube to take care of any needed preventative maintenance before your trip. Checking items such as fluid levels, tire pressure and lights and having your oil changed will reduce the chances of problems on the road.
Most importantly, take your time this holiday and stay safe!