As much as we all love National Lampoon’s Vacation, the truth is that family road trips in real life are often difficult to navigate when children are young. So, how do you make sure your trip is smooth sailing? There are a few tips and tricks you will want to keep in mind so you can survive your next road trip.
Give Your Car a Check-Up Before You Go
First on the list is taking your car to get a check-up before you pack your bags. If you plan to be on the road for any significant amount of time, your vehicle must be road-worthy. That means checking your tires, changing your oil, and letting a mechanic check your engine for any potential problems. Giving your car a check-up before you get on the road will ensure that your trip is safe.
Strategize Cargo and Seating
When you travel to your destination by car, cargo space and seating become precious commodities. If you don’t have a lot of trunk space, then it may be a good idea to pack lightly, use a roof rack, or even attach a small trailer to the back of your car to make your seating space more comfortable for passengers.
It’s also important to strategize your seating arrangement. If you have children that are prone to bickering, then it’s best to separate them from the get-go so you don’t have to listen to seven hours of arguments from the back seat. For sedans and other vehicles without convenient third-row seating, you can separate children with pillows or partitions between seats to give each child their own space and lower the chance of tension as they grow bored or tired.
Keep Kiddos Entertained
When it comes down to it, keeping your kiddos entertained is probably one of the most important tips on this list. With the advent of tablets and Wi-Fi hot spots in vehicles, you can set children up with movies, learning games, and ebooks to keep them occupied during the long hours on the road. Hands-on activities like coloring books and classic road games are also good options for younger children.
Stop and Stretch Frequently
While adults may be able to power through five or six-hour stretches on the road, children are not similarly equipped. Between childhood energy and smaller bladders, the reality of bringing children on a family trip is that you will need to stop frequently. Stopping every two to three hours for fifteen-minute stretches will help them release their pent-up energy. If you plan your trip correctly, you can use these rest breaks to make memories at scenic views and roadside attractions, too.
Surviving a trip on the road with your children may seem like a challenge, but if you use the right tricks, then your trip will be painless for everyone. After car safety, strategizing your seating, entertainment, and rest stops are all methods that will ensure you have a smooth trip. Need a new car for the trip? You’ll find what you’re looking for here.