Summer is upon us, which means it is time to get ready for the road trip fun. But with little kids to take along for the journey it can become a nightmare trying to make sure everyone is happy in the car. Road trips don’t need to be this way. Getting to your destination is easier than ever thanks to all the ideas on the World Wide Web. Let’s get started
Starting early to think of things that are best suited for your child will make all the difference when getting ready for a road trip. Think about how you want to organize and pack clothing. What about having an emergency preparedness kit?
What activities will you have for your little ones to do? How to save space in your vehicle? How to plan stopping points for the trip by looking on maps to see where local parks are to let kids take a breather are all things to consider. Having these elements together will make your stress level decrease and make for a smoother trip because you have prepared ahead of time. Also remember to plan for the unexpected.
I have seen it all, families who use garbage bags to transport their clothing in a big wadded up mess. Those who use a carry-on with each outfit rolled up into one bundle. Or transporting each child’s outfit into Ziploc baggies with the day, symbol of a sun or moon drawn on to let the child or spouse know when they are to wear that outfit.
I say do whatever is best for your family. While the Ziploc baggies are great for younger children, it may not go over very well for an older child. When packing clothing make sure to pack some trash bags for dirty clothing or in case in rains, they can be used for a makeshift poncho or garment bag if trying to keep certain outfits nice and pristine.
Having a roadside kit really comes in handy and can help out when things go wrong. But before you go out for the long haul make sure to have a tune up and fix any conditions you know about on your vehicle. That way you have a greater chance of not being stranded in the middle of nowhere. Besides having your roadside and medical safety kit, make sure to pack mini emergency kits.
- Baby Kit complete with a onesie, diaper, travel package of wipes, baggies for soiled clothing, tube of diaper cream.
- Travel Games Having lots of activities for kids is great, but sometimes you have run out of ideas and need to figure out something on the fly when you are tempted to use duct tape and lollipops to keep the noise level down. Include: brain quest, Question game. Print up journal jar questions to read and have everyone answer. Have a couple of card games ready to go.
- Outdoor Kit Having bug spray, tweezers, sunscreen, baby powder, hand sanitizer, folded up trash bags, and hand wipes. Will get you by in a pinch.
- Restaurant Kit eating out with little ones can be an adventure when you’re traveling and kids are tired and cranky. Have some activities ready to go when you’re about to head into a restaurant with these simple ideas. Crayons and mini activity book if crayons are not provided. Lego figurines, mini cars, have fruit snacks or cheerios in hand if the wait will be longer than expected. Little puzzles or magnetic figurines can help as well.
Having these kits on hand will help you not need to dig all over looking for these items that you tend to use and need in a quick hurry. Keep them all in a backpack or shoe container to save on space. But also within easy reach and not packed with the rest of the items.
Having things for the kids to do while on vacation can become overwhelming and chaotic. You could pack lots of unnecessary space for tons of toys coloring books etc. The best way to manage all the chaos is by deciding how much space you can realistically have. Think about how to get many activities in one. Cookie Sheets are truly the best answer. Find a mini chalkboard and dry ease board that will fit inside the cookie sheet and put magnets on the back for a make shift chalkboard magnet board and dry ease board. Then plan activities according to age using magnets on the back to keep everything together.
- Cars use duct tape for a roadway
- Plastic dinosaurs for a Jurassic play set
- Silly faces
- Alphabet letters or magnetic words to make silly sentences
- Make board games by using magnets as playing pieces and copying the board on your computer to fit your cookie sheet.
- Coloring pages with twistable crayons, colored pencils.
- Lego figurines
- Polly pocket or littlest pet shop play set
- Look in your party supply section at the store for other great ideas.
The possibilities are endless and magnets will be your friend. And save you lots of space for other important items.
Playing Tetris When Packing The Car
Getting ready to head out and pack up can be stressful and time consuming if things are not done ahead of time. Try having all your gear ready to go the night before, or even start packing things up the night before. Designate a spot for each bag. Have all clothing in one spot. Have toiletries and makeup all together. Have food and coolers together. It will make things easier to get to when it is set up this way.
Also, think about the size of containers or bags you need and if you really need to take certain items.
Most importantly expect the unexpected. You never know what will happen on a family road trip, and that is what makes the journey and memories so much sweeter. Remember to enjoy each other and reconnect.
Pictures courtesy of Sheknows.com, goodhousekeeping.com, prettyprudent.com, becomingahome.com, musthavemom.com, onecraftymumma.com