Traveling with kids can be both fun and stressful. Kids are hard to ignore when traveling. They’re not like other passengers who can wear their earphones, read a book, and sit still for the rest of the journey. Kids will demand your attention. Often, this can distract you from the road and make the journey even longer.
Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to ensure that you and your family get from point A to point B safely.
1. Play Games
Games are an entertaining way to keep kids occupied when traveling. The games should promote and reward quiet behavior without much direct involvement from you. There are challenging games like I Spy that are fun for both younger and older kids. Always choose creative games that don’t require a lot of movement from the kids or loud noises.
2. Bring Entertainment
This is one of those moments when you will have to loosen up your screen time rules a little bit. Downloading movies and other entertainment forms on tablets, and other devices, is a key part of the preparation. Movies and fun kid’s videos can keep them occupied for hours during long trips.
Supplying everyone with their own earphones ensures that you don’t get distracted by the soundtracks and sound effects of whatever they are watching. Earphones also allow the kids to focus on their own entertainment because each child will be watching their favorite show without disturbing the others. This gives you a few hours of silence and peaceful driving.
3. Don’t Forget the Snacks
Whether you are going for a short trip or a long one, snacks are essential for the journey. Choose to bring healthy snacks without too much sugar and avoid the energy rush that makes kids hyperactive. If you have three kids, buy three of everything to avoid fights while on the road.
4. Take Multiple Breaks
Sitting in the car for long hours is boring for kids. Since they are eating and drinking in the car, you will need to make bathroom stops. It is wise for you to stop on the road to stretch, move about, and enjoy the scenery. You can take selfies, and make videos, and have tangible mementos for remembering the trip. Let the kids run around a bit to tire them out, so they can fall asleep in the car for the rest of the journey.
According to Shobita Ravichandran of The Safe Parent, “Newborn twins are usually most settled when snuggled next to one another. Twin carriers enable this closeness, as well as offering the usual benefits of babywearing.
5. Have a Co-Pilot
It can be hard for one adult to manage all the kids. A co-pilot can be your teenager or another adult traveling with you. You can make your teenager your second-in-command to deal with the younger kids as you focus on driving. This will help the kids learn to work together and even promote some leadership skills in your teenager.
6. Expect the Unexpected
Unexpected events can happen when traveling, whether the kids are on board or not. It is important to be prepared with the right car insurance to be protected on the road. You can get auto coverage from Freeway Insurance, known for exceptional insurance and customer service, at affordable rates to ensure that you and your family are protected in any roadway incidences that can happen.
As you know, some people get car sick or react to something they ate while on the road. You should be prepared with things like brown bags if a child feels like vomiting, painkillers in case of headaches, and stomach-settling medications. Young kids are sometimes affected by the general atmosphere changes while in a different environment.
7. Stay Off Your Phone and Other Distractions
When traveling, it’s important to update people throughout your journey to make the necessary preparations on their part. The best time to do this is when you stop somewhere for lunch or during the bathroom breaks. Don’t use your phone when driving.
Additionally, siblings always get into fights. When your kids have a disagreement in the car, don’t look back to see what is happening or try to solve the issue when driving. Find a safe parking spot and deal with them appropriately.
8. Don’t Forget to Buckle Up!
This is a non-negotiable rule when traveling alone or with your kids. Everyone in the car must wear seatbelts during the whole journey. Seat belts can indeed be uncomfortable when you are sleeping in the car or just had a big lunch. Either way, seatbelts help keep everyone safe on the road in case of an accident or sudden need to hit the brakes.
9. Seat Everyone According to Their Age
All children under 12 years of age should sit in the back seat. If your child is older than that, but their weight and height are that of a 12-year-old, they should be in the back seat. Car seats and boosters should always be in the back seat with no exceptions. Ensure that these child carriers are correctly installed so your baby is comfortable and safe during the journey.
Finally, never leave your kids alone in or near the car. There have been cases where kids have died when left alone in closed cars. Always double-check that all luggage is secure. You should check to be sure that any luggage cannot fall on your kids if you suddenly are forced to hit the brakes. Drive cautiously, stop often, see new spaces and places together, and make priceless memories to last a lifetime.
Featured Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash