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Top Tips for Successful Road Trips with Young Children

Road trips provide fantastic opportunities to connect and create family memories. But, sometimes the thought of keeping young children entertained on a long drive is a source of worry.

Use these tips and tricks to make your next road trip a success.

What to pack

What you need to pack will depend a lot on your kids, the length of your trip and your own personal preferences. Don’t overpack, but make sure you have enough clothing and supplies to last you the journey.

Consider packing more of the things that are not easy to get more of (like clothing), and less of those things you can pick up on the way (like food). Keep organised by using rubber bands or zip lock bags to keep outfits together. Consider having an overnight bag stocked with the essentials like toiletries and PJs. When you make an overnight stop you don’t have to unpack the entire car.

Here is a packing list to get you started:

  • Water – frozen water melts slowly and will stay cold for longer. Stay away from additional drinks, to limit your toilet stops!
  • Food – advice from Lonely Planet is to bring snacks, snacks and more snacks. Pack double what you think you’ll need. There is something about a road trip that makes everyone hungry, even when you’ve just eaten breakfast. Depending on the age of your kids, they could personalise a bead or tackle tray. The small compartments can then be stocked with nutritious, low sugar snacks to keep grumbling tummies at bay.
  • Rubbish bags or recycled plastic tub, paper towel, baby wipes and hand sanitiser for the inevitable mess!
  • A potty for those side of the road toilet stops.
  • A bag of clothes and towels for a quick and easy swim if you’re travelling along the coast or river.
  • A first aid kit including supplies for travel sickness.
  • A portacot if you have a baby and your accommodation doesn’t provide one.
  • A stroller plus booster seat or highchair, or a Kruzi stroller for a 2-in-1 stroller and highchair solution.

    How to entertain children in the car

    A quick online search will bring up hundreds of ideas of what to buy to occupy your children in the car. It can be a good idea to have a couple of novelty surprises to keep the children engaged, but you don’t have to buy a whole new set of toys. If your children are old enough, they can each pack a small backpack of toys and games for the car.

    Some ideas of things to bring include:

    • Mess-free colouring and activity books, plus pencils (not crayons – they melt!),
    • A jar of questions – pre-write questions onto slips of paper such as “What is your favourite memory with grandma?” or “Would you rather be able to fly or become invisible?”,
    • Dolls or action figures for pretend play,
    • Picture books,
    • Magnetic hand-held games and toys.

    You don’t always need equipment to occupy the children. Consider placing forward and rear-facing children next to each other so they can entertain each other.

    You can sing songs and introduce your children to your taste in music, or listen to an audiobook. You can play car games like “I Spy” or “I’m Going on a Picnic”. You can find a great list of car game ideas here.

    You can also build the fun into the journey itself. Study your route beforehand for interesting things to see or do along the way. If your children are old enough, let them plan a stop along the way.

    Sometimes, the best thing to do is nothing. Let the children get bored… they may surprise you and entertain themselves!

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    //KLaviyo Integration
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