My sister is in town, she has just met her nephew for the first time which is pretty exciting! He was a bit hesitant when he first saw her, but I can already see a close bond starting to grow. We have planned a sisterly road trip with the kids in tow, to visit mum and our siblings up north. It’s been a while since we’ve all had a chance to catch up so even though it is just for the weekend it will be a bit of a treat and we are looking forward to spending some family time together.
For a bit of background info, my sister is in her mid twenties and has no clue when it comes to kids. Although I have to hand it to her, she does try. It’s pretty funny how easily the kids can wrap her around their little fingers and get her into all sorts of compromising situations like “Aunty can you please walk me into class and meet my teacher, she would really get along with you, you guys would make great friends!” & “but you promised to take me shopping then out for dinner”. I can’t help but watch smugly as they work their magic on her.
I decided to put a cheat sheet together with a few pointers for anyone else considering taking a road trip with kids, here’s how you can adapt@survive!
*Safety always comes first! Make sure your little ones have their car seats correctly installed in the vehicle you will be travelling in. If you have hired a car or you will be travelling in someone else’s vehicle, take the time to fit the car seats properly. There are all kinds of variables with fitting car seats, depending on the car and the car seat itself. The last thing you want is to have the vehicle all packed up with everyone ready to travel and the car seats don’t fit, ‘coz no one will be going anywhere. Take the time and fit the car seats securely so you know everyone will be strapped in safely for the journey. Safety always comes first!
*This is the second most important part of any road trip, it is vital…GOOD MUSIC! An ipod jam packed with all the best songs a mix of classic sing along tunes and the latest hits to keep the spirits high and the mood in the car lifted. Kids love to sing and dance along so keep them happy with a bit of lip syncing action! Bust out those moves like no one’s watchn – if you need help in this department check out this vid!
*Road trip Goodies! Packed snacks to keep everyone sustained while on the journey. Pack a lunchbox for everyone filled with cheese cubes, crackers, fruit & mini sandwiches. That way age and taste or allergy appropriate snacks can be handed out with minimum fuss while on the road, or if they are old enough they will be able to help themselves.That way you wont have to stop for greasy junk food or stale gas station selections. A water bottle each will keep everyone thirsts quenched, avoid the sugary drinks for calmer travellers. Sugar free sweets or lollipops are a nice surprise to have on hand for the little ones (and mums and aunty’s too)
*Pack a small pillow/cushion and blanket for weary travellers. It won’t take them long before the land of nod starts calling so make sure each lil passenger is comfy and prepared to snooze.
*Make sure the little ones are dressed comfortably for the journey. Soft trackies and nothing too restrictive. Layers which can easily be removed or added are good to prevent them from getting too warm and agitated.
*Plan nursing/feeding, bathroom and rest stops to break up the journey. Allow a major break about halfway through your journey to let the little ones run around and burn off all that stored up energy from having to sit for such a long time. Find a local playground or rest stop and pull over. Play a game of tag with the older kids and let the little ones stretch their legs. Or get the stroller out and go for a walk and go exploring, new places are always exciting. The fresh air will do everyone good!
*Have the nappy bag up front, stocked with a spare change mat, hand sanitiser, wipes, extra nappies and a spare change of clothes for your little travellers. That way you wont have to hunt through the packed luggage. Plus baby wipes come in handy for wiping sticky hands and lil faces – so keep them close. You may not always be able to find a change room when you need to so if you are prepared you will be able to make a nappy change stop anywhere.
*Play games! Road trip games will keep little ones amused. Conversation games work best, ask them observation questions like “for 100 points who can see a cow?” or “the first one to find a yellow car wins”. They will love looking out the window to try and find the answers. A pack of eye-spy cards are also great for older kids. The less clutter in the car the happier everyone will be, we all love a bit of legroom and space, so avoid packing everything, including the kitchen sink. Limit the amount of toys or activities to one or two.
*Have fun & enjoy the journey! Take heaps of photo’s and make heaps of memories…
Been on a family road trip recently? What’s on your road trip playlist? Do you know the best road trip snacks? Share your experience with us!
Image via pinterest