Hello, Favorite Sun Peeps! I was contacted recently by Daniel Sherwin from Dadsolo . He offered to write a travel tip blog for The Favorite Sun readers. Daniel has two children, a daughter who is 9 and a son who is 6. He definitely knows first hand the struggles and the joy of traveling with children can bring. The tips he gives are great and will help you make your next road trip more manageable. When you have a chance check out his website too.
Avoid “Are We There Yet?”
With These 10 Travel Tips
Climbing in your car and heading on vacation is an exciting time, whether you’re off to the sunny beach or to relax on some beautiful mountainside. It’s the ‘getting there’ part that can be tricky. And it’s especially tricky if you’re packing a carload of overstimulated kids anxious to build their first sandcastle or spot their first bear or antelope.
If you’re looking to avoid the umpteenth “Are we there yet?” here are some tips you can use to keep your hair and your blood pressure firmly in place along the way.
- Practice safety first.
Before hitting the road, make sure your car is ready for the trip. Here’s a list of things you should complete:
Check all fluids, such as engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant and transmission fluid.
- Check your battery.
- Check tire pressure, and be sure to make sure your tires have a good tread.
- Check your lights, all of them.
- Check wipers and washer fluid.
- Check to make sure any car seats are properly installed.
- Make sure the drivers are properly rested, and the children aren’t.
If you’re driving, you should always make sure to get plenty of rest before you pull out. In one year alone, the CDC estimated that 72,000 crashes were the result of drowsy driving, and they resulted in 800 fatalities. While you’re awake and fresh, you may want to time it so that your children are ready to sleep. In other words, consider sleeping in for a long morning, and then taking off when they’re ready to take their naps.
- Prepare some healthy, car-friendly meals and snacks.
Instead of opting for fast food, pack some meals and snacks that are car-friendly so you can keep on cruising. Consider a favorite such as a peanut butter and jelly or a turkey wrap, and add personalized sides that each child likes in small containers. Also, be sure to include healthy snacks including hummus and pretzels or some fresh food in a small cooler sack. And don’t forget the water, you’ll want to stay hydrated to avoid car sickness.
- Make their travel space cozy and personalized.
Take your child’s favorite blanket or special comfort item, so their space can be personal and comfortable. They’ll be happier and feel more at home with their own belongings.
- Take your time.
Nothing heightens tensions like having to rush to get somewhere, so allow yourself plenty of time to make pit stops. This is critical for adults, as blood clots can occur when you’re resting for too long in a car. Doctors recommend stretching every 20-30 minutes on the road.
- Get kids excited about where they’re going.
Consider some children’s books from the library about your destination, or some printouts that children can work on that gives them details about where they’re going. This helps to pass the time and keep them excited.
- Make individual travel bags.
Give each child their own special travel bag loaded with tons of age-appropriate car activities. Coloring pages, activity sheets, books, a travel journal, pipe cleaners, finger puppets, automobile games and a small puzzle. Use a shallow pan for tray tables.
- Allow for some screen time.
This is one time you’ll want to allow for some screen time. Let kids use an iPad or a car DVD system to watch videos of their choice, or better yet videos about your destination.
- Don’t leave home without it.
Don’t forget to pack some essentials for the car including baby wipes, pain reliever, a flashlight, a first aid kit, spare money, a roadside emergency kit, toilet paper and spare keys.
- Get along with your spouse.
Remember as frustrating as riding in the car can be, take this time to role model what a happy marriage looks like even if you’re feeling stressed.
Traveling in a car, you can make memories that last a lifetime or memories you’ll want to erase forever. And any good vacation should be about limited stress and maximum relaxation. Using these tips will help ensure you not only get to your destination but that you enjoy the ride.