A family road trip is fun and adventurous but challenging, especially if you have children. Being on the road for a longer time with children requires adults to be prepared. You can endure possible misery that may strike once children get bored or uncomfortable. It’s also a way to create wonderful family memories that can make your children look forward to more family road trips.
Preparation, for one, entails being able to bring what the family needs for the trip. Here are some of the essentials you need to pack:
- Kid Essentials
Your essentials will differ from your kids’ because they may need more than you think, especially if it’ll be a long ride. For instance, you may need to pack extra clothes as they may sweat more or soil themselves. For toddlers or babies, you may have to bring a baby travel bag that contains the following:
- Nappy rash cream
- Formula and bottles
- Baby food
- Wet wipes
You also need to bring road trip entertainment for the kids. Being preoccupied throughout the drive keeps them from whining or being anxious. That’s because most kids get frustrated when confined to a car seat for days or hours. Most kids want the freedom to move around, so having activities inside the car can help prevent distress. Hence, bring some of the following:
- Gadgets where they can listen to podcasts or music or watch shows
- A favourite toy
- Magnetic board games
- Crayons, pens, pencils and other colouring materials
Keeping everyone’s tummy full is also essential to keep everyone happy. Pack some healthy snacks and drinks you can easily open and serve, including cereals, whole grain crackers, trail mix and fresh and dried fruit. You may also have to bring a cooler to keep easy-to-perish food, such as sandwiches, cheese sticks and hardboiled eggs.
These will save you from eating out and consuming unhealthy food throughout the trip. You can also use snacks as incentives for good behavior or treats to make kids behave. Snacks will also come in handy when there are no pit stops around.
- Car Essentials
You should also bring car essentials to have a smooth ride. This includes bringing car insurance, travel insurance and the like. Others would be car documents such as registration and license so that you won’t have any problem if stopped by road patrol officers.
Other necessities that should be in your car or glove compartment are the following:
- Emergency Car Kit: You never know when you need to conduct DIY repairs on your car, especially if roadside assistance is unavailable. You must have a screwdriver, small torch, spare bulbs, jumper leads and the like in your trunk.
- Scraper And De-Icer: If you’re traveling to a colder climate, you must be prepared to de-ice your car before setting off, as they may be prone to frost during stopovers.
- Car Phone Holder: This may seem insignificant, but when you’re using your phone to navigate the road, you’ll need a car phone holder.
- First-Aid Kit
Most importantly, you should have a handy first-aid kit. Although no one wants to have an accident along the way, it’s better to be prepared in such circumstances. This will allow you to care for your loved ones and prevent aggravating a wound or injury until you can find sufficient medical assistance.
A travel first-aid kit can vary, but you can have the basic ones that contain plasters, dressings and bandages. Your kit should contain the following medications as well:
- Antihistamine Cream: A rash, itchy bump or insect bite may be irritating, so it may be better to have creams to alleviate the pain or itchiness.
- Loperamide Tablets: Such medicines can help stop diarrhea for short periods.
- Pain Relief Medication: Ensure that you have such medicines as these can cure minor pain such as headaches.
- Sleeping Paraphernalia
You may also have to bring a neck pillow for everyone. When sleepy, heads can wobble, so you can keep everyone safe from bumping their heads by having neck pillows. In addition, bringing pillows or blankets can make kids more comfortable when napping. If anyone in the family prefers sleeping in the dark, you can bring some eye masks.
A family road trip may seem overwhelming initially because you may want to bring everything to keep everyone happy. However, you may only carry the essentials such as the ones mentioned above. You may also want to ask your kids what they want to bring so that they’ll feel more comfortable and at home the entire trip.
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