5 tips for road travel with kids

Road trips with the family have to be one of the most fun childhood memories I have. I have memories of leaving before the sun came up, to beat the traffic and the antics me and my siblings would get up to on the way. We would stay in Caravan parks, cabins and do some pretty basic camping, with no floor tents, dig your own hole for the bathroom, a lot of canned food and potatoes cooked in foil on the fire. I loved it and most of all the more relaxed versions of my parents.

Now as a mum road trips are something we do often, particularly when we can get a bigger holiday in. From a short weekend of camping or motels stay, its just the escape from reality we enjoy and the where to next?

There are so many options for roads trips, weather your packing your own tent, driving to a motel or hiring a campervan. Which ever or whatever it is your choosing you may want to take the following into consideration when you are travelling with your kids.

1. Pack entertainment for the car

Australia is a huge country and you’ll find that in some places it’s a couple of hours between stops. The last thing we want is the kids getting bored and giving the “are we there yet?”. Be prepared and pack in car games, Ipads or movies, books, whatever it is that works for your little people. Make sure you have a selection in easy reach.

2. Pack a lunch box for each child

Again long trips and hungry little tummies are not a fun combination, pack a school box lunch so kids have a choice to choose from. I even like to sometimes pop nuggets into a thermo to change it up. This will also save you on fast food stops, you can even consider packing a picnic lunch in and esky for halfway to break up the journey and allow the kids to stretch their legs.

3. Plan your travel days

This can depend on what kind of road trip you’re doing and the distance you need to travel. Also how much packing and setting up you have to do. There are some great apps and websites that can help you work out point to point travel times. So you can know the distance and how long it is straight through and then to take into account a stop and stretch. The worst thing when you have an amount of set up to do, in particular camping is having to do so in the dark. You also want to avoid driving in the evening or on dusk on many of our roads as you don’t want a Kangaroo imprinting itself on your dash!

4. Pack an Emergency First aid kit

There is a range of options for you around and I do personally think the St Johns or Red Cross options are pretty good. Some things to keep in mind here in Australia are we have a lot of venomous creatures. Try to include snake bite bandages. Also depending on your kit you buy you may want to consider adding an Epi-pen ( you may not think you need it, but out on the road we don’t know what our kids may run into and turn out to have an allergic reaction to.), stop itch cream, butterfly bandaids for cuts that may require stitches, Saline and or Betadine, a good set of tweezers, cold packs and stingos and insect repellent. Whichever kit you decide on be sure to also restock your kit before every new holiday, or if using while traveling as required. I always keep one in my car year round for those just incase times.

5. Safety

For any traveler and in particular those traveling alone with kids. Trust your gut when choosing your accommodation. If it feels unsuitable just move along to the next destination. Try the best you can to have an outline of your planned trip and leave it with someone. If you can perhaps message when you’re leaving and when you arrive places. Roadside assistance is a good option on our open roads to have and make sure you check your cover will be available in your area of travel. Depending on how remote you plan on going as well you can also consider some other safety travel devices such as a beacon or satellite phone. Oh and don’t forget to check your fuel! There are also some really good apps that can help you decide if its time to grab extra now. Lastly your kids are in an unfamiliar place, I always take a walk around with my kids show them where they can and cant be, how to get back to our spot if they are lost and anything else that may be of importance. Ie. if you’re in the bush, things they need to be mindful of such as snakes and what to do if they see one.

Do you have any extra tips or ideas for road trips with kids? we’d love to here them, pop yours into the comments below.

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