How to travel with kids: best travel tips for a family road trip28-01-2020
Travelling is good, but travelling with your family is better! What better way to fill up the family album and create beautiful memories than to go with your car and to discover the world as a family! It's a great opportunity to go on a very rewarding adventure for both parents and children.
However, it can be quite a challenge.
Even though a family road trip is undoubtedly a joyful event for everyone, it can quickly turn into a puzzle or even a nightmare without the minimum amount of organization. A good preparation is necessary, so that the whole family can enjoy the holidays as much as possible!
Here are our top 9 tips and tricks to help you and your family have a relaxed road trip with peace of mind!
1. Choose your destination carefully
Where to go? This is the first step in any vacation. It can be a little more complicated when it comes to organizing a family trip because you have to please everyone.
The most important thing is to choose a destination that suits your desires and needs as well as those of your children. So choose a destination where your toddlers will be able to experience something out of the ordinary for them and where they will have fun. Of course, when travelling by car, do not go too far as children do not like to sit still for too long. Travel a max of one or two countries.
Involve your children and let them participate in the preparation of the trip! Ask them what they would like to do, learn, discover or see on this trip. Show them pictures, photos or videos from several destinations and ask their opinion!
2. Safety and health: Find out what you might need
If your children have special medical or dietary needs, do some research and find out what you might really need. Ask your doctor for advice! He or she is in a good position to tell you what medications to pack if, for example, your kid is carsick a lot.
You should also find out about the safety accessories in your car, such as a car seat for your kids, and the rules the countries have about them which you are travelling through. Of course, do not forget to also bring high chairs, strollers, baby carriers (etc.) for when you reach your destination.
3. Organize and plan
Destination?...Checked! Now all that's left to do is organize everything. Make sure to have a kid friendly hotel or Airbnb, plan the fastest route to this destination and reserve your parking space in advance! A well-prepared trip will allow you to make the most of your family vacation.
4. Travel light!
Especially if you're going by car. You do not want to have your children stuck between the suitcases in the back seat! Only take what you need. Limit yourself to two or three changes of clothes per child in case of small accidents. That's more than enough. You're bound to find what you need on the spot.
Little advice: Don't be fooled by a "summer" destination where it's hot! Do not forget to always bring a sweater or two for your children, as you are not immune to temperature changes and the cool nights of some hot countries.
If you're a little lost on what to pack, don't panic! There are a multitude of lists to download from the internet which you can use as a guide.
5. Schedule your activities on the road in advance
On the road our children tend to get bored very quickly. It is therefore highly recommended to provide fun and amusing games to keep your children occupied! Ask your children for their opinion and bring only a few toys that they particularly like. If you're going by car, there are many games you can play to keep children (as parents) entertained on long road trips.
You could create a fun singalong playlist for the entire family which will be great for dull moments on the road.
Or how about a little reading? Gulli le Mag or Pomme d'Api, children's magazines, are also good ways to keep them occupied. You can also provide paper and pencils for drawing or colouring.
But there's nothing like a video to keep your child busy. If you have a tablet, cartoons and films will keep your children entertained. Don't hesitate to download fun children's games to your tablet or smartphone.
Remember that if your child is carsick, it is better not to read or play video games, but to play games where you look out of the window.
6. Bring some snacks!
"When do we eat?"... "I'm hungry!". You won't escape it! Especially on long trips. And as it is not always possible to stop on the way, don't forget to bring bottled water and snacks! A few candies will certainly please them as well. But be careful, always with moderation!
If your kid tends to be carsick easily, bring along a blend snack, such as crackers. These types of snacks will be less likely to upset the stomach. Feeding a child ginger or peppermint can help settle a stomach, but spicy foods can irritate them further.
7. Take regular breaks along the way
A long journey on the way to the holidays can be stressful for children but also for parents. Take regular breaks at resting areas to get some fresh air and stretch your legs a little bit. You can anticipate your stops by checking, depending on your route, which resting areas are available.
Of course, do not forget to bring games for the moments when you are stopping. If you bring along a football or some badminton rackets, your children will be able to play a lot and lose their energy so they will fall asleep easier in the car.
Or why not organise, or improvise a small picnic (if the weather is suitable) on the fresh grass?
8. Reward them
It's hard for a child to travel for a long time! So when they are calm and have behaved well, reward them! A little piece of advice: Pack small toys or figurines that you can give to your children as a reward for being good. This will certainly make them happy and encourage them to be a little more patient.
9. Take time to relax and enjoy the trip
Organizing a family trip can sometimes be a bit of a struggle. But we should not forget the pleasure of a family trip. You must keep in mind that you will never be able to plan everything down to the last detail. Leave a little room for the unexpected and spontaneity! Be flexible! Relax and enjoy your family trip! It's a chance to forget about the routine and create happy moments and unforgettable memories. Have a great family trip!
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