Winter is the perfect time of year to cuddle under a blanket and watch movies at home. For many people though, it’s also the season when they need to travel to see loved ones around the holidays. We know that road trips with kids can drive you crazy, which is why we found some handy tips to give them an adventure while protecting your sanity.
Though we recommend that you plan for stops, you also need to know that an emergency can pop up at any moment, especially with kids in the car. When you plan your route, mark some stops that offer fun for the whole family. You might stop off at a roadside attraction or a museum with exhibits for children. Look for other places where you can use the restroom and grab some snacks.
Don’t forget to plan a pleasant break with a drive-thru car wash at one of our convenient locations, too. The little ones will love seeing everything we do to get your ride sparkling clean in under three minutes.
You can do a lot to prepare for the road, including inspecting your vehicle and verifying that you have all the essential emergency supplies. Make sure your GPS works, and grab a map in case you find yourself in a dead spot for cell reception. Confirm that you have insurance cards for every member of your family as well as your vehicle. You may also want to pack some snacks and cold drinks in a cooler.
Small children have short attention spans, but you can plan for this. Ask your kids to pack their favorite books and toys or games that are appropriate for a road trip. It’s helpful to limit how much they can take, especially if you have a full vehicle or a small one. Let them each pick one or two things, and swap them out every time you stop to keep them from feeling bored.
If you have small kids who hate changes to their schedules, consider traveling outside of normal hours. No one says you have to drive in the middle of the day. Think about leaving before dawn when the kids are asleep and taking your first break when they wake up. Or you might prefer driving at night.
The right soundtrack sets the mood for your whole trip. Choose a combination of songs you love and songs they love. Look for songs from Rafi and The Wiggles or other bands that make music for kids. If you worry that their music will drive you crazy, set up headphones. The kids can listen to their tunes on tablets or music players while you enjoy the radio.
Traveling with kids requires knowing your limits. If the youngsters keep fighting in the backseat and you have a pounding headache, take a break. Even if you’re hours away from your next planned stop, pull over and let everyone out of the car. Just a five-minute break might be long enough to help everyone recover and get along until your next stop.
Part of inspecting your car for a future road trip is ducking into the best car wash to get your vehicle clean. At Quick Quack, we’ll help you start your trip off on the right (webbed) foot.