5 Road Trip Survival Ideas. There’s something about Spring Break and Easter weekend–which we’re currently facing–that makes you want to go somewhere, do something. In the Old Days, (before children) my sisters and I would pool our gas money, throw a box of Capn’ Crunch and case of Diet Coke in the car and be on our way. Having offspring changes the concept of Road Triiiip! dramatically. It all depends on how we prepare for the kids, doesn’t it? Will it be like the trip above, or the trip below?
So much depends on what nefarious plans we can create to keep the Littles happy on the road. Here’s some suggestions from Babycenter.com to keep you from sobbing and reaching for the Tylenol every 30 seconds.
5 Road Trip Survival Ideas:
1. Plan your travel time around your child’s sleep schedule
Schedule your departure to ensure your children catch some quality zz’s on the road.
If you leave a bit before lunchtime, you can let your kids eat in the car (it will keep them occupied and you can make it into a fun treat if this isn’t your usual m.o.). Then they’ll nod off in no time, and you can log some serious miles in peace. Try not to stop the car while your child is sleeping – it’s a surefire waker-upper.
2. Safety first
Before you hit the road, now or any other time, make sure your child’s car seat is properly secured – up to 70 percent of car seats aren’t installed correctly.
Pack plenty of water, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight in case you break down at night. Call to make sure your road assistance plan is up-to-date. And along with charging your phone beforehand, take along a phone charger for the car so your cell phone will be fully juiced in case of an emergency.
3. Pack strategically
Pack everything you want easy access to on the road separately so you’re not forced to dig around in your suitcase en route. Jackets and hats, for example, should be within easy reach. And keep basic supplies such as sunscreen and mosquito repellent in a separate bag so you can take advantage of opportunities for outdoor fun along the way.
4. Food, glorious food
Snack attack To avoid getting stuck at a restaurant longer than you’d like, keep drinks and snacks on hand. Favorite treats that travel well: string cheese, rice cakes, pretzels, bagels, sandwiches, apple slices, bananas, granola bars, cookies, raisins, cereal-Os, and puffed corn snacks.
What doesn’t work: most fruit (too messy for younger kids), yogurt (ditto, plus you need a spoon), and juice boxes (one squeeze and they spill all over the car seat – take spill-proof sippy cups instead).
5. Prevent backseat meltdowns
If you dread road trips because you spend the bulk of your time trying to calm a fussy baby or keeping siblings from clobbering one another, try a few of these sanity-savers.
If you’re traveling with another adult and you have a baby on board, it helps if you sit next to him. Think about it – you’d get lonely back there by yourself, too. Riding in the backseat is an even better strategy with a toddler: You can keep him company, offer snacks, or even help with an activity such as a sticker book.
With older kids, your first line of defense is preventing sibling squabbles. Well-fed, well-rested children equipped with toys are less apt to fight with each other in the car.
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