As the last days of summer begin to dwindle away, families often look for ways to make lasting memories before venturing into an exciting new school year. When you’re looking for your perfect pre-back-to-school adventure, consider the classic road trip with your kiddos! As a true rite of passage with the foreseeable, “are we there yet?”, spending time as a family unit driving to your next big adventure is a great way to maximize family time and head somewhere new.
Some of the benefits of opting for a family road trip are the cost-effectiveness of driving to your destination rather than flying, as well as truly getting to pick your own adventure and venture into unexpected stops along the way. But how do you get the most out of your road trip when out on the road with little ones?
Here are 10 must-haves for your family-friendly journey!
- Traveling with children under 2? We can’t recommend night driving enough (if you are up for it!). Driving with little ones can be unexpected and spending nights driving to your destination gives your children a peaceful time to rest and you a pretty empty road sans traffic to coast along on.
- Are naps still a part of your daily routine with your babies and young toddlers? If your car does not have built-in window shades, we love these retractable suction cup ones for your car! Make naps in the car a bit easier by blocking out any harsh lights and giving your child a peaceful environment to snooze in while you travel to your next destination.
- Do your little ones struggle to entertain themselves or do you want to limit TV or IPad time in the car? You may consider having one adult in the back with your kiddos while the other drives. Reading and playing games with your little ones is a lot easier when you’re in the back with them rather than reaching around every few minutes to assist.
- Older children can be far more independent and better at entertaining themselves than little ones. We recommend creating an activity bag with all of your kids’ favorite things. Grab a few books, their IPad, coloring books and crayons, embroidery string, and more for endless car activities while on the road. Are your kids still interested in Rainbow Loom? If you said yes, you’re on the right track with creating your perfect activity box for the car!
- What would a road trip be without endless snacks and treats? Before packing up and heading out, make sure you pack enough of everyone’s favorite snacks to make for an easier trip and fewer stops along the way when hunger gets the best of your family. Give your kids the opportunity to have autonomy and include them in picking their own car refreshments and treats.
- While we can never plan for the unexpected bruises and bumps our children may acquire, we can be prepared for if they happen. Don’t leave home without a first aid kit in the car for your family. Make sure to have plenty of band-aids, alcohol wipes, thermometer, sunblock, and whatever other essentials you feel your family needs. You can never be too prepared for a sudden cough and runny nose, pack accordingly and find some great tips and tricks for creating your own First Aid kit for travel here!
- Let’s backtrack momentarily. How am I supposed to survive a road trip if my child is eating chips, and string cheese and empty mini Gatorade bottles are strewn across the car floor? You don’t need anything fancy but bring along a bag or two to collect trash as your children work through snacks and activities on your voyage. If you’ve ever saved bags from birthday gifts or you have plastic bags from grocery shopping you aren’t sure what to do with, this is a great way to reuse a forgotten item and keep your car as clean as possible while on long car rides with your family.
- We cannot stress enough this very simple but very essential must-have when road tripping with teenagers…Multiple and extra-long charging cords. That is all.
- Never underestimate the power of preparedness and if you can, invest in some sort of seat organizer or travel activity tray prior to your longer trips with your family. When you’re in a car with your family it can sometimes feel like you’re running out of space but having a plan and an organization aid can help make sure kids can easily find things like their water bottles, favorite crayons, headphones, or magnetic puzzles for the long road ahead.
- A great attitude! Going into a road trip with a positive outlook is easily the most overlooked but best tool you can have when deciding to take a family road trip. Be prepared to, “just go with it,” and treat every experience as a fun new opportunity to learn something new about your family, explore your travel route on the way to your destination, and make memories with your favorite people.
After your family road trip, get ready for the back-to-school season and reach out to the Nanny Authority to find your perfect afterschool nanny or tutor! We are here to assist with all of your back-to-school searches and answer any questions you may have about hiring someone for the new school year. Reach out to us today via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 973-466-2669.