Two years ago, we went to the Austrian Alps for a skiing trip. Well, we weren’t really skiing but the rest of our friends were. We really needed the fresh air and the vacation.
Our son was almost two years old and behaved really well to a 960 miles long distance trip by car. I know what you’re gonna say. No, we were not insane, we were brave enough to sit in a car for so many hours with a little kid. And, because we travel a lot, we have taken our son with us since he was a baby, just to make sure he gets used to traveling.
We were very lucky that our son slept a lot in the car, but when he didn’t, we were prepared to beat the boredom.
Let me tell you my secrets to survive a long distance trip with kids.
I like to prepare my son for any modifications in our routine. For this trip I prepared him every day for two weeks before.
Prepare your kids by telling them about the trip. Give them details on how long will it take to get there, what’s the distance, if you’ll make stops on the way and maybe even show them on a map where you’re going. Take the map in the car (or plain) and mark the cities you pass by. Make this occasion an educational experience.
Plan a few stops
Make a few stops on the way for eating, drinking and for using the restroom.
If the trip is very long, plan on spending the night at a hotel, and in the morning you can continue your trip. Otherwise, the fatigue will transform your tired kids into grumpy ones, and you don’t want that, do you?
Have snacks prepared
Be prepared with snacks, fruits, water and sandwiches in the car. Your kids will be either hungry or they’ll just want to chew something, so time will pass faster.
Beat the boredom
You have a lot of options to beat boredom. I was prepared with children’s books, toys, coloring books and the IPad. Also, a DVD Player where you can watch your kid’s favorite cartoons would be very helpful in the car.
We also used to sing children’s songs or listen to the radio clapping and dancing together with the toys. That was very funny.
One of our most used toys in the car was a magnetic drawing board. We were drawing and writing letter and numbers, erasing them and doing it all over again.
Prepare some clean-up supplies
It’s good that you have your clean-up supplies in a reachable spot. Use wipes to clean hands, disposable bags for garbage, a towel if your kid spills water and an extra set of clothes. I always have an extra t-shirt with me for my son because he’s sweating in the car seat. I change him before we get outside so he won’t get a cold.
First aid kit
The most important thing is to have a first aid prepared with you for any possible injuries.
I take my first aid kit with me everywhere. Even if I don’t travel too far from home. I have there band-aids, fever reducer, cough syrup, antidiarrheals and any other useful meds.
So, these are my tips for making it easier to travel long distance with kids.
What about you? Have you traveled with your kids? Do you have any other tips to share?