Over the past couple of days we shared articles about visiting Osoyoos, highlighting things to do, as well as food and shelter options. In our first article we wrote, “It’s just four and a half hours from Vancouver by car, but it’s a world away.” However, we freely concede that ‘just’ four and a half hours can feel like a really long time when you’re trapped in the car with unhappy children. This is especially true on the return trip when everyone is really tired from all the fun you’ve been having. Today we’re coming to your rescue with four road trip tips for travelling with children.
Four Road Trip Tips for Travelling with Kids
1. Snacks, Snacks and More Snacks
A hungry kid is a cranky kid, as any mom can tell you. And on a road trip you can’t easily stop at the next exit for a quick bite, because the next exit may be two hours away. So number one on our list of road trip tips is to pack a lot of snacks and drinks in kid-friendly containers. This is the time to pull out some of those things snack foods that your kids always ask for but you normally don’t buy. Make sure you also have lots of wipes and napkins, as well as a place to keep the garbage. Let your little ones eat their way across BC and everyone will enjoy a better road trip.
2. Pull out the Electronics
Our kids don’t know how lucky they are. Back when we were kids we just had to stand still and stay quiet in long bank line-ups. Today when we need our kids to sit still for long stretches we have a bunch of electronic babysitters. Load up some kid-friendly new movies and games on your smart phone or tablet and let your kids entertain themselves on your road trip. You might want to limit screen time in your daily life, but a long drive in the car is a time to relax the rules.
3. Don’t be Afraid to Stop
It can be tempting to try to just power through the last 90 minutes of your drive, even if everyone is going a little stir crazy. After all, the end is in sight and you’re almost there! One of our road trip tips is not to succumb to this urge, and to allow yourself to make stops to stretch your legs. Letting everyone out of the car for just five or ten minutes can help work off some of the excess energy and restore feeling to your legs after sitting for hours. Once everyone is a little calmer you can get back in the car and enjoy a more pleasant final leg of your journey.
4. Time Your Journey to Coincide with Naps
For babies and toddlers, one of the most important road trip tips we can offer is to time your drive to coincide with nap time or quiet time. If your little one normally sleeps for a couple of hours every afternoon, you want those hours to overlap with your drive if at all possible. Some parents will even choose to leave right after dinner, so that their kids can sleep in the car. You might not arrive at your destination until midnight, but it will be quiet and peaceful while your little ones slumber. And just think of how excited they’ll be to wake up in their destination in the morning!
What about you – do you have any road trip tips to share for travelling with kids?
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.