Your Survival Guide for Family Car Trips this Holy Week
This Holy Week, most families are driving off to their home provinces or to different vacation spots in the country. Nervous about the long drive with little passengers at the backseat? Not to worry, here are some top tips for a smooth and safe road trip.
Safety First! Make sure your car is in tip-top shape – engine, battery, brake fluid, oil, coolant, radiator, windshield wiper, tire pressure, spare tire, air-conditioning, child locks, seat belts. Get a tune-up before you are scheduled to go on your road trip.
Conduct a “Little Traveler's Safety Briefing” for your toddlers and preschoolers. Use Dora the Explorer's line on wearing seat belts: “So you can be safe!” - something they are sure to remember! Make it fun for your older kids by showing pictures of road signs and having them guess what they mean. Pack a First Aid Car Kit - barf bags, baby wipes, medicines for headache, dizziness or nausea. Chewing on mint flavored soft candy may alleviate motion sickness.
Food and Drinks
Bring ready-to-eat snacks like biscuits, cookies or sandwiches. Store them in sealed containers or resealable bags that will keep them fresh throughout the trip. Use spill-proof drinking bottles that will allow your kids to drink without getting their clothes drenched in water or worse, sticky juice.
Though seat belts may restrain movement, fidgety hands and feet may soon translate into ear-piercing bawls. After an hour or two of driving, give your kids some stretching time. Several gasoline stations along expressways have cafes and restaurants with an indoor playground for them to expend their pent up energy. It may add a few minutes to your travel time, but may save you from the unrelenting tantrums of a tired tot.
Rather than saying, “We'll be there soon,” explain the time it will take to get to your destination by showing your vehicle's digital clock and telling them what number to watch out for, or give them a map and point out where you are along the route to your vacation spot.
Take your kids' attention away from the long drive. Spot the letters of the alphabet on road signs, store signs, or on vehicles and be the first to complete the whole alphabet; play I-Spy; make a story chain; play a storytelling CD or a sing-along CD. Better yet, sing some of your favorite tunes a capella! Handy activity sets, board games, magnetic writing boards, picture books, or their favorite stuffed toys may make them feel more at ease about going to an unfamiliar place. You may also want to bring their security blanket (if they have one) and a fluffy pillow to rest their head on for a light snooze or just for a snuggle.
Drive safely and have roads of fun with the whole family!
More articles on road trips: Road Trip Checklist for your ToddlerFirst Long TripBaby's First Trip