Road tripping with kids
Twin toddlers and a long bumpy drive – Kate Wilson has the tricks to make it work.
We recently went on our first proper family holiday
, my twins are now 2 and 1/2 so it was a long overdue one.
For some bizarre reason I decided to choose the location of our family holiday 1500kms away. As we were going to the Transkei, where road quality is questionable, the only option was to do the trip over 2 days.
To make things even more complicated, my husband couldn’t join us on the drive until the second day due to a wedding we only found out about after our trip dates were finalised.
I needed a plan for my children’s entertainment
, safety and my sanity. Survive a long road trip with young children
What do you do with the kids on long drives? Got any brilliant tips?
- My main lifesaver was a portable DVD player. They are relatively cheap (you can’t put a price on your sanity). You can get them with one player and two screens if your kids are close in age and content watching the same stuff, or you can pay slightly more and get 2 separate players with screens.
- Snacks: there are surprisingly fewer petrol stations along the way than
I thought and unless you are near a major town, they aren’t always well
stocked. Pack a good snack box before
Use a cooler box so that you can keep everything cold. Try take a good
variety of as non messy, hand-held items. Take loads to drink- you and
the kids and easily gets dehydrated in the sun. I kept my cooler box on
the seat next to me so that I could grab things out of it and pass back
to the kids without taking my eyes off the road or hand of the wheel.
- Get the oil, water and tyre pressure checked out before you leave. If
your car is an older model it’s a good idea to have a mechanic check it
out before you go to make sure everything is in good working order. Get
a list of where service garages are along the way in case something
goes wrong and you need a mechanic.
- Take loads of toys and books with you, kids get bored quite easily and
you need to keep them entertained to keep the peace. CDs are also good
to get everyone signing along. You may look like a complete idiot to
passing cars, but it will make the time pass quicker.
- Stop regularly. It makes the trip a bit longer, but the kids really need a good run around to burn off excess energy.
- Remain calm. Even if the kids are screaming their heads off, it doesn’t
help to lose your cool, this will only distract you from your main task
of driving. Rather pull over if you can and calm the kids down before
carrying on with the drive.