Tips for Touring with Kids
Here is a list of my top 10 driving tips for taking your family and kids on a long road trip in the car such as activities, research, food and sleep.
TOP 10 TIPS FOR TOURING WITH KIDS
1. Map – I love having a paper map to roll out on the table to mark where we will go or places we have visited. On big trips, I print and laminate A3 maps so the kids can use marker pens to plot where they have been and where they are going.
2. Planning – Half the fun is working out where to go and what to do and we look in books and on the Internet. I involve the kids in the planning process and they choose a special activity or place to go and we all do it together.
3. Activities – Books, drawing, a tub of lego, talking books and a spot of eye-spy work well for a few of hours but when we spend all day traveling in the car, I resort to screen time. Electronic devices are always left in the car, as there are plenty of things to do once they get there.
4. Research – If it’s my first time to a particular place, I work out where we can stay, what to do, where we can access shops, get water and I call the local tourism authority. They know what’s happening in the area, best places to visit, stay and if you need to book ahead for particular events.
5. Organised but flexible – I like to have a plan in place however I also keep it flexible. You may like one place more than another and want to stay longer and it is good to have a couple of ‘free days’ to be spontaneous.
6. Food – Take plenty of snacks and food for the trip. It is easier and quicker to feed kids on the go and a great way to fill in time as well as being cheaper and often healthier than buying on the road.
7. Rest stops – Work out where you are driving and if there are any towns where you can take a break. Playgrounds are a great place to stop as they generally have toilets and tables where you can have morning tea or lunch and let the kids run around while you rest from driving.
8. Roadhouses – Depending where you are going, find out where you can refuel and what the opening hours are. You don’t want to be camping on the side of the road until they open Monday morning. They can also be an easy place to stop for dinner and to restock basic supplies.
9. Sleep – If your child is young, aim to be in the car when they need a sleep. Take small travel pillows and a blanket if you are planning on traveling in the evening. I pack the kid’s pj’s and put them on after their dinner so they can have a sleep in the car and are ready to put straight into bed when we arrive.
10. Safety – Ensure your car is serviced, full of fuel and let someone know where you are headed and give them your trip itinerary. Check if there is mobile reception and if not, find out where you can get service and the location of the nearest hospital. Keep your first aid kit easy to reach and if you are going remote, consider a satellite phone or other communication strategies.