Mommy Wellness is brave enough to guarantee you that as a seasoned parent, most of you would have heard those words over and over again being uttered from the back seat, especially during long-distance road trips.
Little do they know that you are literally still only around the corner from home, with hundreds of kilometres ahead before reaching your destination!
Oh boy, it’s going to be a long, long trip!
Mommy Wellness has put together a few ‘road-tripping with kids’ ideas, hints and tips, in the hope that upon your return home, you will still have all your marbles intact.
START BY WRITING TO-DO LISTS (LOTS OF THEM)!
Besides sorting out your home, pet-sitters, paying monthly accounts, buying new clothing, Christmas shopping, continuing with everyday family life ……. oh gosh, the list just goes on and on, we are sure you get our drift when still having to prepare and pack for your long-awaited annual holiday.
Believe it or not, you are human and the only way you are going to cope is by writing everything down. Tried, tested and a winning recipe for many years!
Create separate lists for household, kids, car, family members, etc.
Always remember to add servicing, tyres, oil, water, etc. and getting the battery checked to your vehicle list.
Include on the kids’ list what you will need to pack for them and another list of gifts to be purchased and wrapped before leaving.
Remember to pack a torch, your medical card and have a little extra cash on hand for possible contingencies.
ALWAYS PLAN YOUR ROUTE BEFORE-HAND
Regardless of how many times you may have made the same trip before, always plan your route ahead of time. With today’s modern technology, it could save hours of traveling time by knowing the quickest routes, taking into consideration road works and possible traffic jams, particularly over the Festive period.
PACKING SNACKS IS NON-NEGOTIABLE
Regardless of how short the trip, it is amazing how suddenly the back-seat peanut gallery erupts the minute you think you are all strapped in, settled and ready to go.
Plan your snack pack so that there is something yummy for everyone. The strip packs of dried fruit, nuts, raisins, etc. are really handy for this purpose.
For longer trips, cut off the lid of a larger box and fill it with a variety of goodies. This allows for easy access, instead of rummaging around for whatever it is that someone is wanting, or more likely, for which they are screaming hysterically!
KEEP ESSENTIALS WITHIN EASY REACH
Handy ‘must-haves’ like sunscreen, drinking water, wet wipes, hand sanitizer and a change of clothing for younger kids should all be close at hand for those inevitable mishaps. It is also a good idea to establish toll road fees before leaving and have the correct amount of cash available, just in case the card machine at the toll road is not functioning.
PLAN PACKING SPACE CAREFULLY
When packing the car, remember that there will probably be gifts that need to be packed too. Allow enough space for these and hopefully even more for the return trip, as chances are that Granny, Aunty and Uncle So-and-So and all the cousins will be spoiling your family too. Your return trip is bound to require more space.
BUY A FEW INEXPENSIVE TOYS AND GAMES
Kids love new toys and games and although they are sure to receive many when visiting family at Christmas time, those will only help on the return trip. You still need to get there. Keep whatever surprises you buy until you hit the road.
This is also a great way of keeping kids occupied other than with mobile phones, tablets or other technology.
STOP REGULARLY FOR WEE-WEE BREAKS
We all want to get to where we are going as soon as possible. Long trips are tedious and although by stopping frequently it will take that little bit longer to get there, it is essential.
Stopping and getting out of the car restores concentration and allows everyone to stretch their legs. Encourage youngsters to use the loo to avoid having to stop too soon again, or having to clean and dry a little ‘slip-up’. (That’s the reason for the extra set of clothing).
TIME FOR ‘EYE SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE’!
Its that time of the year when roads become unavoidably congested. There is no point in becoming impatient, as the flow of traffic is certainly something beyond your control, regardless of the impatient drivers you are bound to encounter.
Prepare your younger passengers and maybe even your partner, that there will be traffic, delays will happen and the best and safest way of handling them is to wait your turn.
Use the time for a family sing-along or a game of ‘eye spy with my little eye’!
EASIER SAID THAN DONE BUT TOTALLY POSSIBLE
Road trips with kids can often be very stressful. It really is worth planning a stop-over for long-distance journeys. There is nothing more distracting than tired, bored kids screaming at the back of the car.
Plan the stop-over as part of the journey. Make it fun and the next morning you will once again be on your way, only now with a happy, content family and the prospects of a well-deserved restful holiday ahead.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ALL AT MOMMY WELLNESS