Every year, roughly 68 percent of American families go on a road trip as it’s one of the best ways to travel while bonding with loved ones. Moreover, even young kids are joining in with the fun: 62 percent of Millennial parents are traveling with children under the age of 5. Spending time with your kids on a road trip can be a memorable experience, but it also presents a few challenges that can make you think twice about road tripping in the coming years. But with some planning and a few smart hacks, you can definitely have a great time with your baby or young children on a road trip. Here’s everything you need to know before embarking on your family adventure.
The Right Vehicle Matters
Whether you’re going on a road trip across America or just heading over to a neighboring state, the right vehicle matters if you’re road tripping with young family members. Certain car models and makes are better for long drives and some of them are more suitable for families with children, so bear these factors in mind when choosing a vehicle for your trip. Renting an RV is a feasible option, especially if you’re planning to camp, as it ensures a more comfortable camping experience for you and your little ones. However, if you’re looking to invest in a vehicle specifically for road tripping, then an SUV with lots of leg room, detachable seats and a roof rack ensures you’ve got plenty of space for everyone and their belongings. Look for built-in features such as GPS, a WiFi hotspot, and LCD or LED mini screens for movies, as these can all improve your road trip experience.
Preparation is Key
Everyone knows that traveling with a baby or a young child requires lots of preparation - and equipment. Weeks before your road trip, make a list of everything that your little one will need for your trip, and figure out how many diapers, cans of formula, or other things you need to bring. However, don’t go overboard as you can always buy some backups along the way. Having snacks, drinking water, medication, lots of baby wipes and an audio book or DVD within reach is also important to keep young children and babies happy and comfortable during your trip. Also, one of the most important items that you have to prepare on your trip is your child’s car seat. Remember that he or she will be spending a lot of time inside the car, so having a safe and comfy car seat is a must. Inspect your existing car seat for signs of wear and tear, and fix or replace it as needed.
Take Turns with Driving and Looking After the Kids
Couples who are road tripping with very young children should take turns driving and looking after the kids to minimize the risks of accidents. Plan on taking turns at the wheel every three hours or so, and stop at a safe place before changing places. If you’re driving alone, plan on taking a 15-minute break every two hours to ensure that you stay alert and to reduce the risks of falling asleep at the wheel. Better yet, get a friend or a family member to go with you and your child on your road trip - it’s safer and more fun for everyone that way.
Going on a road trip with young children can be one of the best things that you can do during the holidays. Try these tips to ensure a safe and comfortable road trip that will give you happy memories for years to come.