"Road trip with children: guide"
Road trips are often an essential part of individual trips - whether directly from home when arriving by yourself, or on site to cover long stretches of a large region. Traveling by car has the advantage of being able to decide where to go and when to take breaks. You travel more slowly, but also more intensively. You can also have as much luggage and equipment with you as you want, or fit in the trunk ...
It is well known that both play an important role when traveling with children and, in contrast to a stressful flight or an inflexible cruise, having your own car offers some comfort. Driving with children can also be really exhausting - for the little ones and their parents. Boredom, sibling quarrels, unfulfilled urge to move, hunger, thirst and many other things quickly lead from a dream vacation with the whole family to stress.
That's why here are my 17 top tips for a relaxed road trip with children:
Road trip with children: choice of route
The more you know about the upcoming route in advance, the easier it is to plan the course of the trip and to be able to react in an emergency.
1) Cover relatively short sections - it is best not to spend more than 3 hours at a time in the car.
2) Allow enough time for breaks. To go to the bathroom. To stretch your legs. In order to finally no longer have to sit still. Even 10 minutes of playing tag can work wonders.
3) If it has to be a longer route, longer break stations should be researched in advance. Either an attraction close to the route, or a short walk in a scenic spot. One hour of exercise is often enough to endure a few more hours in the car.
4) The same applies to petrol stations and rest areas - include these in the travel route and combine them with stops.
5) For long journeys, make the trip as best as possible at bedtime.
Road trip with children: be sure to pack
A packing list is helpful for longer trips with your own car. The car should be loaded the day before the trip so that it can start immediately in the morning. If you arrive by plane and then take over a rental car, you should not leave the civilization of the city behind you immediately, but plan a day to be able to supplement the packing list in an emergency.
6) Pack enough drinks and keep them close at hand. In order not to have to constantly pause for a pause, drinking should be controlled. Use leak-proof bottles or cups!
7) Snacking in the car is a great distraction and saves time. Suitable snacks are sandwiches, cut vegetables, pretzel sticks, muesli bars, apple wedges or nuts.
8) Certain foods are natural helpers for nausea, for example peppermint drops, ginger ale, salty crackers or chewing gum.
9) Plastic bags should be on hand in case of an emergency ... especially when it comes to winding mountain passes through the Himalayas (or smaller mountains)!
10) A couple of cuddly pillows and blankets help to make it really cozy on the back seat.
11) Useful things - depending on the route, this could be a jacket and hat, sunscreen or bathing suit - it is best to store them separately from the rest of the luggage and within easy reach.
Road trip with children: for employment
“On the road” there is nothing worse for children than boredom. And nothing worse for parents than bored children. The following ideas can help.
12) If you don't have to concentrate on driving yourself, you can tell stories - maybe even with reference to the travel route or to travel itself?
13) Otherwise, use audio books or DVDs (and a portable DVD player). These, too, may well fit the theme of the trip.
14) Many popular games, such as Mensch ärgere dich nicht, are also available as a travel version with magnetic tokens. No parts are lost.
15) But other car games are also fun. For example, who will be the first to see 5 red cars?
16) A separate map with information about the travel route shows children where they are actually going and prevents the question "Are we there yet?"
17) Of course, older children notice a lot more of their surroundings. With a camera, video camera or tape recorder you can document the trip from your point of view.
A road trip with children may take more preparation than just getting in the car and driving, but it is by no means impossible. My team developed this travel route to Bhutan especially for family trips - it's a very relaxed journey through the Himalayas, with your own driver. We also have road trips through Patagonia, Peru, Bolivia or Tanzania, which we are happy to adapt for families! Do you feel like it?