A guide to happy road tripping with the kids
The car is packed to the brim, the tank is full of petrol, the kids are safely buckled in their carseats - you’re off… and then from the back, a little voice asks, “are we there yet?” It’s certainly going to be a long drive if that’s how you are starting! If you are taking a road trip holiday with the kids, the best thing you can do is set yourself up for success or you risk hours of back seat complaints! So before you start the engine, make sure you have everything prepared for the drive - you will be thanking us when you get there!
Do you remember the days when we would go road tripping in cars with no air-conditioning? Thankfully cars these days are much better equipped for the heat… but there are still some things you should do to prepare to stay cool on a long drive. The first is ensuring you have the right carseat for your little ones. All Maxi-Cosi baby seats have ‘Cool Baby’ wicking fabric which draws moisture away from your baby’s skin. The fabric allows air to flow in and keep your baby cool and comfortable. Babies and young children can overheat much more easily than adults to keeping them cool in their carseat is essential. Also, pack plenty of water in the car - be prepared for extra toilet stops! - and a cooler bag with chilled snacks for when you stop along the way. Snacks are an essential part of any road trip. You might also want to pop sunscreen on the kids, or pop a window shade on their window, especially if you will be travelling in the middle of the day! It won’t keep them cooler, but it will protect them from the harsh rays of the sun.
Plan your journey
Gone are the days when you could jump in the car and drive, stopping whenever you found an interesting place to visit. Now you need to stop for feeds, toilet breaks and snack breaks. When you are planning your road trip, make sure you familiarise yourself with the route you are taking and possible stops along the way. This way, when the kids need to go to the toilet or the baby starts crying and needs a feed, you won’t have to think about where you can stop. If you can mark out a few different places along the way that are potential pit stops you’ll be a step ahead of the game. The other thing to consider when planning a road trip with the kids is the time of day you will travel. If your little one will sleep in their baby carseat, plan your trip around their sleep time to make the most of the quiet time. The last thing you want to be doing is setting off on a journey with a cranky baby who is only going to get crankier on the journey.
Road trips are an opportunity for fun and to create family memories. If you plan them the right way, you will be talking about your adventures as a family for many years to come. Depending on the age of your kids, there is any number of games you can play. Here are a few ideas to get you started: I spy - for younger kids who can’t yet spell, try spotting things of a certain colour instead of starting with a certain letter (e.g. I spy with my little eye something green…) Pit stop scavenger hunt - if you are going on a long road trip where you will have a large number of stops, prepare a scavenger hunt of things the kids need to collect on the journey. Alternatively, the scavenger hunt could be a list of things you mark off while you are driving. Tell a story, one word at a time - this one is simple, one person starts a story with one word and you all take it in turns to add a word to the story. The quiet game - this is one for when the adults need a few moments of peace and quiet! Challenge the kids to see who can be the quietest for the longest. It’s surprisingly effective. The car is a great place to get to know each other better by playing a game like ‘hot seat. Each person takes turns to be in the hot seat while the other passengers can ask them questions. It’s amazing what your kids will tell you in the confines of the car! The other thing you can do for a road trip is to pack a busy bag with activities for your kids. Inside your busy bag, you could include colouring-in books and pencils, travel games, toys or whatever you think will entertain your kids for the duration of the trip. Be sure to pack replenishments in your suitcase so the kids have something new for the return trip home.
Half of all carseats are installed incorrectly meaning that they won’t perform effectively in the case of an accident… so before you head off on your road trip, check that your baby seats are installed correctly. It’s also worth checking your tyres and ensuring your car servicing is up to date. Whatever time you decide to drive, ensure you are well rested - easier said than done when you have young kids - and that you make plenty of rest stops to stretch your legs… not that this will be a problem with kids in the car! Wherever you are travelling, Maxi-Cosi is the safest option for your little ones. Maxi-Cosi carseats have Air Protect Superior Side Impact Protection. Air Protect technology was designed to shield your child’s head from side impact forces through the precise release of air. Side impact crashes are particularly dangerous for babies and kids so having Air Protect gives you peace of mind that your little ones are in safe hands while you are on the road.