Road Trip with kids can be heaven or hell, and often it’s a combination of bad luck and badly planning that can make your trip an unforgettable nightmare. Luckily it can be quite easy to prevent at least some of the mistakes:
Never ever be in such a rush that your family (especially kids) eats in the car; ketchup or hamburger all over your kids (or car), parent 2 trying to help from the front seat while parent 1 struggle to keep the car on the highway in 140 km an hour is just not fun. Same for juice and anything drinkable from huge cups, they can also make a lot of trouble.
First aid for hungry and thirsty kids, bottles with small openings, and something dry biskets anti-crumbs food (if it exists?) think grumpy kids, low blood sugar and stuck in the rush for some hours with no place to stop for a short break.
Rest stops are both effective and boring. When you can plan your day try to find a POI that interest you, a small city, a castle, an anything will do. If they don’t sell food there always bring a 12V cooler with some water, a simple lunch and maybe coffee on a thermos? Stay away from junk food, I’m a junk food and street food enthusiast. While on a car trip for weeks chances are you get a junk food-overdose.
By the way, my GPS always say the quickest way is straight trough and not around big cities, while my experience says the opposite, rush hour, detours (ends up with sighting in places you really don’t wont to be), and roadworks, or just unexplainably long ques. Almost always make the city trip much longer than the GPS say it will. Drive around if you can, but sure, sometimes you just can’t.
Rule of thumb: If you feel like a nomad you are doing it wrong.
And how are the kids in the car? Kids nowadays love gaming, buy some new games for the Nintendo Switch, the Ipad or the Nintendo DS and problem saved, my kids, didn’t even wanted to go out of the car when we park outside the hotel for the evening.
But hey they can’t play all day long! Well, technical they can, but you understand what I mean. If you need alternatives: Audiobook for the family, read for them (if you don’t get carsick by reading). Cardgame, ok, I understand how stupid that sound in the car, but hey give it a try. Quiss or any other game with questions and answers.
While pack your car don’t put heavy stuff at the top, ok ok I know you already know this. But you don’t want your warning triangle under all your belonging, empty all your stuff on the highway to get it doesn’t sound safe at all.
Ok, you take the car, you do not need to think of any 15 kg limit like on the stupid plane, so you can pack down all you ever want and all you ever need right? Not if you like shopping! Please don’t pack 3 pairs of shoes if you like to buy shoes. In a city it can be hard to find the right kind of shops, on a car vacation chances are you pas shopping malls, markets, clusters of big warehouse like IKEA and Bauhose, and small villages. To be honestly, driving a car is a more effective shopping than walk in London main street… Unless you drive trough Sibir or other remote areas.
I won’t say its a dilemma for all couples, but if it was one thing I couldn’t agree with my wife, it had to be this one: One of us like to fill each bag and suitcase to the Max, making it easy to pack the car and still have some small space left for humans. The other one like to fill our bags with what they were meant for and nothing more. Making it easy to find what you need in the hotel, and make the packing in the car an impossible puzzle. No matter what you like, remember to have some free sight for the middle mirror when driving on the Highway.
When sleeping in a new hotel everyday pack one bag with all your family need for 2 – 3 days, this way you don’t need to carry in and open every bag every day
Remember when you leave your fully loaded car chances are high its stuffed with more goods than your insurance will cover. Empty the car for the most expensive things even when you stop for a short lunch and hide all your bags and suitcases when left in the car. Also, remember how hot the car will get in the sun.
Remember, if someone passes you on the right side you have lost! (left side for English drivers), then you are a lazy slow driver and should for the rest of the vacation return to the right lane and stay there, for the rest of the summer.