There’s nothing more stressful than taking a road trip with kids. You never know what’s going to happen. Car trouble, illness, arguing and the dreaded question, “Are we there yet?”. There are many ways to pass the time and make the ride more pleasant, but what’s most important is getting everyone there safe. Here are some tips to help you survive your holiday road trip with kids.
If you’re traveling through multiple states, you should know that child safety seat laws differ by state. Most states also have seat belt laws. Before you hit the road, check out the following websites for information to help keep your family safe and content.
Keep your family safe
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS HLDI): features an interactive map that shows child safety seat laws by state
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): tips on selecting car seats and booster seats
- Safe Ride 4 Kids: Road Safety 101: How to stay safe when traveling with your family
- Prepare your car for the trip: read our recent post on preparing your car for holiday travel
Prepare the car for fun
- Clean out your car to make room for road trip items
- Pack tissues and cleaning wipes (for the car and the kids)
- A change of clothes
- For families that allow kids to use electronic devices:
- Charge all devices
- Store charging cords and backup power sources in an easy-to-reach location in your car
- Make sure ear buds and headsets are in the car and within reach
- If your kids require a car seat or booster seat, make sure they are properly fastened
- Make a list of “car games” to play (Parents® has great ideas in their article “12 Fun Car Game Ideas”)
- Don’t forget comfort items – blankies, pillows, stuffed animals, pillows
- Bring lots of snacks and water
Snacking on a road trip can result in quite a big mess. Pack snacks that reduce the mess, such as dry cereal in sealed, portioned containers. Stick to water and save milk and juice for breaks.
Map out a plan for taking breaks along the way. Knowing where rest stops, restaurants and coffee shops are located will save time and reduce stress.
Apps to download prior to your trip. iExit tells you what is ahead when driving down the interstate. Gasbuddy tells you where to find your perfect pitstop. Roadtrippers helps with discovery of amazing places and detours. Last but not least, tackle any outstanding car service items before you travel with Openbay. Openbay will connect you with local trustworthy shops to select from to schedule automotive services or in the event of a service need (or repair) while on the road.