Time to Read: 2-3 min
Imagine it’s the night before your trip and you’re doing some last-minute acrobat-level moves you didn’t even know you could do to get everything done. Or imagine it’s the morning of departure and your child doesn’t know where they left their favourite toy. Maybe they even refuse to get in the car (I know would…never do that). To help make the trip enjoyable for all and avoid the all-too-familiar “Are we there yet?” consider our four tips to help before and during your family’s summer road trip.
First, and most important: don’t leave your child behind. I’m kidding, but it did happen in Home Alone. If you haven’t heard “Are we there yet?” within the first 30 minutes, turn back immediately.
#1: Make your checklist of items to bring well in advance
When you’re making your list a couple days before (or the night before – no judgement), you or your child may forget some essentials. For example, a medication that’s only taken weekly or your iPod that’s docked in your bedroom. By actively making notes the week or weeks prior, you can keep track of what’s truly essential. You can also use a sample checklist for travelling with the family to help you prepare.
#2: Make the best of the journey
Getting out of the car to stretch your legs and take a bathroom break are great, but if you have time, try to make your stops even more enjoyable. Plan to see if there are any nature trails, landmarks, or parks on the way. You could even stop for a family picnic and quick photo op. Smile! If your children are creators, bring along a small ‘memory box’ or travel journal so they can store their memories like shells and drawings. You can get customizable boxes at Dollarama, Michaels, and Wal-Mart. Follow us on Pinterest for you and your family to get some design inspiration for your memory
boxes. They’re super easy to make and only require a box and some crayons, wrapping paper, or construction paper at minimum!
#3: Smart coolers and snacks
Invest in a collapsible cooler like these ones on Amazon. You’ll have more wiggle room for all your belongings and they’re generally easier to carry. Skip the Ziploc bags of ice cubes and opt for filling up water bottles. Freeze a few of those instead to act as ice packs; zero mess and you’ll have water ready for later! Pack them full of great snacks too. Use cookie or sandwich cutters to make sandwiches and fruit into child-friendly shapes, or quickly make your own healthy granola bars at home like these ones.
#4: A sanity-saving travel activity
How do you keep your children busy on the road? Try filling a paper ‘travel goodie bag’ for your journey. Fill it with notepads, stickers, a small tin filled with Lego (to contain those pieces and protect your feet), puzzle cubes, and other sensory toys and activities your children would like. You can also opt to make a few small bags and assign specific times to open them. For example: “Open when we’re in a new province” or “Open when you’ve eaten your lunch.” These make the journey interactive for kids and keeps them from getting bored quickly as they can move onto their next activity or toy. Fill it with items you own and check out The Great Canadian Dollar Store, Dollarama, Giant Tiger, and Wal-Mart for easy cost-saving ideas.
Hope you have fun on your next summer journey! We do have a long weekend coming up for New Brunswick Day. Where will your family explore?
Enjoy the blog? Stop by again on August 15 and check out our next post on summer activities for every child’s personality. 😊
Photo Credits (in order of appearance): TripSavvy, Travellingwithkids, Project Nursery, Wee College Inc.