While most advice you’ve probably either read before or seems just darn obvious - it certainly doesn’t hurt to be reminded. We’ve compiled this list from some experienced Mother’s and Father’s among us who have discovered firsthand how much easier your trip can be (on you and the kids) when keeping these below things in mind:
1. Establish Your Routine Early
Fabienne Wintle from This is Our Australia suggests syncing your children to a routine as early as possible. If you are planning on being in the caravan for a while, the children must not get into a ‘holiday’ routine. She uses the birds as a guide and includes her children in this process. They now know that it’s sleep time when the birds sleep and when the birds sing, it’s time to wake up.
2. Play time is important to maintain
Steve Baille from Expedition Australia urges the importance of play time. It is vital the children aren’t stuck driving all day every day and that play time is seen as a priority while you’re on your trip. If the children aren’t happy they will drive you crazy.
3. Keep the kids involved with decisions
Get your kids as excited about the trip as you are. That means they must feel like they are involved with the trips plans. Let them research and pick a few places to stop, give them a chance to take photos, let them to collect things along the way and keep them included in any changes of plans. Debbie Saunders from Adventurous Women even suggests encouraging your children to keep a travel journal so they are consciously thinking about what the trip means to them.
4. Pack enough snacks for the road trips
Ensuring there is enough for you and the kids to munch on while you’re driving is vital. Not long after pulling out of the driveway someone will claim they are hungry. Caz Makepeace from Ytravel suggests that each child should be given their own lunch box filled with snacks. This will show them how much food they have and it is their responsibility to make it last. Of course you will have some reserves for them if they do gobble it all down, but it gives them control of their eating and teaches them the importance of spreading the rations. They will get better at it over time!
5. Bring Entertainment
While travelling on a road trip sounds like it will be filled with adventure and activities the actual driving part for kids can be an extremely tedious. Ensure you have plenty packed in the car ready to go and have a few games you can play up your sleeve that only require eager participants. Caravanning Australia recommends having a pre-loaded iPad with some movies on standby to give yourselves some quiet time as well as a few of their favourite toys.
6. Keep some familiarity for them
Adele from Caravanning with Kids recommends making sure you bring along their favourite quilt cover or a couple of their favourite toys along for the ride. Bringing some creature comforts wherever you go, will go a long way towards reducing your children’s home sickness. It can be rather unsettling for a child to leave home without all of their favourite things and while time flies for us adults, from the eyes of a child a couple of weeks can feel like an eternity. Bring with you some stuff to make them feel at home no matter where you are.