Most adults enjoy long-haul driving trips to quite an extent, especially when they have the chance to drive straight up the highway with nothing but nature and good scenery surrounding them. However, if you are a family man with children to look after then this can possibly be one tiring journey and cause you quite a bit of stress regarding their safety and wellbeing and how well you can drive kids in the back seat.
In order to help you ensure a safe and stress-free journey with your little ones, we at CarDekho have decided to bring you a few tips on how to prepare for a long road trip with your children.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Your road trip's success is directly linked to how well you plan the trip. And packing is one of the most essential objectives of a well planned trip. Here are a few important things that you will need in order to ensure a successful road trip with your children.
Remember to have a child friendly first-aid kit with you at all times. Children by their very nature are accident-prone. Remembering to pack a first-aid kit will be good foresight in case of any accidental injuries to you or your child.
Child Restraint Seats
If your child is under 3 years of age then it is wise to bring a child restraint seat with you. Also it is better to install this seat at the back rather than in the front of the car. For children above 3 years of age a child seat may be used in the front.
Whenever possible always try to pair an adult with a child. This will be of help during emergencies when you need someone next to the child to take care of him/her.
In cases where the children are still too young to eat solid food, remember to pack their food and drinks separately. If you are in the habit of giving formula milk to your child, include that as well. You may or may not be able to buy your preferred product on the road trip.
Child Lock System
Always remember to make use of the Child Lock feature in your car when travelling with kids. By their very nature kids are curious about things and will possibly pull or push your car's door handle while the vehicle is moving. This could prove disastrous to your trip. Also engage the Window Lock feature as an added precaution if your vehicle comes with it.
Do Not Let Them Distract You
Every parent loves his/her children. However there is a limit to the amount of affection you must show in the case of a road-trip. Kids will always ask you to let them sit on your lap in the driver’s seat or to let them honk the horn. Be firm about refusing to let them have their way with such requests. The driver’s seat is no palace for a child and should not be taken lightly.
During the Trip
Although a long road trip with children in the car is not anyone's idea of the perfect trip, it does not necessarily have to be a hard one. The foremost thing that must be kept in mind while travelling with children is that they do not have the patience of adults nor the temperament. When dealing with children on long road trips remember that distraction is the best solution to a incident-free and fun road trip.
Playing some road games or board game is an excellent way to distract the children and make sure they do not disturb you while you drive. Games like Snake & Ladder, Scrabble, Puzzle games, Colouring games, etc. are quite suitable to be played in the back of the car. This will keep the little ones busy while the adults enjoy the passing scenery.
Always remember to give the children a break every so often. Little feet need to move a lot and cannot stand being cramped up the way adults can for long periods of time. So try to have as many rest stops as required for the children to avoid irritation and tantrums. Also try to coordinate bathroom breaks as there is nothing worse than a child who has to relive himself in a moving vehicle during a trip.
If you plan on stopping at an area for activities, also employ the buddy system with the children. An adult should always partner with a child no matter where they are going. It also helps to bring the children's identification in case of any incident. It is always better to have your child's identification at hand and not need it, rather than not have it and need it!
Photography By – Sitaram Swami