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Things I know for sure about road trips with kids

We have been driving to Cape Town for about 4 years now. We have done stopped over and we have driven through but for us, driving straight through just works better. It is one day, we push through and then it’s done. The younger two are still too young to appreciate stopping and exploring the towns along the way and I am not sure the older two are interested, so it just makes more sense to do it like this. It does, however, mean we are in the car for 15+ hours. Each year we learn from the previous year and I think we have almost got it down now and the kids are getting older so it is becoming easier.

We know this for sure about road tripping with kids.

  • Be prepared! Each year we learn what we need more of and what we need less of but you need to plan for any eventuality with the kids. Projectile vomiting, melted chocolate, starving kids, wee’s, bored kids, tantrums, whiney kids. If you prepare for them, dealing with them is easier.
  • I-Spy through the Karoo can get very interesting and should be renamed “I-Imagine-I-Can-Spy”.
  • Pack what your kids will eat not what Pinterest tells you they will eat. Last year I pack the cutest little boxes for them, they ate 50% of the stuff. This year I took 1/4 of the stuff but stuff I knew they would eat, the only thing left was a roll.Road Trip|HarassedMom
  • Someone will vomit all over or wee in their car seat. (But this may just be unique to my family).
  • Download some audio stories. David had this card up his sleeve and it worked so well, it actually put Emma to sleep. They also aren’t like nursery rhymes that make you want to drive off the side of the mountain.
  • Putting the toddler right at the back of the mini bus where you can’t really hear her, may save everyone’s sanity so try it if you have a big car.Road Trip|HarassedMom
  • If the kids are asleep, don’t stop. Obviously if your driver needs a break then stop but if possible drive as much as you can while the kids are still calm or sleeping. 
  • Even if you pack in the entire PnP, some 5 year old (and the teen) will ask for the ONE thing you didn’t bring.
  • Get one of these trays for your kids. They make a huge difference, they can colour in nicely, build lego or read on them. 
  • Keep a pack or 3 of wet wipes where you can grab them easily. 
  • There will also was a douche bag or 3 on the road. The one who overtakes 6 cars at once or speeds – ignore him, do not give in to the temptation to try take him on, it may cost you your life.Road Trip|HarassedMom
  • Keep your kids BUCKLED UP! They will probably moan, they may even cry and scream and throw stuff at you but at least they will arrive with you to enjoy your holiday. Stop often if you must but DO NOT let your kids jump around the car.

Travelling with kids is always a little challenging, the key, I believe is being prepared. Even if it means an extra bag or two, if it saves your sanity it is worth it.

Have you done a long road trip with your kids?

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  1. 19 December, 2016 / 6:46 am

    Valuable tips! This month will be our third trip long distance with the baby. She was a non-moving baby at the previous times, so this one might be a challenge – she is learning to walk. I will definitely check out your must have TRAYS, sounds like a good idea.
    We driving from Joburg to Port Nolloth.

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