Are we there yet? Driving on Car Trips with children and babies can test your patience level like almost nothing else. You’ve got crumbs and juice boxes all over the back seat, you can’t find the plug for the DVD player, and if you do one more diaper change in the trunk you will turn the car around and head home. (And it took an hour to pack the trunk). Breathe. Try to think of it as an experience. Here are the UrbanMommies tips..
1. Don’t rush. Plan your packing list and pack the car in a relaxed fashion. Make sure you have gas, oil, and windshield fluid. This will eliminate stress about the controllable things.
2. Get your technology together. Whatever you decide is permissible with your kid is your decision. But if you allow the DVD player, iTouch and Nintendo DS, make sure that you have all of the components, batteries, and have the right shows from iTunes loaded onto the devices.
3. Keep diapers, wipes, loveys, and a first aid kit in an easily accessible bag.
4. Snacks: Determine what will give them energy but make the least mess in your car. Candy will often create some bad behaviour, so you might want to try cheese or popcorn instead. Ensure that anything that can spoil be kept in a freezer bag, and remember that water is important.
5. Try to look at the drive as an opportunity rather than a necessary evil. Tell stories about the day they were born. Discuss what they did in school this week. Get to know them. Tell them about another country and different traditions practiced there. Tell them an easy version of a Shakespeare story and talk about the feelings of the characters afterwards.
6. Check out www.momsminivan.com
7. Wrap little dollar-store gifts for each child, and hand them out every hour.
8. Water. Crucial.
9. Don’t be afraid to stop at a rest area or playground and let them (and you) burn off some steam. Often, a 5 minute run will get you there faster and more safely than flying juice boxes and screaming in the car.
10. Sing every song you know.
Oh look. You’re there already.
Image: Range Rover