Mommy tips for a foolproof road trip

By Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason Philippine Daily Inquirer April 03,2019

I am a firm believer that traveling gives kids a wealth of learnings that is sometimes better than just sitting in a classroom. Traveling gives us firsthand experience of different cultures, food and a front seat to nature’s wonders.

But sometimes traveling with kids can become a nightmare; it can be discouraging for parents like me who still have three little ones. Road trips are a bit more challenging because of the prolonged seating and uncertainty of roads in the countryside.

Since summer is here, it’s the perfect time to go on a road trip, but for parents, preparation can spell the success or disaster for your vacation. We don’t want you to need a vacation after your family vacation.

Here are some tips that will help make road trips with kids foolproof.

1) Are we there yet? Kids have a short attention span, and they get bored quickly. What works for us is breaking our trip into 2-2.5 segments which allow the kids to stretch and have a break on the monotony of riding.

2) Prepare snacks that are easy to eat because if it spills, it will just add tension inside the cabin. Keep a trash container which you can throw away properly when you stop.

3) Set rules of the trip. What works for us is to discuss what they want to do during the trip and use it as a reward for good behavior. We also use a three-warning system which helps the kids realize, learn and give them a chance to adjust their actions.

4) If you know you have a long trip ahead of you, don’t eat anything exotic or feed your kids something they are not used to. This will lessen the chances of getting sick on the first part of the trip or on the road.

5) When nature calls, nature calls. Bring emergency supplies, like diapers or weewee bags. Adults can hold it to the next stop, while kids have less control.

6) Since you will be traveling long distance and on highways, use age-appropriate car seats so that your kids are safe no matter what. Bring some pillows and blankets to make it more comfortable

7) My kids have a schedule, so I make sure that I also pattern our trip segment to what is close to their routine; I usually time their nap hours on the longest part of the drive.

8) Make sure that your car is in good shape for the trip to save you the hassle of having to deal with a conked-up car. Preparation is key. Bringing spare parts will also save time in the event of a car breakdown.

9) Safety First. Don’t overload in baggage and/or people. Everyone should have their dedicated seat belts. If you overload with luggage, the car will burn more fuel or work harder, and the chances of it breaking down doubles.

10) Perhaps another important lesson is to teach your kids to lessen their carbon footprint. Simple actions like bringing your own water jug, not using plastic straws and learning to clean up after themselves is a great start. Showing the beauty of the Philippines to your kids will hopefully inspire them to become a responsible tourist.

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