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Surviving Your First Family Road Trip with Young Kids and Pets in Tow

Road trips are a family favorite. It’s a convenient and affordable way to explore the country and create memories together. If you believe your kids are old enough to hit the road, you’re probably anxious to get packed and venture on. However, if you want to maintain your sanity during the drive, it’s important that you’re prepared. This is especially true if you have younger children or pets in tow.

Surviving Your First Family Road Trip with Young Kids and Pets in Tow

To ensure your first family road trip goes off without a hitch, keep these important planning tips in mind:

Choose a Comfy Car

Whether you’re taking your own vehicle or renting one, make sure that the ride you choose is comfortable. Kids in a cramped car is a disaster waiting to happen. It should have enough space for all your luggage and plenty of seating for the kids.

Keep Distance in Mind When Choosing a Destination

There are so many cool spots to see in the country that you can really get wrapped up in choosing the right destination. While you should certainly choose an affordable and fun place to visit during your first family road trip, you also want to keep distance in mind. Going too far away your first time could cause more chaos than it’s worth. If you’re traveling with toddlers, newborns, or dogs, they’re not going to want to sit still for longer than a few hours.

Plan for Frequent Breaks

Whether you’ve decided to travel an hour out of town or more you will need to pull over and take a few breaks. Kids do not have much patience and often have needs that can’t wait. From getting them something to eat to using the restroom and stretching their legs, you should select places along your route that can pacify these needs and give everyone a break when it’s necessary.

Pack a Variety of Entertainment

Kids do not have very good attention spans either. So, packing one book or one of their favorite toys for a road trip isn’t going to cut it. Make sure you have several options to keep them busy. This can include toys and books, but you might also include things like mobile devices for watching movies and playing games.

Keep Essentials Close

When packing for your family road trip you want to make sure that you have a bag with essentials in it nearby. This prevents the need to pull over and rummage through your bags. For infants and toddlers make sure you have plenty of bottles, cups, juice, formula, and snacks prepared for them in a bag. For your pets, bring along a toy, a water bottle, food, and medications whether it’s for skin conditions in dogs, pain relief, or allergies, just be sure to have it on hand. You might also want to keep a first aid kit close by just in case someone gets hurt.

Steer Clear of Sugary Treats
Most parents know that they’ll need to pack some food and snacks for the road trip to keep hungry kids from getting out of hand. However, packing a bunch of junk and sugary treats can actually amplify the problem. Kids on a sugar high contained in a car are likely to become anxious, cranky, and disruptive. So, it is best to pack healthy meals and snacks for them to eat on the ride. Raw fruit and veggies make great snacks while deli sandwiches are quick but healthy meal options to keep those tummies satisfied.

Buckle Up for Safety

Practicing safe driving when on the road for hours with kids is extremely important. Beyond making sure that your car is safe for the journey, you also want to ensure the kids are secured. Be sure to install child safety seats in the vehicles to keep your kids safe and in their seats. You may also want to purchase a pet seat belt for your dog so they’re not roaming around the car causing a distraction.

Road trips really can be a lot of fun for families as long as you are properly prepared. While you may be able to pacify your own needs with simple solutions, kids who are hungry, bored, or uncomfortable will make the trip feel that much longer. Do everyone a favor and make sure you’ve gotten all the above-mentioned steps taken care of so that you can enjoy a stress-free ride with the ones you love.

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