When we took our first road trip with a baby, we were a little nervous to begin with. How would we cope? Would she settle okay? Would we actually manage to see anything? In the end, our worries were pointless, because our trips was successful, after scouring our favourite travel blog sites for advice from other parents.
It really all comes down to being prepared and doing a spot of planning ahead of time. Anticipating issues before they arise is vital, and if you can do this, your travel adventure will be stress-free and a great experience for all involved.
Make sure you have everything you need
Sit down and write a list. What do you use on a daily basis? From this, what do you only use because it’s there, and what do you use because you literally need it? The things you really need, they need to come with you too. Then, start to think of scenarios. What if you lose your pacifier? In that case, you need a couple of spares. What if you run out of water for your bottle warmer? In that case, you need to pack a couple of extra bottles of water in the car. What if your child becomes a little feverish? Write a list of all the medications you might need, and make sure you put together a ‘just in case’ health box.
Plan regular stops
Road trips are fantastic fun, but they’re also very tiring; that is without a child! When you have a young one, it’s more important than ever before to make sure that you factor in regular stops. Plan your route and do your research into the hotels and guest houses along the way. Book them ahead of time, so that you’re not getting stressed every evening, trying to find somewhere to stay on the go. If you’re camping, again, make sure you book your spot. Also check how regularly you will be able to come across gas stations and small towns, and don’t plan a route that has a large distance of wilderness – just in case.
Think about comfort
A comfortable baby is a happy baby, and that goes for toddlers and young children too. There are some fantastic travel products on the market, and I found some great suggestions from my favourite blogging sites. Travel beds and travel cots are easy to carry in the car, and they fold up small and lightweight too. Do your research, and make sure you pack enough blankets and pillows, to make your car a comfortable haven.
Think about entertainment
It doesn’t matter how young your child is, entertainment and distraction is key! There are going to be times when your child gets a little bored, so having something on hand to distract and entertain is vital. Portable DVD players are ideal, and many loop onto the back of a seat headrest for ease of use. Alternatively, a fully charged tablet is a great idea, loaded up with games and films. Failing that, eye spy with older children is always a winner!
Get your child involved
If your child is old enough to understand what is happening, then letting them help you plan the things to see and do along the way is a great option, because it gets them involved.
Overall, we found our first road trip with a baby to be much less stressful than we anticipated, and traveling blogger sites are ideal for talking to other traveling families too. Or you can watch some videos. YouTube-blogger Mamasana is our fav.