If you have
a big family, you know that it's count-down time for preparing the
Christmas travel itinerary.
the family coming to your house this year or do you have to travel? Are you traveling
alone or with those wonderful, beautiful children that everyone cannot wait to
has opted for the "every other" option and this is our year to travel.
If the right precautions are made before hand, the "every other" refers
to years and not new gray hairs.
Here are some
helpful tips, advice and a checklist to make your trip this year
a fun and memorable one.
A very important
part of a road trip is making sure the vehicle is safe to drive.
Have the oil changed, the antifreeze checked, make sure the tires
(including the spare) are all in good condition. Also be mindful
of the forecast to prepare for any weather emergencies that may
lie ahead. Nothing puts a kink in your plans like breaking down
on the side of the road - while keeping kids amused at the same
Driving at night
is not appealing to some people, but if you have young children
this might be something to consider. Usually there is less traffic,
and there are automatically less stops and less bickering
since the children are more than likely going to be blessedly asleep!
gets in the car, pets and parents included, everyone should use the bathroom.
Once the car is loaded and the tires hit the pavement everyone is going to want
to get there, and fast. Never mind stopping to use the potty. For longer trips
some parents opt for travel potties to avoid emergency stops during the trip.
It is also important to check and double check your road trip supply bag, making
sure that there are enough healthy snacks for little travelers.
nutritious and minimally messy snacks
are sandwich sized zip lock plastic bags filled raisins, pretzels, cubes or slices
of cheese with crackers, cut up fruit or veggies (apple or pear slices, oranges
already peeled and sectioned, baby carrots or celery), and some water in individual
bottles (so no pouring is necessary) Those small soft sided thermal bags that
keep beer or soda cool can hold individual "picnics" for each of the
children. Drinks and snacks stay cool and fresh in the warm car while arguments
about sharing are eliminated.
Make sure to
bring plenty of baby wipes. Even for big kids, these premoistened
wipes are excellent for quick clean ups, from faces to spills. Plastic
grocery bags make great garbage containers.
on the road
you have small children, plan on stopping at least once every three hours. It
is hard for some adults to sit for long periods of time and almost impossible
for small children, unless they are sleeping. Fitting in a meal or a fueling station
during these times is a good idea.
along a deck of cards, some crayons and coloring books, and their favorite books.
Maybe some travel size games & toys
such as a gameboy or other hand held video game, or the old fashioned ones like
tic-tac-toe and hangman. These are good ways to help pass the time in between
In case of
emergencies, the glove compartment is the best place to store a copy of insurance
cards and registration, a list of important phone numbers, (if they are not already
programmed into your cell phone), some extra cash or a credit card. In cold weather,
throw a couple of blankets in the trunk along with a flash light and extra batteries.
travel with pets and in that case just make sure to never
leave the pet in the car alone. Give them time to stretch and get
out of the car, and don't forget to pack some treats for good behavior.
Here's to a happy holiday season and a very merry road trip!