Written by Sari Friedman; photo: fotolia.com
This summer, whether you choose a staycation to visit local attractions or plan a cross-country holiday road trip, it is no secret that kids and cars don’t always get along. Travelling can be tiring and children can get bored pretty quickly, so it helps to plan ahead before you hit the road. Here are the travel necessities you need to keep everyone cool and comfortable, and avoid meltdowns while motoring.
- Pack snacks and water. When little tummies are rumbling you can avoid stopping at rest stops or convenience stores that can get pricey by packing healthy snacks. Buy refillable water bottles for the whole family and let the kids choose their favourite colour – this will be less expensive than sugary drinks and better for the environment. Well.ca has a variety of fun eco-friendly water bottles to choose from.
- Get organized. To keep kids from fighting over toys, buy a back of the seat organizer to hang in front of each child. Amazon.ca has a few great options that can be filled with colouring books, electronics, games and more, so they have easy access to the items they need to stay entertained.
- Provide a play space. Add a removable travel tray for kids in booster seats. This will give them the room they need to do activities, enjoy a snack – and hopefully avoid a mess – and can be removed when they need a nap.
- Get comfy. Bring a pillow, a cozy blanket and a favourite stuffed toy to make little ones as comfortable as possible.
- Make use of your windows. A road trip is a wonderful way to teach kids about the world around them, so encourage kids to look out the window and talk about the scenery. For older kids, you can have a scavenger hunt where everyone spots different licence plates, cars, road signs, animals or scenery. If you have younger children, buy Window Markers and they’ll be thrilled to colour right on the windows – then simply clean with a baby wipe.
- When on a long trip, it can help to take breaks and get the kids out of the car. You can make the trip extra fun (and educational!) by stopping at museums, historic sites, and other attractions along the way. The summer months bring many weekend festivals to small towns and communities, so be sure to research the areas you’ll be visiting – you may want to plan your trip around certain events. Check the local tourism web site before you head out for a full list of suggestions.
- You will also need to plan meals along the way. When the weather is nice, don’t eat lunch at a fast food joint or head to the drive-thru and eat on the go. Instead, look for a park or other natural setting and have a picnic! This is a perfect way to enjoy the countryside and stretch your legs, as well as keep the crumbs out of the car.
Sari Friedman is the Marketing Director of Ebates Canada and resident shopping expert. Ebates.ca is Canada's largest cash back shopping site. As a fashion enthusiast and new mom, Sari has an eye for finding and sharing amazing deals on the hottest trends and must-have styles. Follow Ebates Canada on Twitter for the best Canadian deals, Cash Back offers and online shopping tips @EbatesCanada