A guide to staying stress-free on your first family road trip

Going on a road trip is one of the best ways to spend time with loved ones. However, being on the road with little ones can be challenging for parents, with a study revealing that British kids will ask to stop the car to use the toilet 50 minutes into the trip, and instead of enjoying the sights, children will ask the dreaded, “are we there yet?” once every 40 minutes. There’s also the fact that 30 percent of parents worry about their children experiencing motion sickness. If you’ve always wanted to go on a trip with your children but are worried about all the setbacks that you may encounter during the drive, take heart. Here’s a guide to staying stress-free on your first family road trip.

Prepare everything the day before the trip
Whether you’re heading to London to go sightseeing on a one-day trip or going on a long drive to Cornwall for a weekend by the sea, ensure that you have everything that you’ll need the day before your road trip. Pack clothes, essentials and medication in the morning, and make a note of the things you need to buy so you can purchase them later. Any last minute things that need to be packed the next day should be listed, and the list must be displayed in a prominent place, such as on the fridge. Doing so ensures that you don’t forget anything important, and it will allow you to start your road trip in a stress-free way.

Kick motion sickness to the curb
Young children are likely to experience travel sickness while on a road trip, and it’s usually triggered by repeated movements such as driving on a curvy road or constantly going over bumps. If you’re worried about your child feeling ill, you can let them eat bland foods during your trip and not let them read or use gadgets while your vehicle is in motion. To help your child cope with nausea and dizziness, try opening a window to let some fresh air in, and use a cold compress on their forehead to relieve queasiness. You may also want to give your child some candied ginger or a few sips of ginger ale - both can calm the digestive system and prevent vomiting.

Stop every three hours to stretch your legs
During road trips, most people choose to make fewer stops in order to make it to their destination in good time. But if you’re travelling with children, know that you’ll have to make frequent stops for everyone’s comfort. Apart from stopping for meals and toilet breaks, you should also plan on stopping every three hours so you can get out of your car and stretch your legs for a bit. Plan your stopovers so you can rest for a bit at a nice park or a place where you can enjoy the view with your family. Encourage your kids to draw the scenery or take pictures during your stops, and once you get home, you can put everything together in a scrapbook as a memento of your trip.

Travelling in a cramped space with small children may present a host of challenges, but if you prepare ahead of time and keep a positive attitude, you’ll ensure that you get to your destination without losing your cool. Try these tips to stay stress-free on your first road trip, and look forward to going on more holidays with your family in the years to come.

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