Who is often on the road with children, knows the problem of long car trips. At the latest after the first hour it becomes restless on the back seat. The children are nagging, unbalanced and hardly to be stopped anymore.
With the right considerations and preparations, you can ensure that hassles and stresses stay at home and that the vacation or short trip really does turn into a relaxing experience. We have compiled some tips and tricks for you below:
Safety and health
Always buckle up your child! There are no exceptions. Even if it is not mandatory in the specific country of travel, seat belts and with smaller children child seats are lifesavers.
They must be adjusted to the size of your child. If the car allows it, the seats should be in the back of the car, as airbags are designed for adults and can cause serious injuries to young children. If no child seats can be attached on the back seat, one should use either backward-looking, or exclusively for it forward-looking. Sometimes the car seats have to be pushed back or the airbag has to be turned off. Pay attention to the manufacturer's information!
Children should only get out of the car on the passenger side, as they are not as attentive and dangerous situations can arise if they suddenly get out of the car on the traffic side. Immediately accustom your offspring to correct behavior! Also keep in mind that in many countries there are different traffic customs, with which even adults can be overwhelmed.
Some adolescents can become nauseous during long car journeys. Therefore, as with air travel, they should have something against motion sickness in their children's medicine cabinet when traveling by car. Ask the pediatrician which products are suitable for this purpose!
If you have to leave the car, never leave your child alone! Especially in the summer, this can be dangerous for your child's health, as dehydration and heat stroke are a threat. Even during moderate climatic conditions, children should not be left alone, as they can get the most adventurous ideas and there are plenty of opportunities for disaster in the car.
The early bird catches the worm
A good time to start a long road trip is three to four in the morning. At this time there is still little traffic on most roads. Your kids will also be tired enough to sleep on in the car without any problems. For you, this means that you can get through the trip without difficulty, and that you can drive for more than one or two hours at a time.
However, you should avoid the typical rush hours, i.E. Times when school vacations begin or end. Rarely does the early start time help. Ask the ADAC, they will be happy to help you and can also recommend alternative routes.
Order over chaos
Many stressful situations can be eliminated before the actual start of the trip. Travel bags and suitcases, for example, need not be packed until the day of departure. The day before (even if it may be hectic) is ideal. Load then also immediately the "suitcase plague" in the car, they have on the travel day a worry less. For the trip itself, you should prepare 3 different "refreshment baskets" in addition to the suitcases and store them separately in the car. So even while driving, you can quickly. Easily get to them. Baskets include: Snacks for in between, a picnic basket for bigger breaks, and an "emergency bag" with surprises for the kids. You should also keep a change of clothes handy, especially for the children.
Well fortified on vacation
When small children whine and get restless, it is often because they are either bored or missing something. Vacation trips by car seem to make hunger, thirst and tiredness appear faster than usual in the little ones. Therefore, have breakfast before the trip, but without stuffing yourself. Thus strengthened your children will be satisfied for the time being. Not so quick to ask for food.
Another principle that parents are often reluctant to incorporate into their travel plans: Children need lots of breaks! Being tied to an uninteresting place for hours on end, without much room to move around and always staring at the same surroundings, does not fit into a child's world at all. They want to explore, romp and be kept busy.
Therefore, you should always plan several breaks for your car ride on vacation. For example, make a lot of small stops to have a bigger picnic afterwards. This increases the kids' anticipation. Keeps them happy.
In general, you should schedule a break every hour for young children, and every two hours for older children. Look for more interesting places than a freeway rest area. Wildlife parks, adventure playgrounds or lakes would be a good idea. Encourage your kids to really let off steam and run around while you recharge your batteries and stretch your legs. Whether it's chasing, catching, badminton or Frisbee – the more worn out your kids are, the calmer the subsequent trip will be.
If you are not sure which rest areas are optimal for your route, take a look at the "Autobahnguide", or "Links und rechts der Autobahn". You can find these extremely useful booklets for a trivial amount at any rest stop. There are guides with child-friendly freeway service areas, as well as changing rooms and playgrounds.
In addition to "license plate guessing" and "I see something you don't see," toys are a great way to quell your children's thirst for discovery. Especially novel games captivate and bind children so strongly that they easily forget their environment. The little ones feel at home. Time flies.
Many toy stores also have magnetic game sets especially for traveling. Whether chess, mill, backgammon, or sink ships – through the magnets nothing flies through the car and your children have a permanent occupation. Also card game classics like Supertrumpf. Car quartets help pass the time until the next stop.
But again, keep in mind that many kids (and not just them) can get sick reading in the car. So make sure your child doesn't keep their eyes down for too long, unless they know for a fact that they're not prone to nausea.
If you are still unsuccessful, you as parents can, for example, put on your children's favorite music or audio games. Also "Mr. Bear" the favorite stuffed animal is a guarantor for silence in the car. After all, he shares travel experiences with the youngest ones. With handy snacks you can bridge small hunger holes of your children during the trip. Keep them busy until the next break in good spirits. These snacks should only include healthy snacks such as sliced bread or handy pieces of fruit. The healthier the better. For the quick thirst plastic bottles with integrietem suction part would be good. Your children can keep themselves busy. Would not even spill.
You should do without crumbly and greasy cookies and other pastries, if you do not plan to clean your vehicle from scratch after the trip. You should also think about an emergency bag with special "surprises" for your children. After all, you never know if and when you'll get stuck in a traffic jam.