With thousands of people hitting the road after Christmas, many are faced with the challenge of keeping their children comfortable on a long-haul journey.
And while the focus may be on ensuring they are fed and well-rested, there are a number of other measures you can take to make sure your family travels peacefully.
‘Travelling with kids can be tricky to navigate at the best of times because children are not used to sitting in one space for long periods of time,’ parenting expert Sharon Witt told FEMAIL.
‘You want to plan for all possible scenarios to allow for the best trip you can possibly have.’
Ms Witt shared with FEMAIL her best tips for when it comes time to hit the road with the kids in tow – including how to keep them entertained and relaxed.
Australian parenting expert Sharon Witt (pictured) shared her best tips for travelling long distances in the car with young children, as thousands begin to hit the road after Christmas
CREATE AN ENTERTAINMENT KIT
As families travel in the car for up to several hours – sometimes over two days – it’s essential for children to remain entertained, Ms Witt told Daily Mail Australia.
She added: ‘Having an entertainment kit is important, especially for young children.
‘It doesn’t have to be something like a handheld electronic device, as these can turn into projectiles in a car accident.’
Ms Witt said car headrest mounts are a better way to keep children safely entertained with movies.
She also suggested more traditional entertainment methods, such as colouring in books and car games like ‘I spy’.
As families travel in the car for up to several hours – sometimes over two days – it’s essential for children to remain entertained, Ms Witt said (stock image)
KEEP THE KIDS INVOLVED
Instead of strapping your child in and hoping they stay patient for several hours, Ms Witt suggested keeping them involved in the journey.
‘Let them know what times and what locations you are preparing to take breaks at,’ Ms Witt said.
‘For kids who are of primary school age, give them their own map so they can track the journey and make it more interesting, rather than having them just sitting there for ten hours.’
Instead of strapping your child in and hoping they stay patient for several hours, Ms Witt suggested keeping them involved in the journey (stock image)
PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED
A long road trip is highly unlikely to pass without incident.
Feelings of nausea or a toilet mishap could have you wishing you had prepared appropriately.
‘Prepare for the unexpected by having a sick bag, a first-aid kit and a change of clothes in the back of the car,’ Ms Witt said.
She added that more pleasant eventualities, such as a kick in the park or a swim, should also be planned for.
‘You might want to have a paddle or wish you had a ball to play with… Make it so it’s not just about the destination,’ she said.
Parents travelling with young children should ensure they take regular breaks to stretch the legs every two to three hours (stock image)
STAY HYDRATED AND TAKE BREAKS
‘Keep consistently hydrated. You can never pack too much water so take plenty and even freeze some bottles the night before,’ Ms Witt said.
She also suggested taking some cold face washes, and placing sun visors on windows to ensure your children stay cool during warm weather.
Meanwhile, parents travelling with young children should ensure they take regular breaks to stretch the legs every two to three hours.