Every year when the month of December rolls around, everybody becomes fully aware that the festive season is at hand. Meanwhile, apart from the feasting plans, parents begin to prepare for what an action-packed holiday it should be, as for many that spells traveling to the village.
It is however unfair that very little, almost no plan at all is ever made to cater for the needs of the children while on the road. Moreover we know that the potential hassles are many.
In turn, shortcomings surface unexpectedly, only to encroach on the fun of the journey and the holiday at large.
We talked to Mrs. Molly Gidudu, a resident of Kampala and mother of three who’s been there and done all that as she always accompanies her husband back to Sironko every single year. She shared with us a few tips;
Prepare for the journey
First and foremost when are to drive your kids, remember that their safety comes first. So remember to get enough sleep the night before. While it’s good for children to be well rested before a trip, it’s vital that you be. Sleep deprivation makes for stressed out nerves and unsafe driving.
Do not let the children pack their own bags
This is because children don’t care what it might take to carry their cherished possessions and they just could end up carrying a burden of toys or cloths that could soon take a toll on everybody else – the adults for that matter. You may let the children have their input but you should remember to inspect and “edit” this heavily before departure. Otherwise it will be your burden to shoulder.
This means that you should pack one small bag that contains clothes for the next day, an extra change of clothes [in case of spills of foods and drinks], a toothbrush, and anything else you need for that day and night. It will be much easier to grab that smaller bag than pat through the big suitcase.
Break the boredom
After being on the road for miles, the younger kids tired and hungry, tend to get cranky. So, parent you ought to prepare well by carrying enough toys. Bring along a bag of plastic animals, a few cars or trucks, or a favorite doll and let your toddler play until you plan to pull over to catch some fresh air.
Meanwhile to keep the older kids entertained and avoid embarrassing outbursts, choose restaurants with a reasonably high fun factor. Even local restaurants offer good food and have fun decor with an urban culture theme.
Furthermore some cars include a DVD player which is a sure sanity-saver on a long trip. If your car isn’t equipped with one, you can carry a portable DVD player and its music will company you just fine.
Your budget is a huge consideration when planning a road trip, especially past the age when you can no longer get away with feeding kids off your plate. So consider carrying some really nice snacks. As adults know all too well, eating gives you something to do. Just be careful what kind you bring along, lest you upset everyone’s stomach with oily snacks.
Remember the medicine
Kids always seem to get ill on holiday. Reduce the impact of broken nights, high temperaments and fevers by packing some easy-to-use medicine. In fact it should already be on your travelling list, but having kids along means carrying a small first aid kit is all the more vital: plasters, antihistamines and sachets of painkilling syrup can save a lot of stress later on. Anti-malaria vaccines are also available in liquid form.
Be prepared for the climate
It’s seems obvious but children dressed comfortably for the weather and terrain will be happier in a new environment. This means that you should endeavor to pack sweaters, slippers, gumboots, to mention but a few. This greatly helps the children to cope up with the new weather.
The calls of nature also apply to trips in the car. You’ll have to stop for feedings, cloth changes, and stretching breaks.
Stop often, for little and big breaks. Yes, you want to get there, but letting your kids burn off some steam will make the time in the car more bearable.
A plastic bucket
It is certain many kids suffer carsick emergencies. There is no telling whether it will, but it normally happens for kids to throw up. Therefore, for your car’s sake, it is only advisable to carry a plastic bucket.
Meanwhile peppermints and ginger are natural motion sickness remedies that can tame grumbling tummies.
Plan your travel time around your child’s sleep schedule
Schedule your departure to ensure your children catch some quality sleep on the road.
If you leave a bit before lunchtime, you can let your kids eat in the car which will keep them occupied and you can make it into a fun treat. Then they’ll doze off in no time, and you can log some serious miles in peace. Try not to stop the car while they’re sleeping.