Tips & tricks for roadtrips & camping with kids
We asked the experts (our OHbaby! readers), for some of their best tips on road trips and camping with babies and kids.
Here they are:
- Babies are super-cheap and super-flexible travellers, so take the kids while they’re young, don’t wait!
- Time car trips around naps and have regular breaks to stretch your legs.
- Blackout blinds or covers are great for travel cots that have mesh sides.
- Take a clothes horse along if you’re camping – they’re so handy for drying wet togs, towels and clothes.
- Bring more than one hat because they typically get wet or lost.
- Wet wipes are the Swiss army knife of parenting, so always have plenty in the car.
- Take ziplock bags or lunchboxes filled with snacks (but not chocolate when it's hot because it melts).
- Put proper shades on the car windows so children can sleep without the sun on their faces.
- Take along a white noise on an app or a shusher. They’re great for drowning out background noises while your little ones sleep in a campground or motel/hotel room.
- Take a front pack or age-appropriate carrier of some kind for keeping your kids happy and your hands free.
- For long trips in the car make sure you always have a few car toys (to stay in the car) so if you want a short break from entertaining the kids they can entertain themselves.
- Take salt water ice with you if you have no fridge facilities to keep things cool. It stays frozen much longer than normal ice.
- Keep a large soft flexible box or basket on the floor of your car to throw all your bits and pieces into and to make it easier to find things.
- A fitted cot sheet over the top of a mesh-sided portacot keeps bugs out of the cot.
- Don't stress about bed times while camping, it's not worth it!
- Go to the dollar store and pick up a few things to wrap up as gifts for reaching certain points along the way, or for good behaviour in the car.
- Make a spritz with a few drops of lavender essential oil and water to use as an insect repellent.
- Keep a bottle of bubble solution and a bubble wand in the glove box. Whenever kids get restless, or you stop at a light, get the bubbles out and entertain them!
- Take a pram if possible. It’s a place for them to nap, and it means you can wheel a sleeping child around and continue on your day, rather than having to stay put, or transfer them and risk waking them.
- In summer wet muslins work like air conditioning on hot babies and you can wet older kids hats and put them on their heads before the water soaks in completely.
- Teach older kids basic campsite manners ie. you don't run through other people's campsites, and if you wake up early, do something quietly until everyone is awake.
- Buckets are great multi-purpose items for camping, you can use them for washing dishes, bathing, washing clothes, carrying sand toys to the beach, making sand castles, rinsing sandy feet before going in the tent...
- Create a travel change station from an under-bed storage tray lined with a blanket,
Check out our other ultimate checklists for more of YOUR awesome tips!