Road trips mean freedom and adventure. The landscapes parade to the rhythm of the kilometers, offering a breath of fresh air. Once you’ve acquired a taste for waking up at the foot of the mountains or dining in front of the sea at sunset, it’s very difficult to give up the experience once you’re a parent. A birth does not necessarily sign the abandonment of van explorations, quite the contrary! So how do you organize yourself to go on a road trip with your baby? We discuss some leads in this article.
Before venturing out on the roads: an experience to anticipate
1. Training before the big start
Would you be ready to start the GR 30 hiking circuit without prior preparation? To avoid blisters on the feet, it would be better than not. For a road trip with her baby, the idea is the same. Making short trips, for a day or a weekend, will allow you to see what works, what is missing and what you don’t need. The experience also serves to get used to this new family organization.
The pace will be different between a romantic getaway and a getaway with an infant, which is why it takes time to get your bearings. In English, there is the term baby steps, “baby steps”, which designates this notion ofprogressive advancement. If you are planning a road trip of several weeks, a test trip can be very instructive and formative!
2. Predict the weather on the road
When planning the route, it can be tempting to get carried away and check off several points of interest without thinking about the kilometers. However, you will also have time for meals, diaper breaks or games and entertainment during the day, in addition to the journey.
If you want to enjoy the rides, it is better to plan short trips from one point to another to avoid frustrations and entire days spent behind the windshield.
3. Choose a spot for the night
If you are traveling by van, the main question when the sun goes down comes down to: where to stop to sleep? Often, carried away in the frenzy of the day, this preoccupation is postponed until it becomes unavoidable (sometimes, at the very moment when the sun crosses the horizon). With a baby, waiting too long can be inconvenient, especially if hunger creeps in and your child starts to get grumpy. To avoid hassles, try to find a spot well in advance.
If you are traveling in a vehicle without sleeping, you will probably need to find accommodation to spend the night. In order to gain serenity, we can only recommend that you book in advance. Depending on the region you are visiting and the period of your departure, accommodation can quickly become full and the search can turn into a real headache. To maintain some flexibility, you can easily make reservations as you progress (one or two days in advance, for example). This way, you don’t have to plan rigidly, but you still know you’ll be sleeping peacefully under a roof.
4. Prepare the essentials
Preparing a list before leaving helps to better organize and anticipate.
For clothes, do not hesitate to diversify the thicknesses with light outfits, but also warmer clothes to adapt to all temperatures. If your child is old enough to choose their personal belongings, you can include them in the preparations and pack their suitcase with them.
In addition to everyday stuff, you can prepare a road bag with cookies and water to keep near the passenger seat. Staying hydrated is essential for all adventures with a baby! Depending on his age, this will take the form of a bottle for him to drink alone or a mixture with powdered milk.
Their cuddly toy and books favorite accompany you on the adventure. Of course, you don’t need to move his entire toy box or bookshelf, just the stuff he likes the most and keeps him busy for hours. When your baby isn’t sleeping in the car, you can put on soothing music or even audio books.
, Your baby’s documentssuch as his health book or his medical prescriptions, will also join the trip. If you are crossing borders and your child is on medication, it may be a good idea to bring their entire prescription for the duration of the road trip, as well as their identity card.
In addition to these medicines, a small first aid kit will always be useful to you. You can slip in bandages, a thermometer, disinfectant, pills for headaches and stomachaches. Sunscreen is also a vacation essential, even on a road trip!
5. Do a complete vehicle check before starting
Your vehicle will be your greatest partner during your road trip. He will accompany you every day, perhaps welcome you to sleep and go through the vagaries of the weather by your side. Before multiplying the kilometres, first make sure that mechanics your companion’sA little review before departure can save you a lot of time on the road and avoid dangerous or uncomfortable situations. In the essential business of a road trip, a toolbox has a place of choice!
If your baby is crawling, crawling, or already standing, you’ll also need some time to adapt the van setup to their travels. We all know children’s passion for putting their fingers everywhere, especially where they shouldn’t be… So it’s better to secure the perimeter.
6. Draw inspiration from successful experiences
Many parents have decided to set sail to explore other horizons as a family and share their experience. Whether over a few weeks or years, the stories of their adventures will allow you to anticipate difficulties and project yourself into your own journey.
Before your road trip with your baby, you can consult blogs of nomadic parents to find ideas for routes and practical advice according to the age of your child. Inspiration is everywhere on the web!
During the road trip with your baby: adapting to the moment
1. Using the nap to hit the road
It is known that car or van trips usually rock children. Of course, it’s not a hard and fast rule, the purr of the engine may not work on your baby (or not every time). However, nap time provides a convenient time to organize your day. If your child is sleeping, the road will seem shorter. Therefore, it is recommended that you adapt to his sleep periods to move around. It will be more relaxing for your baby and for you!
2. Respect your child’s rhythm
The unexpected is commonplace with a toddler, so the key word for a road trip with a baby is flexibility. Even if you plan everything, the surprises will still be there. It is difficult to predict your child’s reactions on the road, to anticipate his moods or to know in advance how he will react to a given situation.
The only thing to do is toorganize to the best of your abilities so that everything goes well and toadjust your operation along the way. Little by little, you will get your bearings and synchronize the pace of the road trip to the needs of your child.
3. Take regular breaks
recommendations for babies recommend not to exceed two hours at a time in the car seat. Very often, you risk stopping before this period following crying, a full diaper or a little hunger on the way. You can also provide snacks and beverages for the moments on the road to make the trip more comfortable.
On a road trip, it ‘s the journey that makes the trip and not the destination. If baby spits up, and you have to stop, and it wasn’t planned, that’s okay. You can take advantage of this unusual break to visit the next village or the nearby lake. Being guided by the momentis also the magic of a road trip.
Planning a road trip with your baby requires organization, both in terms of things to take, as well as the safety of the vehicle or the feasibility of the itinerary. A trip with a young child requires adapting to their pace, without trying to speed it up, but rather taking advantage of the opportunities that these detours on a marked path offer. Not everything is written in stone and you always have the option of correcting small deviations. You will surely experience memorable moments and we can only wish you a good trip! If you are looking for unusual ideas for your next vacation, you can take inspiration from ‘s boat trip with their baby Laure and GaëlTheir experience may make you want to sail!