You might have enjoyed Abigail’s adventurous, bumpy, cross-country ride in the film Little Miss Sunshine, but if you’re planning a road trip with the kids, you want to make sure that it’s safe (and fun). In all likelihood, you’ve already checked your vehicle, packed the essentials, and carried a map, but are you fully prepared to travel with the little ones?

Read on to find out how to enjoy the journey, without any mishaps:

1. Safety First
Check the car seats to be sure they are properly installed and secured. Plenty of water, flashlights with extra batteries, a first-aid kit with all your child’s medications, plus bug repellants, and a car charger for your cellphone, must be in place.

2. Watch The Sleep Schedules
It might make sense to do a bulk of your traveling when your child is likely to be asleep. Just pop your pajama clad tots into their seats, strap them up, and you’re ready to embark on a peaceful ride. Ensure that you have had enough sleep yourself, so you can focus on driving.

3. Snack Attack
Drinks and snacks are a must when traveling with kids. You save money and time this way, because you don’t have to stop at restaurants each time. Make individual packs so that it minimizes spillage and avoids fights between kids. Pack plenty of mints, ginger ale, and saltines, as they work as natural motion sickness remedies.

4. Arrange For The Necessary Distractions
Trapped in their car seats, kids may succumb to boredom and begin to whine or fight with each other. Not something you want. Ensure you have enough material such as toys, books, music and audiobooks to keep them busy. Don’t forget to pack jump ropes, blankets, Frisbees and sidewalk chalk (for hopscotch) for rest stops.

5. Making Memories
Road trips with the family are a great time to make memories, so take loads of pictures and encourage your tots to contribute. Buy them disposable cameras and let them take pictures along the way. You can help them make a scrapbook later, with the photo prints. A journal is another way for them to record the journey, where they can use crayons, stickers and cut outs from maps, to recreate the trip from their perspective. You will treasure these little keepsakes in the years to come.

While you enjoy the feeling of zipping down highways and watching the scenery change in color and topography, your kids may not possess the same amount of enthusiasm and patience. Keep these tips in mind to help them have a good time, too.

Read More:
Parenting QA: How Do I Get My Kids To Play Outside?
10 Tips For Stress-Free Travel With Kids

Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.