Family road trips are an awesome opportunity for some bonding time, and to get away from the
daily grind of work, school and all the dramas of home life. But while it’s an exciting time,
spending lots of time on the road can encourage an unhealthy lifestyle, which can find its way
back into your normal home life if you’re not careful.
Here are 9 useful tips on how to stay healthy whilst on the open road as a family. Don’t worry; it
won’t ruin any of the fun.
There are not many worse feelings than being stuck in a car and having nothing to drink. If it’s
hot outside, the air-conditioning dries out your mouth and body, and if it’s cold outside, the car
heater is likely to do the same. Make sure you pack plenty of water on your road trip and keep
hydrated for the duration of the trip. You’ll have more energy when you make your stop-offs,
even though you might need to use the bathroom first.
Pack Your Medication
Whether it’s for you or your little ones, if you have any illnesses or allergies that are likely to
come to fruition while you’re on the road, it’s a good idea to double check that you have packed
everything you need before you leave. If there’s a chance the medication might be needed in a
hurry, they should probably be kept in Mom’s bag in the front seat, or in the glovebox. That way
you can get to them quickly should you need them. Click here to find out more about cheaper
alternatives to expensive medication. These options may come in handy if your adventure is for
more than a few days and you’re running on a tight budget.
Have Plenty of Stops
You should try and incorporate plenty of detours into your road trip where possible. Driving for
hours at an end isn’t great for anybody’s circulation, and being cooped up inside the vehicle isn’t
much fun for little ones, either. You could find yourselves feeling lethargic, cramped and in
desperate need of a stretch if you don’t get regular stops, so take a look at the roadmap and
see if there are any interesting places to stop on the way to your final destination. Whether it’s
an outlet mall or a small town to potter around for a few minutes, it’ll get the blood circulating
around the body again.
Pack Healthy Snacks
Packing that cool box with drinks and snacks can be tricky, especially if your little ones get their
way and choose what goes in there. Parents need to find a healthy balance between healthy
foods and less healthy foods. Everything is good in moderation, so focus on providing you and the kids with something good in between the snacks. Bananas and apples make for great larger
snacks, while grapes and berries are great replacements for sugary sweets.
Make Exercise Fun
If Mom or Dad are getting tired of driving and want to stretch their legs, there’s a good chance
that it might be met with some resistance from the backseat, especially if they’re halfway
through a game of Mario Kart. You can make exercise fun by making a stop where there are
amazing views – such as desert hills, lakes and mountains – or the chance of an encounter with
some wildlife. The kids will be distracted by the fun, and you’ll have a chance to walk off the
Protect Yourself From The Sun
Whether you’re in the car, taking breaks, or at your final destination, you and your little ones
need protecting from the sun. Even when you’re in the car, the windows can serve as a
magnifying glass rather than protectors sometimes, and you can find yourself with burns to your
face, arms, and legs if you’re not careful. Before you get into your car, add some sunscreen to
those unprotected areas, and keep your sunglasses on when the sun is beaming through the
front window. You don’t want to do long-term damage to your eyes from not protecting them.
Laugh a Lot
It’s not just your physical health that needs to be looked after on your road trip. Your mental
health needs some attention, too. Long spells of driving can be dull, but nothing relieves the feelings of lethargy and boredom better than a good laugh. It releases endorphins and puts you
in a good mood, so try and keep the energy levels up on the trip. Tell some stories, play some
games, have a sing-along to the radio. You’ll find that the number of tantrums from the little
ones will drastically lower, and you’ll have a much better time in the front seats, too.
Don’t Indulge at Mealtimes
Long trips in the car can make you seriously hungry, especially if you’ve been good and haven’t
been snacking the entire trip. The problem here is that when you arrive at your destination or
stop off for a bite to eat, there’s a chance that you might overdo it as a result of starving
yourselves on the trip. This is far more likely to happen to the parents than the little ones, but if it
does happen, driving on a full stomach won’t be much fun, and if you’ve arrived at your final
destination, you won’t want to be doing much if you’ve eaten too much.
Chances are you have prepared diligently for your road trip, but when there are children
involved, there are likely to be bumps in the road, figuratively and literally, and that can create a
lot of stress and tension in the vehicle. This is good for nobody, so when you’re putting together your plans, try to leave plenty of time for any curveballs, and allow yourselves the opportunity to
go a little off-piste if the occasion calls for it. You never know, it might turn out to be a better trip
for everybody if you allow yourself plenty of flexibility. It’ll certainly be better for your stress
This post was written by Bill Clark. Bill is a freelance journalist who specialises in writing about culture and the arts, however will write about anything that piques his interest including business, travel and lifestyle. He can be reached on Twitter @BilboClark01.