Traveling with grandchildren is a fun and rewarding experience that both generations look forward to.
Whether it’s an annual trip or your first time taking a vacation with your grandkids, you’ll want to make sure you have these 5 safety tips covered.
After all, little is more precious than your grandchildren, right?
CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn 5 important safety tips for traveling with your grandchildren, including:
- Importance of Safety Planning
- Vehicle Safety Concerns
- Helpful Driving Apps
- The Need for Downtime
- Road Trip Emergency Planning
- What You’ll Need Once You Arrive
- Final Thoughts on Traveling with Grandchildren
5 Safety Tips for Traveling with Grandkids
Nowadays, skip-generation trips are more popular than ever.
That’s right: it’s time to take your grandkids on a great vacation. Traveling with your grandchildren will create lifelong memories, no matter where you go.
It’s a perfect way to bond over exciting memories and memorable locations, especially after the past two years of limited contact.
Because of the extra precious cargo you’ll have on these trips, it’s essential to place an even higher emphasis on safety and planning. With some prudent pre-trip preparation, though, you can help provide a safe and entertaining trip for your grandkids.
Here are 5 important safety tips for traveling with your grandchildren.
1. Give Your Vehicle a Checkup
If you plan on hitting the road with your grandkids, make sure you have your vehicle inspected before traveling. Even with routine maintenance, the impact of a road trip on a vehicle can worsen hidden issues.
And the last thing a road trip needs is vehicle trouble.
So, make sure you take care of these auto safety checks before you embark on your trip:
- Check all filters and fluid levels, including oil and wiper fluid.
- Replace your wipers with new ones to be road-ready
- Check the battery; look for corrosion and double-check all connections.
- While you’re under the hood, look for any leaks or drips.
- Check hoses and tanks for cracks or dried fluids.
Be sure to give your tires a thorough inspection. Start by:
- Testing the cold tire pressure and topping off if needed
- Testing the pressure on the spare, topping off if required
- Double-check the treads for uneven or excessive wear
- Making sure you have a spare tire and the tools
You can also take your vehicle to your preferred local mechanic.
Tell them you are about to go on a trip. They will check the above issues and offer tire rotations and other system exams, including brake inspections. If you take your vehicle in for maintenance, consider a pre-trip oil change for ultimate protection.
Finally, take your vehicle through the wash and clean it out to get it ready for the road. Your grandkids will love traveling in a pristine car.
Organize needed items like tissues and hand sanitizer, pre-pack pillows and blankets, and load up on charging cords for your electronics.
If the kids are still in car seats, make sure they are properly installed and you know how to use them.
Driving in a clean, shiny, new-car-smell vehicle that’s safe and organized is the perfect way to start your next road trip.
Related Article: Click here to find additional tips on organizing your car for a road trip.
2. Let Driving Apps Help Keep You Safe
It shouldn’t need explanation, but be sure you put your phone away if you’re driving.
Distracted driving is a major problem that is easy to avoid. Using your phone while driving increases your chance of an accident by more than five times.
For extra safety, let smartphone apps keep you and your passengers safe.
Safe driving apps provide many helpful functions, which include:
- Sending automatic responses while the car is in motion
- Silencing notifications above certain speeds
- Offering prize incentives for keeping your phone away while the vehicle is moving
- Allowing other family members to track your journeys
While these services are especially valuable for the driver, they also help the passengers interact with each other.
For instance, there may be times when your grandkids need to check their Instagram feeds. However, minimizing cell phone usage throughout the trip will lead to a closer, more personable vacation.
Just agree to what’s a reasonable amount of time with their parents. Plan to have other forms of entertainment at the ready so they don’t miss the screen time. (Remember the old license plate game?)
3. Grandparent Grandchild Trips: Find Time for Family Relaxation
Sometimes, your vacation can be just as demanding as your daily life. You might seem to be constantly following itineraries, and rushing from one destination to another.
While seeing the sights is important, don’t forget to slow down and enjoy them. For everyone’s benefit, you’ll want to plan plenty of slow time for relaxation and recharging.
If your grandkids are of different ages, one may need more breaks and rest time than the other. And older children and teens will have different needs than toddlers or younger children. Plus, you’ll want to make sure you’re well-rested for drive-time, too!
Plan for these needs before you start your trip. You can do this by scheduling a couple of hours of quiet time after long drives or flights.
Always be sure to talk and listen to your grandkids if they need a break. Sometimes, just stretching their legs can be enough to recharge them for a few more hours.
4. Plan For the Worst
Traveling these days can bring a lot of stress. From COVID-19 protocols for increased safety to strange weather across the country, much can go wrong.
There’s an old saying that goes, “hope for the best, plan for the worst.” Road trips can bring many surprises along with great memories. If you are prepared from the start, though, you can minimize any negativity from the inevitable situations we never plan for.
Start with ensuring the safety of your grandkids.
Pack all medications and needed devices, such as insulin pumps or nebulizer machines (as well as car chargers). If required, bring plenty of replacement equipment. If any of your grandchildren have dangerous allergies, purchase a new pack of EpiPens, just in case.
Research hospitals and clinics along the route.
If something happens, you will know where to go when every moment counts. Make sure you verify which locations work with your grandchild’s insurance. Bring along your child(s) medical and insurance information, including a list of allergies and/or medications, too.
Consider first aid and CPR training, as well. These are great when traveling to more out-of-the-way destinations, but such knowledge can be just as important in the middle of the city. And don’t forget to pack a first aid kit with child-safe, parent-approved medications.
You’ll also want to have a travel consent form with you. This a notarized letter of permission from the parent(s) that allows the children to travel and seek medical care with you. Hopefully, you won’t need to use it. If you do, you’re prepared.
In addition to medical emergencies, you want to prepare for unplanned vehicle problems. Pack a roadside car emergency kit in the trunk. It’s also a good idea to have some kind of roadside assistance service, like AAA or Sam’s Club.
You may even want to check that your auto insurance policy provides an allowance for a rental car, should you happen to break down on the way. That way, even if repairs will take a few days, you can continue with your plans.
5. Know Your Destination (And What You’ll Need There)
Along with knowing the safety measures along the route, be sure to research the potential necessities of your destination as well.
For instance, if you’re staying in a rental property or hotel, ask ahead of time about any specific COVID-19 details for the local area. Will you need to bring facemasks or proof of vaccination? Take stock of local hospitals and pharmacies, too.
If you’re heading out into the wilderness, make sure you bring along the safety supplies, including:
- A stocked first-aid kit big enough to suit your traveling group
- Extra water and non-perishable food
- A small generator for emergency power
- Clothes of various layers
Even if you’re heading to a city, preparation is key. Of course, the above list will still work for urban getaways.
Likewise, check the extended weather forecast of your destination.
Different areas of the country can offer vastly different weather. Sudden storms and rockfalls can bury roads beneath rock and snow. Keep a couple of backup routes pre-planned, just in case you need to find a detour.
Related Article: Here are the 10 best places to travel with baby as new grandparents.
Final Thoughts – Traveling with Grandchildren
Traveling with your grandchildren should be a wonderful, rewarding experience. With some pre-planning, you can all but ensure your trip goes off without a hitch.
Even if there is a problem, however, you will have already planned for it.
To sum up:
- Make sure your vehicle is ready to go
- Keep the drive safe by using safe driving apps while on the road.
- Plan for relaxing stops for stretching and rest throughout the trip.
- Be sure you know how and where emergency services are located, just in case.
- Finally, understand where you’re going, including planning for any special weather conditions common for the area.
With this level of preparation, you and your family can make lasting happy memories on your next trip.
If you’re taking your grandchildren on an RV Trip, click here for more tips.
Photos courtesy of Canva Pro.