When I’m road tripping solo with my kids, it’s a tall order to keep them as healthy as possible. After all, we travel frequently and in every new place we visit or stay, the kids want to inspect and touch everything–arcade games, laundromat coin machines, mini golf clubs, visitor center brochure racks, gumball machines, subway poles, golf cart steering wheels, hotel room drawers, campground water pumps, etc.
Over the years of solo mom travel adventures, I’ve come to apply the following tips to keep my crew as healthy as possible while on the road.
Keeping Kids Healthy on Road Trips
1. Make sure your kid gets enough sleep. Studies show that getting sufficient sleep can help ward off common illnesses, like colds, or speed up recovery. I’ve learned that even little naps in the car or motorhome help. I try to encourage my kids to snooze, especially when they seem to be overtired or grumpy. I try to make sure my kids go to bed at somewhat consistent times when we travel. Nothing too rigid, but that they aren’t staying up too late, too often.
2. Make sure your kid eats and snacks well. Healthy snacks, limited sugar, fresh fruits and veggies. Keeping healthy food and snacks in the motorhome cupboards, in your kid’s backpack, or in your bag while you’re on the road can help ensure sure those little kid bodies are primed to fight off any bugs.
3. Invest in hand sanitizer. I keep a big pump bottle in the door of my regular vehicle and in my motorhome when I travel. The kids and I each carry a small bottle in our backpacks and my bag. My kids love those cute bottles with the colorful rubber dangling attachment so they can attach the hand sanitizer to their bags. As soon as we get into our vehicle, it’s hand sanitizer time. Same goes for before we eat if we are out and about without sink and soap access.
4. Go easy when someone gets sick. When one of the kids (or yikes, more than one at a time) gets sick, I scale back on activities, particularly public pool time, for whoever is sick, and keep travel days a bit more laid back.
5. Keep the cupboard or first aid kit stocked. It’s easy to travel prepared when you’re in a motorhome or have your own vehicle. When it’s just you and your child with backpacks (and/or a rental vehicle or other transportation), you can still squeeze in the essentials. When we’re on the road, I like to bring a certain amount of basics, like band-aids and wound care items such as Neosporin. I also pack kids’ Ibuprofen for unexpected pains and fevers.
6. Healthy Mom, Happy Mom. When I’m traveling solo with the kids, I’ve learned that if I don’t take care of myself–get enough sleep, eat well, and sneak in alone time (Redbox movie night for the kids, quiet time in the motorhome bedroom for me), I’m not my usual happy-go-lucky self. When I take care of myself, I feel better…and a healthy mom is a happy mom!
* * * * What is your best tip for keeping your kids healthy while on the road? * * * *