Are you a foster carer who is currently flipping through the calendar and already counting down the days until the next school holiday period? Do you want to make it extra special by planning a road trip that everyone will enjoy? Will this be the first time you plan a getaway outside your town/city with your foster child? It’s an exciting venture and one that everyone will be eager to take part in, but with that said, some tips will make planning smoother.
Here’s your quick guide to planning your first road trip with foster children.
Speak to Foster Children About Holiday Expectations
Rather than assume you know what your foster child would want to do, it’s a good idea to speak to them. Have they gone on holidays or road trips in the past? Do they have any favourite destinations? Perhaps their requests will be activity-based, as they like doing a particular activity such as swimming, hiking or biking. Getting their input early on will help you narrow down the destination.
The length of time you plan to go away for will also play a big role in determining the destination(s). If you’re only going to be gone a few days, then you’ll likely want to stay closer to home so your entire holiday isn’t spent in transit.
Plan on Frequent Stops and Breaks
When planning a road trip, adults are often guilty of wanting to travel as far as possible in as short of time possible to reach the destination sooner. It makes sense, as it means you get more time to relax on the other end rather than in the car. The problem, however, is that asking kids to sit in a car for extended periods isn’t very realistic. Instead, plan on frequent stops and breaks. They will need to use the facilities, have a snack, stretch their legs and work out a little pent-up energy. Ideally, you want to plan a stop every couple of hours. You’ll also need to be flexible and be prepared to stop sooner if needed.
Choose Family-Friendly Accommodation
The accommodation will factor into how successful the holiday is, so be sure to find something that caters to families. These options tend to be more casual, and relaxed and have amenities and facilities that families need and want. Be mindful of the location too; is the accommodation near attractions, sights, restaurants, shops and other points of interest?
It’s also smart to look into whether your fostering agency has any rewards and/or benefits such as accommodation, experiences, shops and restaurants. This will help you stretch the holiday budget further.
Pack a Car Kit of Activities
Finally, foster carers need to be prepared and have ways to keep kids entertained while in the car. That means packing a car kit full of activities. That can include travel-sized board games and cards, colouring books, crossword puzzles and word searches, a journal, stickers, books, small toys, a handheld gaming system, a tablet for streaming or gaming or a road trip scavenger hunt.
Using these tips will make planning the first road trip with foster children a breeze and a positive experience.