You have great plans for an epic road trip with your family but one thing is uncertain, how will the kids do? Whether it’s a five hour trip up north or a ten hour trip across state, you can never tell how the kids will do because, low and behold, they are their own people!
Every summer I take the kids on a road trip for a week. We have experienced some ups and downs (being pulled over on the expressway with three screaming children, nursing a baby on the side of the road, changing an explosive diaper in the back of my car, and so on and so on!)
I am here, as a mama of three who tries her best but knows that sometimes that isn’t enough, to share some of my tried and true tips on traveling with kiddos!
Tip#1 Prepare Ahead of Time
- Plan ahead. Begin a few weeks ahead of time so that it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. Designate an area in your home to start collecting things for the trip.
- Packing list. Make a list and check it twice. This will help ensure your success to packing and remember, you can always pick something up along the way if you NEED to!
- Maps. I like to print out a map from google for my oldest daughter. She follows along and marks off our path. It helps reduce the question “Are we almost there yet?” For my younger children- I put sticky notes on the dashboard of a few milestones during the trip. Once we hit the milestone, I throw the sticky not away. It’s a wonderful visual for them to see our progress!
Tip #2 Allow Plenty of Extra Time
- Anything can happen with kids. Leave yourself plenty of time so you are not stressed and therefore, you don’t take it out on your kids!!
Tip #3 Snacks, Games and More!
- There are so many fun games for road trips over on Pinterest. Plan ahead and print a few off for your kids. Each of our kids get a folder and some writing utensils. When they were I would give them stickers to play with (remind them that stickers go on clothing and paper and NO WHERE ELSE!!! Here are a few of my favorite travel games:
- Family Fun Challenge: I’ve created a month long challenge for families to bring you closer together, download it now and get started on your road trip! Click here to subscribe
- Road Trip I-Spy
- Kids Travel Binder Kit
- More Games
- Snacks are key. You can save time and money here by packing a small cooler of lunches and healthy snacks. For the younger travelers, we’ve made snack necklaces that provide a fun element to filling your tummy!
- Movies. I am a big supporter of limiting screentime. However I know that a long trip can be grueling. We go to our local library the day before the trip and rent a mix of videos. Educational, check! Fun, check! Classics, check! Books on video (they make those!) check! We also pick out an audiobook for the ride plus I make a fun playlist for us to listen to once we lose our local stations!
Tip #4 Have FUN!
- Pack a few essentials to ensure good times. Toilet paper, paper towel, plastic bags, hand sanitizer, kleenex and lotion.
- I’ll tell you what, these trips are what memories are made of! Make the most of it. Last year, we spotted a field of sunflowers off an exit from the highway. Hundreds and hundreds of tall, bright, yellow sunflowers. We pulled off and snapped a few photos in front of the field. It was truly breathtaking. Remember the scenery is all part of the experience!
Don’t forget to download our Family Fun Challenge, perfect to get started on your Road Trip. Just sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive the challenge now! Click here to subscribe
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