Many of you will be traveling for the holidays with kids. We have a 12+ hour road trip one way with our three, such fun! It won't be the first time we traveled that far with kids so here are some things I've learned along the way that helped. Share you tips with us in the comments!
Switch your DVD collection with a friend with kids for the trip! This one saved me on our trip this summer, endless new things to watch and it cost me nothing! Take them out of the cases to save room and use a CD holder. Make sure your kids have headphones so you don't have to hear it all or you might find yourself crazy by the end of the trip.
Have plenty of snacks and drinks, but small servings of everything. Divide snacks into snack size baggies so no one has to share. Unless you want to stop often for potty breaks, limit fluids!! I give each kid a travel cup and refill it with a small amount at each stop.
Visit your library for chapter books on CD. Of course you can buy them, but I'm cheap so I don't! My boys love Magic Tree House books and there is a collection of about 30 books on CD- hours of entertainment!
If you have to stay overnight somewhere on your trip before you reach your destination, pack an overnight bag with everything everyone needs for that one night. This way you don't have to unpack the car or take in more than one suitcase or bag.
For younger school age children, make them an activity book. Take a composition book or spiral notebook and write questions or activities on the top of the pages. The goal is to draw a picture for the answer or write a few words. Ideas like: Who is in the car, Draw your favorite vehicle you've seen, What did you see in Tennessee, What snacks have you eaten, Draw a picture from the last movie you watched, What is the weather like? Make the questions age appropriate and about anything that interests your child.
Download some new music for the adults so you are entertained while the kids have on the headphones.
And a few other things that help:
- Stopping at a rest area and letting (or making) them run, they need to!
- I let them go in once to a convenience store and pick out a special snack, the rest of the snacks and drinks came from my cooler and stash.
- It helps to empty trash from the car at every stop or you'll be drowning in it.
- I rearranged the seating in the van and put the oldest next to the youngest so he could open snacks, pick up dropped toys, etc.
Happy and Safe Travels to You!