Summertime is just around the corner. That means families all over the country are going to be hitting the roads. Visiting family, tourist attractions, theme parks, beaches, and everything in between!
My kids are young 1 & 3. We generally don’t travel more than 4 hours at a time since most of our family is close. However we are planning a trip to Florida for the holidays and that will be a 9+ hour road trip with a full house as my brother in law is coming with us.
Does anyone else use laundry baskets for everything? Endless possibilities! If you have the space, it is easier (and faster) to fit everything you need. Then when you arrive at your destination, put everything into drawers and use the baskets to collect
the endless amounts of laundry and toys (to reduce chaos in your rooms). You can also use them to haul stuff back and forth from the beach. 🙂
One of my favorite purchases of all time is a square collapse-able canvas box that fits perfectly between the kids car seats and holds an impressive amount of stuff. I got it from WALMART for only $5. I load that thing up with all their favorite books and toys so they can pull out whatever they want without my help. I try to packs a bunch of small things vs. a couple big things so they don’t get bored too fast.
No road trip is complete without snacks! My go-to’s are goldfish crackers/puffs served in a covered snack cup and squeezable fruit pouches. The appeal of both is that they don’t need help and neither makes a mess. The kids reach their hands in and can only pull out a couple crackers at a time. If they drop it, no worries – it doesn’t spill! No spills means I can toss them in my backpack everyday, too (which I totally do).
Okay, so as much as my kids love it we have figured out the hard way milk is not the best choice of liquid. My daughter always seems to get car sick when she drinks it on long trips, and it’s not the easiest to clean up. So now we stick tp apple juice, gatorade or water. I always make sure to have my spill-proof cups for road trips. You can keep the cups in the front seat with you and only give them when they ask for them. That way they’re not sipping out of boredom and adding travel time to your trip due to unplanned potty breaks. I usually just leave them in the cup holders on their car seats though. My kids are young so they will most likely fall asleep after the first hour or so.
Speaking of drinks and potty breaks, if your kid is potty training I highly recommend bringing his/her plastic potty and/or toilet seat insert with you. If your child is particular about where they go this will be a time saver. Just take the little plastic potty inside the rest-stops bathroom and voila! Also, I don’t recommend this unless it’s absolutely necessary, but if your kid really has to go and can’t hold it until the next available stop, having the potty will give them somewhere to sit and go if you have to pull over on the side of the road. But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, right?
Sometimes my daughter wants to be a princess with full tu-tu and crown, sometimes she wants to be a dinosaur, and other days shes fine with a big shirt. I generally try to pick out a comfortable outfit beforehand but, I don’t fight it on road trip days. I let them where whatever
will keep them the most quiet they want. Pick your battles and save your sanity.
TIME THE TRIP AROUND NAPS
… if possible. We always try to get on the road at a time when we think our kids will be sleepy and will doze off in the car. Sleeping children = quiet. Sometimes that doesn’t pan out but, if your up for it leaving at night may help.
PLAN YOUR STOPS IN ADVANCE
Try to identify some parks or nice rest stops along the way so your kids can run around and expel their energy and wiggles for awhile. Perhaps pack a picnic and make one of those stops a meal stop, too. Stir-crazy kids create stir-crazy parents so letting them get it all out is beneficial to everyone. Sure, it’ll add time to your trip but I’d rather get there later and be sane than get there earlier on the verge of snapping, ya know what I mean.
Tell me some of your favorite road trip tips in the comments below!