Friday, June 3, 2011

10 tips to surviving a Road Trip w/kids

The dreaded summer "Road Trip".  An inexpensive vacation for your family......if you survive. :)

Here are a few tips I've come up with to make your road trip memorable for your entire family:

  1. Place kids that get car sick in the middle seat so they can see the road and be sure to have something they can use if they need to throw up.  We take home our unused "air sick" bags from our airline seats whenever we fly somewhere.  We then keep them in the seat pouch for my son to grab if he needs them.  An empty fast food cup works well too.
  2. Have lots of snacks accessible for the kids to grab.  Having a box full of food at the back of the car doesn't help anyone.  Have a small bag of snacks near your kids or accessible for an adult to get so you can keep driving and snack and not have to stop anywhere. 
  3. Different forms of entertainment is a must.  Books, coloring books, toys, movies, video games or even a notepad and pencil are easy ways to entertain kids.
  4. Use Redbox while you are on the road.  We picked up at Redbox in Colorado and returned it to Utah after we arrived home.  This gives kids a variety to the movies that you brought with you, you don't have to pack them and they only cost a dollar. We don't start movies until we've bee driving for at least an hour.  I'm a strong believer that just because your car has a built in DVD player (which ours does not) does not mean your kids need to be watching a movie while you drive 10 minutes to the grocery store.  Kids need to learn to entertain themselves. 
  5. A pillow or blanket make it easy for each child to get comfortable and take an unannounced nap! ☺
  6. Updating the kids on how long or how far you are going helps alleviate the "Are we there yet?  How much further?" questions.
  7. If your kids are older, let them hold the GPS unit.  Then they can see how far and will stop asking you.  Plus it tells you your arrival time so they can just check the time and know how much longer.
  8. Plan to eat a meal in the restaurant.  This gives everyone some time to get out, run around and get a break from being crammed in a car.
  9. Leave about an hour before your child's usual nap.  You have a better shot at getting them to take a nap while you drive.  Refer to #5 about supplying a pillow and blanket for them.
  10. Pack light and arrange luggage to allow the maximum amount of room for everyone to move around.  No one wants to be stuck in a car with no elbow or leg room.
The great thing about a road trip is that you will most likely be near familiar stores and restaurants.  On my last family road trip we bought groceries at a Walmart in Colorado, bought a T-shirt for my son at Walgreen's, and ate at a local Denny's.  Having these stores near means you can pack light and pick up things along the way if you need to. (like medication or cheap clothes if your youngest boy runs out of clean clothes) :)
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  1. Great advice. I'm taking my kids on a road trip this summer to Florida - 13 hours by myself with "them"- I'm excited though, I'll break up the trip with lots of stops and surprises.

  2. My MIL is visiting from Brazil for the entire summer so we want to take her to Southern Utah and Vegas--maybe even California but we'll see about that one! Thanks for the great tips!

  3. love these ideas. We are going to Logan!! Just a nice little get away that is close to home.

  4. We will going to Disneyland at the end of summer. Kung Fu Panda would definitely help pass the time on the road.

  5. We use some of your tips when we drive to my husbands grandmas for Thanksgiving and Easter. We hope to go to Mesa Verde this year.

  6. When your kids are napping, that is the best time for you to be at peace and fully focused on the road. Tip #5 and #9 will be totally helpful for you. Also, take a lot of stops for all of you to be able to stretch those legs and savor the trip.

  7. Great comments everyone, thanks! :)


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