Road trips are not always great… Check out our previous post on those.
1. Audiobooks and Podcasts
This is literally my favorite time to listen to podcasts. I have found some really interesting ones. Plus it helps me zone out from all the yelling and fighting happening around me. Audiobooks are great too, especially when you are trying to get your kids to nap in the car. Hopefully, that works for you, because I am still trying to perfect the art of napping on road trips for kids…
2. Discovering New Places
One time when we were going down to Disney World, the interstate closed down due to an accident. Google Maps redirected us through Ocala, FL. Kind of a bummer… especially since we were basically stuck in traffic through back roads (everyone else was redirected the same way). Anyways, as we were traveling through, I realized we were driving past beautiful horse farms! One right after the other! Seeing the horses and the scenery was amazing. I never knew Ocala was known for horse farms. And the home of Seabiscuit was also in Ocala. So that was pretty neat.
3. Freedom to Stop Whenever
Everyone losing their minds? People getting hangry? Want to avoid rush hour? Stop whenever. It’s great. I love to stop at a rest stop and let the kids run around for a few minutes outside if it’s safe. Gets some energy out and gives everyone a change of scenery.
How to make the best of road trips with kids
1. DVD players
Use it. Forget about the rules of screen time and use it for everyone’s sanity. Best bet for little ones, TV series. It just keeps playing for a while if you hit watch all episodes…
2. New toys
Go to the dollar store and pick up some new toys and put it in their bags before they even see it. The novelty will keep them occupied, at least for a few minutes…
3. Art options
Toddlers love stickers. Pack some scrap paper and stickers and let them go to town. As they get older, add some crayons, colored pencils, and coloring books (maybe not markers…). As the kids get about 4 or 5, get more intricate coloring books (think adult coloring books). These will keep them occupied for longer.
4. Snacks, and lots of them
Pack snacks, as many as you can. Throw them at the kids when they are whiny. Throw them at the kids when they are fighting. Throw them at the kids when you just can’t take anymore. Let go of the dream of having a clean car. It’s not gonna happen.
5. Fill up whenever you stop
Trying to make good time? When you have to stop for food or restrooms, fill up the car as well, even if it is half a tank. That way it saves a stop from happening before you need one (or while the kids are asleep…).
6. Make the kids run around at rest stops
Get them out of the car. Enjoy the fresh air, minus the exhaust fumes… Stretch those legs. Ideas to use- have a race, play tag or Simon Says. Do whatever you have to do…
7. Best Times to Leave
This is a personal choice, based on your kids. Like I said before, I tried it all, some unsuccessfully. Our favorite times to leave are mornings (after 6 is good for me) or late afternoon (think more like 4-6 pm).
8. Don’t stress
This is crucial. Block all that crying and yelling out. Expect messes and tears. Focus on the road. Nothing is more important than you getting there safely.
Road trips are hard. Leggings and tee shirts are my go-to outfit. Everyone is a mess and tired… Oh, and of course, the kids and I will have food stains all over our clothes (we haven’t quite mastered the art of eating in the car…).
But whenever we arrive at our destination, family is always there to hug us, crusty food stains and all.
Until Next Time,