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Ten Tips to a Successful Road Trip With Children
So I have to be honest. I really HATE road trips!! I used to absolutely adore road trips and would look forward to them… Until I had dear sweet little babies who decided to cry the entire way. Now, if you have someone with you then it isn’t bad and you can push through because one can drive and one can entertain your bouncing baby bundle!! But, have you ever had to do it alone?!Have you ever taken a road trip where it felt like you were driving forever?? Or your baby decided to test out her lungs and scream the entire way?? Did you have to make a million stops because someone needed something or had to pee every five seconds?! Well aren’t you excited? Here are ten tips to a successful road trip with children!!
Recently we returned home from our summer road trip. It was a blast with good memories; but our car ride to and from our long destination was anything but quiet. Babykins cried the whole way there despite being fed, changed and entertained the whole way. Does your car look like you’ve driven through a hurricane too when you finally arrive at your destination?? Do your littles have total melt downs too?? I ended up sitting down to figure out what worked best for us. Driving back home we had a 5 minute cry instead of the entire way! So we took a rest stop break and had a cuddle and some milk, and went on our merry way!
1. Wait Until Nap Time
We have found that the girls do better for sitting during long periods of time when they can sleep part of the way home. We plan to travel right when nap time happens! Usually this works because Babykins will close her little peepers and sleep the first half of the road trip!! Phew!!
2. Watch Movies
We are Disney fanatics at our house!! Big Girl quotes movie tag lines all the time and so for us this was a no brainer! We limit tv time at home and so getting to watch not just a movie but 2 movies is a huge treat!! We have found that Walmart usually has a Disney movie on sale for a decent price; so this is when we usually grab a couple.
3. Listen to Fun Music
Switch up the tunes and listen to some new cds or old new cds that haven’t been played for a while. When we are taking a break from movies we listen to music the girls haven’t heard in a while or the song they want to sing over and over and over.
4. Grab some fun treats from the Dollar Store
Sometimes running through the dollar store with $20 just for distraction toys helps a lot too!! The girls get pretty stoked when they can choose a new colouring book, stickers and a toy to play with on the way. Instead of allowing them to have al the treats at the beginning, give them something new each hour! That way there is always something to look forward to!
5. Stop at Rest Stops
This past road trip took us double the amount of time it should have taken. Babykins decided to scream or cry the entire three and a half hours that we needed to drive. We ended up stopping. A lot. But we discovered in the process that there are designated rest areas that usually have a park to play at. The girls were totally stoked to run off some energy and I was stoked to have a break from crying.
6. Play at the Park
If you don’t have designated rest areas to stop at, find a park. Before we discovered the parks on the highway I would drive into small towns and drive around until we stumbled upon a park. As adults we find it hard and tiring sitting for long periods of time and so it’s nice to stretch the legs and let the kids burn off energy. Sometimes stopping for one hour is what saves us from a screaming meltdown from the two littlest.
7. Go Shopping
The gas station bathrooms kind of gives me the heebeejeebees!! They usually are dirty and run down. With having a baby that’s crawling and being on my own I had to find another alternative. Now I drive into a town about half way and stop somewhere where they have carts; that way I can strap baby in and go to the bathroom or hep the other girls without having to worry about her crawling in the yucky dirty who knows what is down there floor!!
8. Plan to use the entire day
I stopped making plans for the day we travelled. It was stressful trying to get somewhere on time when traveling with littles who needed to stop and then we couldn’t because we needed to be somewhere. When we just took the entire day we could slow down and then everyone seemed to be a lot calmer. Also when we get home I can get everything unpacked so we are ready to jump back into life the next day!!
9. Lower Your Expectations on your Littles
Having your babes travel and be perfect just doesn’t happen! If it does in your house, share your secrets!! When I am not stressed about travelling and come across more laid back the girls seem to be too. It’s easier to deal with the stress of crazy drivers or crying babies when you don’t expect perfection!
10. Learn to Laugh
It’s easier to laugh off that your road trip took double or triple the amount of time and make jokes. It is awful travelling with people who consistently are angry and fighting so I would say biggest lesson we have learned is to just laugh it off when things aren’t going the way you envisioned. We have cherished memories traveling now that we have learned to laugh!
Enjoy your summer road trips!! Because oh puh-lease!! You’ve got this momma!!
Any tricks, secrets, tips we’ve missed? Please share below because we all can use the help and tips we can get!