Sunday, June 5, 2016

On the Road Again!


So you’ve decided to take a road trip. So fun! Then five minutes into the trip (before you can even get on the interstate), your little cherubs ask from the back of the van “Are we almost there?”.  Ugh! Now what?  Last summer we went on a trip from Florida to New Jersey and then on to Michigan.  That’s a LOT of hours in the car with three little ones under 7!  Here are some tips to make your trip more of a memory than a menace.

1.       Organized Chaos

I knew we were going to be in the car a long time so I started to plan the method of attack.  They would need their own space, somewhere to keep garbage and a place for all their fun stuff.  I hung grocery bags on the head rests. In planning the fun toys they would play with along the way, I made sure they had somewhere to store it or it would be all over the van.  I’ve even seen plastic shoe storage hanging from the back of the headrest to hold little treasures.  They also needed to be an arm’s length away from each other for their own safety (if possible. You will thank me later).


2.       Gather goodies

When I was little, we went out West and my mom had a bag of surprises that she would pull out every hour or so.  By the time we got bored with something, she pulled something else out.  You can score some major fun stuff in the dollar store.  I also used my Scholastic Book points to get books on CD (at no cost to me).  Window clings, legos, books, travel Bingo, pencils (don’t forget to sharpen them ahead of time), fun erasers, activity books, binoculars, the list goes on and on.  I didn’t want them to be watching movies for 12 hours at a time.  That was just a recipe for disaster.  Of course we threw in a few movies here and there, but overall, they were playing and talking through the trip.  They also had a personal Road Trip activity book I made for them.  They colored the states we passed through, found license plates, landforms and had so much fun!  I copied them and put them in a binder so it didn’t get destroyed.  There are even pages to put pictures they took on the trip. Click Here for the Road Trip Fun Book.  This is just a sample of what is included.

3.       Snacks, snacks and more snacks!

When I think of traveling, more often than not, I think of packing snacks. Heaven forbid my sugar drops and I’m in the middle of nowhere! (That’s just an excuse).  Pack some fun, healthy, yummy treats to pass out in between movies and activities.  Another way to keep everyone’s mood up and you stopping and spending less. Also think of the degree of mess they could make in the car…just sayin’.


4.       Make Memories

My kids love to take pictures! They have an old iPod that they used throughout the trip to take pictures out their window.  I didn’t have to worry about 500 pictures I didn’t want on my phone. They had great pride in what they were able to capture.  You can make it into a game.  Take a picture of something that starts with A, or a river, forest or big city.  You can send them to a local drugstore and often get them within an hour.


5.       Take breaks!

While you want to keep trucking and get to your destination quickly, you will get more out of your trip if you take frequent stretch/potty breaks.  Make it fun. Their little bodies (and yours) shouldn’t be cramped up in the car for hours and hours.  Here’s a picture of one of our breaks. Sometimes you just need to hang upside down.


I can’t wait to see all the fun you will have this summer, even if you are just going to a cabin on a lake an hour from home.  Make memories with your family. They will remember these times with you more than all the movies they will ever watch.  I remember vividly the exciting adventures we went on as family.  Come back and share your memories with me!



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