Last week my grandmother, my toddler, the dog and I woke up at 5am to begin our 1300 mile, 22 hour drive from Florida to our home in Michigan. Under normal circumstances I love a good road trip, but we were all sick and in a time crunch. To keep all of us from going crazy, I devised a few strategies to get through the trip and thought I would share them with you all.
Pack a Cooler
Include bottled water, juice and snacks like string cheese, yogurt and portioned fruit. Pack a smaller bag with individually portioned chips, trail mix and crackers. Tip: In addition to freeze packs, freeze your water bottles. It keeps the cooler chilled without the problem of melting ice.
Pack a toy bag
My daughter got to to fill 1 small lap bag with toys. I recommend items that inspire open ended play such as dolls, small animals and action figures. We also packed puzzles, miniature coloring books, Doc McStuffins doctor supplies and blank sheets of paper.
Stop for Meals
It can be tempting to hit the drive thru window but reserve that for breakfast when kids are most likely to be sleepy still. Stop for lunch and dinner. It gives everyone a chance to stretch their legs and get the wiggles out. It also gives you a chance to properly refuel.
Bring Movies Along
The average family carries a plethora of technology. So whether you’re using a laptop, iPad or portable DVD player definitely plan entertainment. I suggest packing movies never seen before. We just received the newly released Jungle Book 2 on Blu Ray and Digital Copy – which was perfect because Maddilyn had never watched it before.
Mowgli has been living in the man-village with his little stepbrother Ranjan and his best friend Shanti. But the man-cub still has that jungle rhythm in his heart, and he misses his old buddies Baloo and Bagheera. When Mowgli wanders back to the wild for some swingin’ fun, he soon finds the man-eating tiger Shere Khan is lurking in the shadows and planning his revenge.
She particularly loves Mowgli’s antics and the sing-along-songs it includes like Jungle Rhythm.
Get Creative With Games
At some point all of the fun things you packed aren’t going to be enough. So it’s time to pull out the classic road trip games. License Plate Bingo, The ABC Game (go through the alphabet with billboards, road names and more), and I Spy are just a few. At three years old, Maddilyn found I Spy to be really enjoyable.
Thank you to Disney Home Entertainment for providing a copy of the above mentioned movie. All opinions remain my own.
8 thoughts on “Tips For Surviving Road Trips With Kids”
The advice to stop for meals is something I need to remind myself of. I have a bad habit of trying to power through road trips until my passengers are on the verge of mutiny!
The pack a cooler thing is a must for us. The kids always think a trip means eating out, but we ain’t made of money!
Also, things for them to do… unless you want to play 500 games of I spy! :-)
The food bag works the best. It is amazing how pulling a snack out calms things down for a bit. I also recommend getting a couple of ‘new’ toys from the dollar store. They are like mini surprises that you have no problem throwing out later on.