Pregnancy

Featured Posts
designhermomma
How to Survive an 18 hour Road-trip with Children
October 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Last week we packed up the family and headed some +17 hours south to sunny Florida. Because of the high costs of flying with six people, the only way we were going to pull off the trip was to hit the road and drive.

Driving across the country is exhausting in general, but driving across the country with four small children is a unique type of epic marathon. Going into the trip, I knew the most important thing to pack would be our patience, and of course a few other essential road trip items.

5 Tips for Road-tripping with small children:

1. Pack a fun bag. For my big girls (ages 8 and 5), I packed an activity bag filled with fresh coloring books, new boxes of crayons and markers, and plenty of new to them Disney themed movies borrowed from a friend.

2. Healthy Snacks.
Each kid got a brown paper lunch bag filled with their very own selection of healthy snack. They didn’t have to constantly ask me for food, because they had a small bag of tasty treats with them right at their seat. I kept the snacks healthy and simple, to avoid sugar crashes and belly aches down the road.

3.  Lots of Pit-Stops. While the trip lasted almost 18 hours in total, we stopped approximately every three hours or so, regardless of if we needed gas or a potty break. At each stop, we played a quick game of Simon Says, and did a few jumping jacks, and I nursed the baby.

4. Sleeping Halfway. We broke the trip into two legs. 10 hours the first day, and the remaining 7 the next. I found a great deal online for a hotel suite with lots of amenities (2 queen beds, and 1 pull out sofa, heated pool and free hot breakfast). By stopping, sleeping, and swimming in a pool, we arrived at our destination rested and ready to have fun. Plus, the kids thought sleeping in a hotel room and ordering take-out pizza for dinner was so cool!

5. Maintain Low Expectations. We kept the travel agenda light and flexible, expecting things to not go as planned. By expecting the unexpected, we (hardly) ever lost our cool or became disappointed when things didn’t go they way they should have.

Traveling by car with small children requires tons of careful packing and planning. But at the end of the day, spending time with family and friends makes all the effort so very worth it.

When you travel with your family, do you drive or fly? What is your best tip for traveling with kids?

Replies

  • 4kidz916
    October 11, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    I think breaking the trip in half is a great tip.  That's what I did years ago when we traveled to Florida.

  • daerca574
    October 11, 2012 at 8:10 AM

     we always try to make sure we have plenty for them to do.  We like to drive at night so the children usually sleep.

  • goddess99
    October 11, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    We haven't traveled far so Idk what we would pick to do. My dd is 10 so we would pack her nintendo ds with all her games. That would keep her busy for hours.

  • elasmimi
    October 11, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    One tip I found helpful; we usually stop and let the toddlers run around at rest areas, but on one trip to Florida, it was pouring rain. She was restless, we needed to stretch our legs. We were lucky enough to find a shopping mall that was not too crowded and we all got a little exercise.

  • timon95
    by timon95
    October 11, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    We drive. We pretty much follow thse tips above. they each have their container of fun stuff, snacks, movies, music, pillows so they can nap. We also pack our medical bag...dd and dh get car sick sometimes so I pack motion sickness meds, pepto bismol, tums, tylenol,cold meds (ya never know), allergy meds,  hand sanitizer, wet wipes, band aids, kleenex, a spare bottle of water, paper towels, and an old coffe container to act as a puke bucket just in case. We tend to stop a lot for bathroom breaks and to let them walk around for a bit. ds gets restless leg if he is sitting in the car for too long and i have a bad leg so i need to walk around to  keep from cramping up.

  • MamaMandee
    October 11, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    We drive more than fly and I do all the tips you have listed too. 

  • countrygirlkat
    October 11, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    We always drive because like you said, it is too expensive to fly!  We also pack bags of toys and activities for them and lots of snacks.  We also try to drive at night when we can so that they sleep most of the way if possible.

  • Kmakksmom
    October 11, 2012 at 1:23 PM
    We drive and we make sure we have lots of activities and snacks for everyone.
  • 4kidz916
    October 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I've never even thought of stopping at a shopping mall to stretch our legs and get out some energy. 

    Quoting elasmimi:

    One tip I found helpful; we usually stop and let the toddlers run around at rest areas, but on one trip to Florida, it was pouring rain. She was restless, we needed to stretch our legs. We were lucky enough to find a shopping mall that was not too crowded and we all got a little exercise.


  • BabyTeki
    October 11, 2012 at 1:36 PM
    First off kudos to you....the longest trip I've done is a 5 hour each way to a wedding when my son was 5 mths which was pretty simple I just had to stop to give a quick bottle and diaper change.

Pregnancy

Active Posts in All Groups
More Active Posts
Featured Posts in All Groups
More Featured Posts