Monday, June 8, 2020

List: Ten tips to survive a road trip with toddlers.


Throughout the years I've done plenty of long road trips with children under the age of 5.  We've gone to Disney several times, Savannah twice, St. Augustine once, and the worst Miami.  Most of these exceeded 15 hours and some of them were with a child under the age of 1.  Well, now that you know my resume, one may say that I'm almost a road trip with kiddies expert.  That "one" may be myself, but that's fine.  My experience speaks for itself!  The first two or three trips were rough, but we learned from our mistakes.  Here's to hoping that I can help the amateurs skip over those common errors.  Shout out to the love bug who never made it to those trips..

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How to survive a road trip with kids.

1.  Schedule your trip strategically.
While being mindful of arrival times, try to schedule your trip strategically.  This means planning the bulk of your trip around your children's sleep schedule while considering your own.  For example, when driving to Florida we like to leave around midnight for several reasons.  It's easier to drive through urban areas during the night as opposed to rural, boring areas.  The second reason is the first half of the trip will be with sleeping babies that won't scream "OUT".

There's nothing better than coming prepared with your kid's favorite films to watch during the trip.  They can entertain themselves with movies and avoid neck strain by attaching it to your headrest.  Bonus points for their favorite Disney films on their way to Disney!!

3.  Set up a Pandora playlist that is kid friendly.
A few weeks before the trip, set up a Pandora station and "dislike" the songs that will bore the kids.  You'll have fun passing time singing as a family and they can't say "Are we there yet?" while singing!

4.  Take plenty of stops to refuel.
You'll need to refuel your family in addition to your car so make sure you plan accordingly.  Take time for coffee stops, pee breaks, sit down meals, diaper changes, and just to stretch your legs.  Kids do much better when they are comfortable as opposed to fighting an emergency tinkle!

5.  Plan a fun stop to look forward to along the way.
These don't have to be long trips, but a lunch at a touristy spot is always a fun break on a road trip.  We've done the Paula Deen restaurant, The Cracker Barrel, and The Rainforest Cafe.  As long as they are a place that gets the babies excited, they are a great choice for a stop while enroute.  After all, the best part of a road trip is that you can plan it to your convenience.  Take advantage of that!

6.  Come prepared with mint Lifesavers.
Car sickness is a thing that comes and goes at random.  Or, when you look down while moving like me..  
Mint Lifesavers are a quick heal to car sickness and a road trip must for those prone to nausea.

7.  Use a spare GPS to leave in the back seat.
We use Google Maps and love it.  It redirects you and magically gets you out of traffic when possible.  Most of us are the same, yet we still hang onto that spare GPS that gets zero use.  Set it up so that the kiddies can use it from the back seat and so that it doesn't make noise.  This will give them a fake, yet important job to do and it will reduce the "are we there yet"s.

8.  Limit everyone's liquid intake.
While I'm not promoting dehydration, take caution to limit everyone's consumption of liquids.  There's nothing worse than being in a traffic jam with an emergency need to tinkle!

9Bring plenty of snacks that won't leave a mess.
Have you ever swapped a car seat to find a life time supply of Gold Fish?  I have, now they're banned!  Instead of creating a car seat pinata, bring snacks that are filling, yet won't leave a horrible mess. 

10.  Print out a list of license plates.
Leave your oldest in charge of a VERY important task and leave them equipped.  They will be entertained and feel useful as they cross off each license plate that they find on the road.  This also entertains my hubby to no end.  Weeks later he'll get real excited when he finds the missing plate..  If they are too young to work a list, there are free apps you can download to help with the task.

What was your longest road trip?


11 comments:

  1. I totally forgot that your car has eyelashes!
    How do mints help with nausea and sickness? I do, though, know that mints during a journey help me from dehydrating and thus save me from headaches and fatigue, they trick the mind into believing that you drunk water because they refresh your mouth. Ever since I've been sucking mints during bus drives I feel much much better.
    I think you forgot to ad a tape to stick over kids' mouths.

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    1. Mint does a great job of calming down nausea. The next time your nauseous, try a little peppermint oil on your tongue. My grandmother was always prepared with it for car rides because I was known to get car sick. I just googled it and it looks like the mint has a numbing effect on the stomach? The tape is a great idea!! LOL Let's just hope we don't pulled over. :)

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  2. We never did a road trip like that when our kids were young. All our vacations were to neighboring states. Then we started flying. I'm not much of a car rider. I get exhausted after 2 hours! The furtherest we ever drove with kids was to Charleston, SC and my youngest was 10 at the time. I don't know how you do it!

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    1. We try to time it perfectly so that they get lots of sleep during the roughest part of the trip. We also bring their favorite movies. I love a good road trip so maybe they take after me?

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  3. My longest was recently to St Augustine. Just six hours. Anymore and I probably would have flown.

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    1. I really HATE flying so we drive as often as we can.

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  4. I had no idea about the mints and car sickness. I am prone to getting ill in the car (only when I'm not driving) so I am going to grab a bag and give it a whirl. Fingers crossed it works. I hate feeling like I'm going to vomit when we have to drive more than a few miles down the road.

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    1. Yes, I swear by it! I won't go on a road trip without a bag of Lifesaver's mint suckers. They are tasty and really help with car sickness. Like you, unless I'm driving, I tend to get very nauseous.

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  5. The smart solution provides a dvd player behind the back of a chair, Jax. This proved effective when my sister took her two children on a trip to another city for a picnic. They both sat quietly watching the film 😁

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  6. Never thought about giving a spare gps. That is a good idea indeed. Can always carry a bottle for the boys if they have to pee pee more lol

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