Have you ever been road tripping with children before? It is a skill to be mastered let me tell you.
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I have to admit I’m not the expert on this in my house. But I have been led and trained by the best. My hubby – the old man.
He has spent a great majority of his life road tripping. Even as a kid.
And talking to him, he’s shared the practices of his grandad when they would go visiting family down south. Coincidentally as much as he says he hated some of it, he’s figured out how to replicate it.
We have had to figure it out by trial and error though with our bunch.
Road tripping with children can be a challenge. But if you do it right it can be a good ride for everyone.Road tripping with children can be stress free Click To Tweet
Our first road trip the little insomniac was two. We were headed to visit family down south with our own little family. We figured if we made the sacrifice and rode through the night, he’d sleep, and everyone would have peace.
In true fashion he stayed woke majority of the ride. Crying because he was sleepy for more of it then I could deal with. I wanted to ride on the roof of the car.
He peed through his clothes and we had to change him in the car without the cold getting to him. I say we but really most of that hubby handled.
It was rough. We pulled in just as the day started to break. We were EXHAUSTED!
Then there was the time we packed up and moved from Ohio to North Carolina. He was three. Again we thought if we pulled out at night, not only would everyone sleep most of the ride, but we’d have minimal traffic and we’d arrive just in time to do the walk through of our new place.
All three of the kids stayed woke for most of the ride. The littlest of the bunch was three. And while he didn’t cry the whole ride, he had now upgraded to talking trash, making demands and asking questions.
Not as bad as our first trip, but still didn’t go as planned.
Last month, we drove back from Ohio home to NC with all three kids. It was our best ride yet.
I wish I could take credit but hubby got us all the way together.
Here are 5 simple things to help make road tripping with children a success
We had bags of granola and Chex mix, veggies and spinach dip, and bottled water. Healthy snacks again equals my health conscious husband.
By doing this, combined with leaving early, we only had to stop once for food on our nine hour drive.
We pulled out at 4 am when it was just the two of us. On the way back 4 was the goal but we made it out at 5. Which was awesome with three kids.
The night before I had everyone shower and put on what they would like to ride in and could be comfortable. This was jogging pants and t-shirts for the kids and hubs. I did stretch pants and a tank. And then we threw sweaters over it in the morning.
This way, when they woke up, all they had to do was brush their teeth and wash their faces, and put on shoes.
By leaving early, the kids went back to sleep for a bit. Even the little one. We missed prime traffic times. And when we got home we weren’t too tired to go straight into unpacking and chill mode.
We loaded the night before. There’s five of us and the kids had been in ohio for two weeks and we had been there a week. There was PLENTY of luggage.
Hubby loaded up the truck the night before. Luckily he did because we discovered we needed more room and we went and bought a cargo carrier for the extra.
Otherwise we might have had to rent a trailer like we did when we moved and ain’t nobody have time for that.
Our ride was nine hours. That’s a long time to expect children to be still and not get on your nerves. In our truck we have a TV/DVD player. But in our last car we bought a portable DVD player . We would hook it up when we hit the road.
We stopped at RedBox and rented movies. Nice thing was we could return them to any box when we got home.
The other thing was, when we stopped we went to chick-fil-a. Which is our family favorite fast food place. The great part about it is that it has a play area where the kids were able to burn off some of that pinned up energy.
We were able to do a 9 hour drive with just three stops. That included stopping for food.
With each stop hubby filled up to make sure we were never short on gas. Driving through the mountains the last thing you need is to run out of gas.
Also, everyone had to get out and use the bathroom, including the dog. No one got to say they didn’t have to go.
That avoided the kids yelling “I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM”!
That also allowed them a short stretch of their legs.5 Simple Tips for Road Tripping With Children Click To Tweet
Road tripping with children requires preparation, planning and some patience.
I think we have finally found what works for our family. At least right now. This last trip was truly our best road trip yet.