Monday, March 30, 2015

8 Tips for Making Road Trips with Kids Easier

The warmer weather is coming ( us Canadians can dream, can't we?) and with that comes travelling season!  My husband and I love a good adventure, and whenever the time and money allows you will find us in our van looking for something to see and do.  A couple years ago we had the Summer off, so we packed up our three kids 5 and under at the time, and drove across Canada with our little tent trailer.  That is over 40 hours of driving one way!!  And you know what? It was amazing.  The things we saw....the mountains, the prairies, the tourist stops, accidentally coming across the Corner Gas set.....totally worth it!  But let's be honest, travelling with kids isn't all roses, especially when they are really young, and we learned a few things along the way. Here's 8 tips for making road trips with kids easier.

1.  Snacks, Snacks, and MORE SNACKS!  Let's just get the most important out of the way.  Kids eat.  A LOT.  Make sure you are well stocked.  Avoid "hanger" taking over your family vacation.

2.  MANDATORY bathroom breaks.  I've had conversations with my daughter before leaving the house or at a stop that goes like this: "Do you have to go to the bathroom?"  daughter replies "no."  Me:  "are you sure?"  Dear daughter of mine replies "Yes".  And me, being the naive mother believes her.  Then, no joke, 5-10 minutes of the road, all of a sudden this child of mine is calling from the back seat that she needs to go and she needs to go NOW!  So take it from me, kids know nothing when it comes to their bathroom needs. Make them go when you stop.  Your sanity will thank me.

3. Books, activities, games.  Keep those kids busy!  Need some inspiration of what types of things to bring to entertain them?  Check out this list of activities to bring over at Hobo Mama.

4.  Suprise bags.  Hand surprise bags out at different intervals during the trip.  These bags can contain some dollar store toys, books, or anything else you can think of that will keep them busy.  New toys always seems to quiet down the least for a little while!

5.  Books and shows on CD.  Our family loves Adventures in Odyssey, and we also listen to Narnia on cd.

6.  Movies.  Okay, I know for some people they prefer to have a DVD player-free vehicle.  And I totally respect you for that.  But when we decided we would be taking a trip that took 40 plus hours, we decided it was NECESSARY to get a DVD player.  And I fully admit I am not sure we would have survived without it.

7.  Make stops.  My husband and I have different travelling personalities.  I always feel pressured to get there...I like to make as few stops as possible.  My husband, however, loves to take in every sight and sound he sees, especially in nature.  And his way is so much better for three high energy kids.  Letting them run around and get their crazies out really helps.

8.  Drive at the right time.  This is different for every family.  I know some families who prefer to drive through the night while their kids are sleeping.  For me I like to drive during the day while my kids area awake because i need a good night's sleep to not be cranky on our trip. ;)  Decide what works best for everyone in your family and drive at that time.

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