children · lifestyle · uplift

Traveling with KIDS!!!

I recently had a friend ask for advise on how to travel with kids and come out alive! I will say I kind of feel like an expert in this area because we have done it SOO many times! We have traveled across the country with 5 kids many many times each summer so we can be with our family so I have some great tips and tricks on how to survive a long car ride with kids! As you are planning your summer trips, I hope that these help on your road trip!

  1. SNACKS! When kids are fed, they are HAPPY! I make individual bags of treats for each child. They are in ziplock bags so they won’t spill all over the place. I try to get healthy snacks {dried & fresh fruit, beef jerky etc} however most of the time, it is road trip snacks {crackers, candy, fruit snacks}. I do have water bottles in each snack bag, but I don’t replenish the water very often to help control the potty stops! All of the trash goes in a ziplock bag inside their snack bag to cut down on the mess.
  2. Comfy-each kid has their designated seat {strategically placed so the fighting is to a minimum} so then I will put their pillow and blanket on their seat as we are loading the car along with their snack/activity bag. I always have the kids wear comfy clothes like sweats so they can sleep easier. Most of our traveling is done at night so I want them to be able to sleep through the night to make it as easy as possible. 
  3. Entertainment- I pack all of the DVDS in a portable case to maximize the space in the car. I have at least 20 movies for a good variety. I always have the kids iPads or devises charged and headphones ready. Always download shows the day before traveling so they are available while you are in the car.  Along with the snack bag, I also have an entertainment bag. In it, I have a book or two packed, a mad libs book with a pen or a coloring book, and a small toy. I get a big gift bag at the dollar store to put the snack bag and fun bag all in one. This goes at the foot of the kids seats. 
  4. COIN JARS-My Dad and Aunt started this awesome tradition where they save all of their change in a jar and give it to the kids as we are making our road trip so that they can get a treat at every gas station along the way.  They used to do this growing up and my kids get SOOO excited to choose any treat at the gas station. It makes the trip a little more exciting!
  5. PLAN your Route: As you are planning your route, see what the weather conditions and traffic is going to be like. We have found that traveling at night is better for the kids because they can sleep for most of the time. Parents need to load up on treats and downloaded podcasts or books to get through the night. My husband and I have a deal where I talk to him as much as I can throughout the night but when I am asleep, he listens to his stuff. I take over the driving at 6am so he can get some sleep! 
  6. Plan accommodations ahead of time: If driving through the night is not your thing, pack one bag of clothes and toiletries you will need for an overnight stay in a hotel. It is SOOO much better to take one bag inside the hotel instead of unloading your whole car late at night! 
  7. Pitstops: Plan your food, gas and bathroom stops around where you will be. If you know you are coming up to a bigger city with more options, wait to stop then if possible. Sometimes in smaller towns, you have limited options and gas stations that are sometimes sketchy. When you get out to get food or gas, make everyone go to the bathroom even if they say they don’t have to go! They will in 15 minutes so make them go! Every time you are at a gas station, throw away everyones trash! You will thank yourself when you get to your destination!
  8. Car Topper-We got a car topper a few years ago and it has been such a great investment! We still are pretty loaded up inside the car, but it would be 10 times worse if we didn’t have most of the luggage on top of the car. Look into a topper to maximize the car space inside. Every place we stop, we find a bumper sticker to put on top of the car topper and the kids get a kick out of that!
  9. THINGS TO PACK-Clorox wipes/baby wipes, paper towels, throw up bag/bowl, extra baby clothes/diapers, plastic grocery sacks, charging cords, car emergency kit.

                                      Happy Traveling! Hope these tips help you!

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