Road Trip Kit – Tips From The Pro!

Search and Find

One side effect of living far from your family is that you get to take a lot of road trips.  Since my kids were born they have been enduring 15 hour road trips at least 1-2 times a year.  Through a fun trial and error process, I am happy to call myself a road trip expert.  I am not saying that the kids look forward to a long time strapped down in a confined space, but I have found a few things that work well.  Here are Dana’s top 5 road trip tips!

1.  Activities! Have crafts and activities ready.  Wean Green is a great way to create a special activity for your child.  Here are some great ideas that I have found: play dough in a Wean Bowl, create your own search and find by putting items in a Meal Cube and a list of things to find, Meal Cubes are a great way to store markers or crayons.  The last thing you want is a child who can’t find the red marker because it is lost in the car.  Those are the things that start back seat riots!

2.  Food!  Special snacks are imperative during a long drive.  I pre-pack my snacks so that I don’t suffer from pit stop buyer’s remorse.  I like to have the kids create their own trail mix before the trip.  I find if they create their own it is extra special.  I make sure to include a few items like marshmallows that the kids don’t normally get to make it a special treat, but 95% of the trail mix is food that I feel good about them snacking on.  I will also bring bulk and have some containers on hand so that everyone has their own portion.  No fights over food during my drive.

3.  Let them run!  Kids need movement.  With a little homework before you leave you can plan your pit stops so that a park is nearby.  A new park is always exciting for even the adults and you get to actually see the city that you stop in rather than just pass through.  I always pack a lunch so that the kids can get out stretch their legs and refuel.  It also keeps the pit stops healthy.  It is really easy to get junk when you are on the road.  Trust me, those high sugar items that seemed like a good idea will back fire when you least expect it…in the middle of nowhere.

4.  Give the kids reasonable expectations.  For us, the road trips are loooooong.  I let the kids know before hand what to expect.  I explain that we leave when it is dark and do not arrive until it is dark again.  This helps to avoid the classic, ‘are we there yet’.

5.  Enjoy your time together!  As painful as it may seem, these are the moments that memories are made.  Make the trip as fun as possible.  Participate with them in made up games such as spot the semi (and get him to honk, of course), wildlife search, license plate bingo, or any game that you and your kids can come up with.  In the 9 years that I have been making the trek, my kids have actually never complained.  They are great travelers and I think it is because we make those long trips into a fun adventure.

Good luck and let me know what creative ideas you come up with!

-Dana