Tips for a Successful Road Trip with Kids

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Is it just me, or did we blink and wake up three months later? I’m pretty sure we were just ringing in the New Year, but somehow, we are already in the middle of March. And we all know what happens in March — SPRING BREAK! That means kiddos are out of school for a week and we have to find some kind of way to keep them entertained. If you are like most families, that means some sort of trip is in your near future (If you’re Southern, then more than likely that equals beach!)

Road tripping with kids can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not prepared. Here are a few tips to make your road trip a little more successful!

Always have snacks on hand.

This is a tip that I learned early on. My daughter is the world’s biggest snacker. If it were up to her, she would skip all meals and just snack her way through the day. She can be in the middle of swallowing her last bite after a three course meal and will still immediately ask for a snack. Because of this, snacks are an essential part of any trip for us. They can be used to tie the crew over until the next stop, but they can also be used as a form of bribery. I may or may not use snacks as a way to get my daughter to behave. Hey, whatever works, right? The key is having something that they love, but also is easy to open and contain. Some ideas are fruit snacks, applesauce or yogurt pouches, and pretzels. Another idea is to use a box with small compartments to put small snacks in (think raisins, nuts, M&Ms, etc.). This will be easy for the kids to access and will let them feel like they are in control. Lol!

Keep them entertained.

All kids enjoy different types of entertainment, but for my daughter, this usually includes her tablet. Before we leave home, I make sure to download tons of movies, games and books for her to read. I also invested in a car charger for her tablet because there is nothing worse than a dead tablet on a six-hour road trip. Oh, except for the meltdown that is caused by the dead tablet! I also bring along books and coloring books to keep her busy. When she is tired of all of those things, we will play a game together like I Spy or something similar. If all else fails, we will have a singing and dancing contest and then take turns choosing one song to play on the radio. After all of this, my daughter should be worn out and ready to take a nap — which is major music to my ears!

Don’t forget your patience.

This is probably the most important tip of all. With the stress of packing and planning for the trip, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Once we’re in the car and on the road, I just want to relax and enjoy the scenery. As mothers, we have to keep in mind that a road trip is hard on kids. Most kids aren’t used to sitting still for hours at a time. Numerous stops along the way to stretch and release energy are crucial. My daughter’s favorite question on trips is, “Are we there yet?”, which I’m sure is true for most kids! My first thought is usually to respond with “For the 100th time, no!”. But, I have to remember that she’s not that great at telling time yet and when you’re stuck in the back seat of a car with nowhere to go, 10 minutes can feel like three hours. Keep calm and remember that soon you will be at your destination and it will all be worth it.

These are just a few tips that I use to get use through road trips. What tried and true tips do you have? Please share in the comments below!

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Jen was born and raised in the Birmingham, Alabama area. She is obsessed with Pinterest, HGTV, and all things monogrammed. She’s been told that she puts the “pro” in procrastination, but definitely conquers any task put in front of her with ease. Jen is mom to a smart, talkative, and sometimes (always) sassy six-year-old daughter, affectionately known as Bug. When she’s not taking orders from Bug, she enjoys binge-watching reality TV and spending time with her close-knit family. She also loves traveling and watching college football (Roll Tide!). Working full time in the hospitality industry and balancing the demands of motherhood forces Jen to be intentional with her time and friendships. She gets through tough times by remembering that “things won’t always be this way”. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel – sometimes the fight to get there is just harder. Her daily goal is to make time to be silly with Bug, which often includes their dance and song battles on the way to school each morning. Jen looks forward to sharing her journey through motherhood, while making some great friends along the way.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks for the tips!
    For my toddlers I try to bring something familiar and something new. Familiar music and blankets to keep them calm and happy and a new book, movie, or toy (not usually “new new” just things I keep at the back of the closet and only pull out for car trips). ❤

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