Over the last three years I have learned so much about road tripping with a little one. Since our family is spread out throughout the United States, we have to travel to see most of them. Flying is not always the most feasible option so we drive. Driving across country with any child under six can be an headache. So, I came of with the an guide to help ease the stress.
Check the weather.
You always want to check the weather to make sure you know what to pack, and how the road condition will be. Don’t ever say oh it’s summer time so it will be hot. It may be hot where you are located, but there is a difference between dry heat and humidity. Also, it may be cold at night.
Pack children’s clothes first.
This helps you because you can make sure you have packed all of their items first and shouldn’t have to run around finding items at the last minute. Pack complete outfits together to ensure you have everything. See examples.
Pack soothing items.
If your children have items that will keep them calm, pack them in a smaller bag that’s easier to get to. These items need to be available in case your little ones start to feel antsy. For my son it’s his blanket.
Pack entertaining toys/ items.
Tablets – Load tablets with enough movies and offline games that will last the entire car ride. Download your kid’s favorite shows/ movies. Example: 8 hour car ride means I am loading 16 hours’ worth of movies and TV shows.
Load learning games that can be played offline if you do not have a hotspot or wifi in your car.
Small toys- For my son, I pack the small toys he plays with the most like Buzz, Woody, TNMT, a car and a Transformer. All toys that are small enough to fit in his back pack.
Pack food and snacks.
Stopping to eat can be expensive on the road, so we always pack a cooler full of items.
Pack items that are easy to contain and that your children like.
– Fruit / Fruit cups/ Fruit snacks
– Chips/ Crackers
– Granola Bars/ Cereal bars/ Protein Bars
– Make sandwiches
– Nuts/ Popcorn/ Small bag of candy
– Bottle water
*Limit sugary drinks while on the road. They tend to run through kids faster than water.*
You have packed and now you are on the road, what do you do?
1. Try to leave early in the morning because the kids are still sleep or sleepy.
We know they will at least sleep another hour or two while on the road.
2. Once children are fully awake, we stop for our first bathroom break.
No accidents in the car.
3. After the first bathroom break, feed the children, but limit the sugary drinks.
I dilute all my son’s drinks with water whether we are on the road or not. Juice has entirely too much sugar in it.
4. Cut on the entertainment after feeding.
If you have multiple children make sure you have packed items that interest each child, but do not pack a lot of items. Have your kids to pick out 1-3 items they want to take the most.
5. Take bathroom breaks every two to three hours.
It will give the kids time to stretch out, walk around, and get some fresh air before getting back in the car.
6. Try to do family activities in the car.
– Play Games
– Sing Songs
– Talk about things that interest your kids even if it doesn’t interest you.
7. If you have time, stop at a cool/ interesting attraction you would like to see on your road trip.
– Attractions, monuments, statues, parks, etc.
Parents, I hope this guide helps make your next family road trip a little easier.