As we’re about to head out on our first road trip of the summer, I feel fully prepared for a solo journey across the state. After breaking down once on the Turnpike, dealing with major potty issues, and coping with screaming babies for hours, we are finally ready to embark on yet another vacation. The minivan is packed, the DVD’s selections have been made, and the tablets charged. Now all we need is some good old fashioned family fun…minus Aunt Edna and the family truckster.
If you haven’t ventured out on road trips with kids yet, please let me impart just a tiny bit of wisdom. I’m more of a doer since having kids, and have made more than my fair share of mistakes in the car. So here is what not to do on a road trip with kids. Just my opinion of course…so glean what you can!
what not to do on a road trip with kids
- Don’t try to get up and leave early in the morning. We did that a couple times and thought the kids would sleep. Nope. And both girls were cranky as hell! I say get a good breakfast in them, let them run around a bit, and then head out. At least for the smaller kids! Older kids are known to pass out in the car for hours. Lucky them.
- Try to limit liquids prior to your trip. Ours seem to have to potty every 30 minutes on trips, so do your best to keep this to a minimum…if you can.
- Don’t forget to charge all tablets, ipads, etc. Can you imagine having an all day drive with no tablets? How did we survive when we were kids? And if you do forget, bring a back up charger or car charger.
- Don’t leave at nap time expecting babies and toddlers to nap. I always do this and then fret when they don’t fall asleep. Leave at least an hour prior to nap time to give the kids time for the excitement to wear down and get ready to sleep. And if they don’t nap don’t sweat it, they’ll crash at bedtime!
what to do on a road trip with kids
- Make sure your car is OK. Since ours overheated halfway to Disney World, I’m vigilant about running to Jiffy Lube the day before the trip. Tires, fluids, oil change…you can never be too careful in the high summer heat!
- Bring lots of snacks. Seriously think about what you need then double it. Also, lollipops are great for the last 30-45 minutes of hell, as are little treats they typically aren’t allowed to have, like Tic-Tacs.
- Introduce new things. We usually pick up a new DVD, coloring books or water wows, download a new app and new book, and pick up some things from the Dollar Tree for trips. Little things can go a long way in the form of entertainment. Just ditch the silly putty…it will never leave your car.
- Bring a change of clothes. Spills are inevitable, enough said.
- A toddler potty is key for emergencies. Always have one just in case. Even our older daughter sometimes has had to use it. You never know with kids, and you don’t want to be 50 miles to the next exit with a screaming child!
Good luck parents, hope you survive…I mean have an awesome vacation. And remember,
Did you like this post but you’re about to catch a flight? Then check out What NOT to Do On an Airplane with Kids! And you can follow mommy in SPORTS on Facebook for more great tips and parenting stories!