SURVIVING A ROAD TRIP WITH YOUR KIDS.

Tip 1: Save yourself the torment and don’t do it!!

Just kidding! At this point in life, my husband and I are seasoned road trippers. He has family in Nashville and we drive up to visit them usually twice a year. We also lived in Kentucky for a while and would drive back and forth from KY to FLA on the regular.

We have road tripped alone (the best), with one kid, with two kids and now with three kids. We have road tripped in various seasons of babyhood, toddlerhood etc. Our road trips are usually about 12+ hours. We have driven them all in one day and split them up.

Wouldn’t flying be a lot easier you say? Yes. It would. But I hate flying. It is literally the worst thing that I could think of doing. Plus, as our family expands, the cost of flying plus getting a rental car when we hit our destination is way out of my price range.

Luckily, my husband shares my hatred for flying, so we road trip everywhere instead. As we prepare to take off on our next epic road trip with our crew (ages 5, 4 and 1 for reference). I thought I would share a few tips on how to road trip with kids successfully without hating your life in the process.

TIP #1: FOOD

The most important, and probably most obvious tip for a successful road trip, is the food. Bring all of the food! You kids will literally be hungry from the moment they get in the car to the moment they get out. I do not know what it is about road tripping but my kids act like ravenous beasts the entire time. Maybe because there is not much else to do? Snacks I like to bring include applesauce pouches, cheese sticks, granola bars, apples, bananas, grapes and some kind of chip. I also make sandwiches so we can eat on the road and not have to worry about stopping for lunch/dinner.
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TIP #2: ENTERTAINMENT

Prepare some kind of in car entertainment. When we had to upgrade from a car to a van, before having our third child, my one requirement was a van with a DVD player. I did not look at the seats, the trunk space or the amount of cupholders. I made a beeline straight for where the tv would be. Once that was confirmed, everything else was considered.

If you do not have a DVD player, tablet devices are always a great alternative. My kids are vomiters so they can’t look down at iPads. I also like to go to the Dollar Store and put together a little bag of activities. They are excited to have new thangs plus it keeps them entertained for a while.

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TIP #3  TIME MANAGEMENT

Maximize your time. Stopping for gas? Hit the bathrooms too. We would rather take an extra 15 minutes at one stop than have to stop several more times after. One bathroom trick that we use is that we stop at a nice hotel off of the highway. The bathrooms are usually very clean and if you walk in like you’re supposed to be there, no one asks any questions. You can use the bathroom without having to peel your shoes off of a sticky gas station bathroom floor.

Walk in like this. Own it!
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#4 ROCK BOTTOM EXPECTATIONS

Have low expectations! Like, basement low. Like, set your bar to low and drop it down about 20 more notches and cover it in some kind of vomit. I am a dreamer. I imagine the places that we will go and daydream about all the magic that awaits us. Then we get there and my kids are screaming and fighting with each other, we go the wrong way and get lost or the hotel we booked is disgusting and possibly haunted.

So, with those many experiences behind us, I have learned to take my expectations and toss them out of the window! And guess what?! Our trips have been so much better. I am not an angry wretch when things do not go exactly as I picture because I picture nothing! When things go well, I feel like I am queen of the world! Bye expectations! Hello awesome road trip.

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The most important thing it to have fun and enjoy your family! Do you have any road trip tips?

– Stephanie

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