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This past weekend the boys and I went on a road trip to visit with our aunt and cousin. It was about 4 hours both ways, and even though it’s not that far, I typically don’t enjoy doing long car trips with the boys because of their ages – an hour drive away tops is what I normally consider. However, it had been more than six months since we had seen them last, so I agreed to the trip but did things a little differently this time to make the trip run as smoothly as possible.
Hopefully, the tips I share with you today can make it so your next road trip with your kids can go as smoothly as possible.
Step #1 – Make Sure to Wear Comfortable Clothes
Let’s face it being in a car for around 8 hours in a 24-hour period is no ball game. For me, I like to be comfortable, so I can really relax and not have to worry about fussing with my shoes or jeans. Therefore, I would recommend wearing a t-shirt and some leggings for women and for men some sweatpants and a t-shirt. This ensures you can breathe and don’t have to worry about the clothes becoming uncomfortable.
For this trip, on the way up, I wore some watercolor mermaid leggings from Fin Fun Mermaid with an “Evil Genius at Work” t-shirt and some slipper boots. It was a comfy outfit and the leggings are even made from the material that I love, which makes these leggings awesome for kickboxing as well.
On the way back, I wore similar attire which consisted of the teal blue mermaid leggings from Fin Fun Mermaid, a plain black t-shirt, and some black boots that I kicked off once in the car in exchange for some cute black and white slipper socks.
Step #2 – Have Movies Available for the Car Ride
You’ll be more at peace if you can keep the kids entertained. The best way to do this is to have some fun movies available. Find what your kids like (and agree on) and flip it on.
This is the time to choose their favorite movies, so they won’t even notice the miles rushing past them.
Luckily, in my mom’s vehicle, she has a DVD player installed, which flips down in the back for the kids. She always keeps kid’s DVDs in there so both there and back they were able to watch a variety of educational and entertaining movies that they hadn’t seen in a while.
For me, I spent some time catching up on some of my shows on Hulu such as Scandal, The Good Place, and How to Get Away with Murder. The boys were happy and not pestering each other and I was able to get some much-needed downtown for just a few hours from work.
Step #3 – Take at Least One Break Per Hour
Kids need more breaks than adults. An hour for a kid can feel like a lifetime. Make sure you schedule some stops roughly every hour so they can get out of the car and take in some new surroundings.
It doesn’t matter what the break is for. It could be to stretch, to go to the bathroom, or to grab some food. It will make the road trip take longer, but it’s always better than turning a shorter road trip into a living nightmare.
While not good for my budget, but good for my sanity, we stopped for brunch at Subway on Saturday and we had breakfast at IHOP on Sunday for the return trip (who says you can’t still eat healthy when eating out lol). We also stopped at some rest stops in between to give the kids some time to stretch their legs and run some of their built-up energy out.
Having a quick break at least once an hour was probably one of the most important parts of the trip.
Step #4 – Have Something to Keep Them Occupied for Downtime Once at the Destination
When you first arrive at your destination, obviously your kids are going to have the excitement of greeting relatives or doing fun activities. However, as the daylight slips by something fun is needed to keep them occupied during the space of time after showers and before bedtime.
My saving grace for this trip was the Playfoam pack. This was something we were all able to experience playing with together and making different things, plus it helped keep them from just watching tv or pestering each other. We were able to make the most of our quality time with our relatives and they had that final activity that tired them the rest of the way out for a good night’s sleep.
Final Thoughts on Going on a Road Trip with Kids Like a Boss
Road trips with kids can be stressful if they have temper tantrums or keep asking whether we’re there yet for the entire trip. Trust me, with three boys, they can find a way to drive everyone, including themselves insane when we go on super long road trips. However, with these tips you’ll have the tools you need to keep them happy and yourself sane.
What are your best tips for keeping your sanity and having an awesome trip when taking the kids on road trips?