Fifteen minutes into your road trip and you hear the dreaded words, “Are we there yet?” you know it is going to be a LONG day. Traveling long distances with kids can be rough!
We have been doing more traveling with the kiddos lately and a few of those trips have been without my husband. Five kids, a twelve-hour round trip, and I’m still sane! 🙂
Here are my best survival tips:
- Leave early in the morning. This makes a huge difference for my family. The later we leave the worse the trip seems to be.
- Pack snacks! There are a lot of problems that snacks can solve. I pack each their own lunch box with snacks and water. I let them chose when they want to eat them and they understand when they are gone, they are gone! Most of the time they do great with this and there are still snacks left when we reach our destination. They can see what is in their bags and can choose when to eat it. This way they are not constantly asking for something to eat. They feel like there is something they can control on the road trip. (Mason is only 2 and I do not give him this freedom yet. It wouldn’t go well. Michael is 3 though and does great.)
- Bring stuff for them to do, and keep it all where they can reach it.
- Let them pack their favorite books. Depending on your kid’s ages, set 15- minutes or 30-minute quiet times in the van. Everyone has to read or look at pictures quietly; no talking.
- Bring little cars they can drive on their legs and on the car seat
- Pack action figures, small dolls, and their favorite small stuffed animal
- Go to the dollar store and let them pick something new to use only on the trip
- If you are able to climb back and help them, bring a cookie sheet and playdough (this was great on one of our trips!)
- Pack a clipboard, crayons, and plenty of paper to draw on or a coloring book
- Download kid’s stories from Audible, the Libby app (a free app that connects with libraries), or rent them from the library.
- My kids love to listen to Adventures in Odyssey!
- The night before you leave download movies or shows from Netfix or Amazon Prime Video. When the trip is starting to get really long you can let them watch a show and you will not need the internet.
- Make a playlist of their favorite songs and download a few new ones as well.
- Let them be bored sometimes. It is so important for kids to have periods where they are bored. It helps to develop their imagination and teaches them how to entertain themselves.
Sometimes no matter how many snacks you’ve packed or things you brought to entertain those kiddos they are just over the trip. If you can, STOP and let them get out and stretch their legs. Have them run, jump and act crazy. But if you are to the point where you just need to get where you are going and you can’t stop and the screaming won’t stop… deep breaths, pray and stick your headphones in your ears, they will be just fine.
Happy road tripping!
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