Friday 5: 5 Tips To A Less Bumpy Road Trip (With Kids)!

FRIDAY 5 | | January 15, 2010 at 10:28 pm


Now I know what you are thinking, late again! I was out dear readers. I was out to New Jersey (and also New York but more of that little news later). Might I add that I was on a road trip. With kids. With me being the only adult. With a 2 and 4 year old in the backseat. Did I add that the trip is normally 4.5 hours (with no breaks and no kids)? Feeling sorry for me? Heck, I hope so. In fact next week I leave for Atlantis (more on that later – I did mention I was behind in blogging) and people kept asking if I was excited but I was petrified about this drive. Hubby had left on a business trip a few days ago (The Papa post will also have some surprises for you so keep an eye on that) and though he would accompany me on the way back, that drive there was just lil ol me. So after letting all my planning brew in my head and having just returned a few hours ago, I have to declare SUCCESS! It was in fact a much fun getting there (even more so than getting back). In the hope of sparing some other poor soul a rocky ride, here is what I learned.

  • Pack it right! Yes, of course packing clothing for the duration and some extra is par for the course, but I also mean taking into consideration more than just that. I also pack an entertainment bag for the destination (how much will depend on duration) and snack bags (one for car and one for destination).
  • Ikea! I know you are thinking what the heck does that have to do with a road trip. Well Ikea, or the concept at least, is what makes a perfect rest spot. A clean place for potty, a cheap place to eat, and a safe place to play around. We are lucky enough to have one on the way to NY. You need to be extra careful at the places you choose as a rest or food spot, and doubly so if you have kids. I have been (un)lucky enough to stop at a pizza joint that had the above sign to get a pizza. A big franchise but this sign (which I am sure was meant for the employees only and not right where you order) made we want to gag!
  • Portable potty! If you have kids that are slightly beyond the potty stage it pays to keep a spare potty in the car. Sometimes a kid just needs to go (and save your breath asking them to give you enough notice) and too often then not a restroom is not so easy to find, and if you are looking for a clean restroom then it becomes all to difficult. Actually I carry one all the time, especially for places like fruit picking (ever tried to get a 2 year old to use those port a loos that they have at farms?)
  • Healthy snacks. Yes, I expect a bag of chips or those famous goldfish to make their way in but keeping fruit as snacks certainly help hydrate kids (remember how crappy you feel after a flight filling your tummy with those high sodium snacks on the plane?). Save yourself the hassle and portion them into little packs for your kids and don’t forget a bag for trash (no-one loves a litter bug).
  • Music to my ears! Entertainment for the ride (and beyond) included several CDs and DVD’s which we had chosen together. Since they always groan at my adult music I asked them to help choose a a few for me and was surprised they did. I am lucky enough to have a DVD player in my car and never use it except for long rides. After over 2 years of owning the car I discovered cordless headphones in the car and was thrilled. A perfect way to listen to y own music without the whining. If you have (or can borrow) a portable DVD player it is really worth it. I am all for car games, books etc but on a really long drive you need to pull out all the stops. I also discovered I could cheaply get episodes of their favorite shows (for cheap) on my iTouch.

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