Driving With Kids Sans The “Are We There Yet?”!

MY VIEWS | | June 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm

We all know the regular stuff to traveling with kids: keep them occupied etc but there are so many tit bits that I learned along the way. I travel to New Jersey in a few days with my girls and though their dad will be going with us I could have (and have done) the trip without him.  Traveling with different ages each has its own set of tips and tricks and mines deals with the toddler to elementary age kid.

We all need to go sometime

Potty, restroom, bathroom or whatever you call it, we all need to go but the younger they get so does their notice to you. So never wait until they tell you. My 6 year old is used to this and now just declares “I don’t really want to go but I will go!” I actually carry a portable potty because sometimes you never know where to find a bathroom. That is another reason to keep the drinking liquids in check because traffic will hit when you least expect it.

One Mom’s Trash is another…

You know that plasticky nonsense that goodie bags are riddled with these days, the one that just collects junk in your home? I collect them in a bag. Drive-thru “toys” can also be saved (I think these are basic landfill items anyway) but re-using them makes me feel better. This way I have a bag of junk which will look like treasure to my whiny kid and I can feel free to not have to haul it back.

Timing, timing, timing.

Start driving just before lunch time and then hitting unexpected traffic can be painful on any parent’s ears. A well-fed kid will settle easier and so will a kid whose sleep time is not interrupted. Taking into account the traffic timings (and plan for some unexpected ones) you can cover maximum time in between meals and sleep – unless your kid is a car sleeper.

Pack it right, and even for the night.

I have various totes in my car. One for spare clothes that I can access quickly in case their clothes get messed, another for toys and activities and another for snacks and mini meals. If I am traveling around dinner time i actually feed my kids and put them in their pajamas in their car seats – so less disturbance to change clothes when we get there plus if they fall asleep it’s just a bonus.

I-Spy a fab way to keep them busy

I-Spy and other games that you engage your kids with never go out of style. Sure we have the toys and gadgets to keep kids engaged but I would bet any kid would still be thrilled with a game mom and/or dad plays with them. My girls get super excited with quizes where we add spice with special effect noise for winners and losers.

Small things make a big difference

Things that are essentials are wet wipes, storage bags (wet stuff and more), snacks in serving size bags, first-aid kit, gadget chargers (and if they can get charged in the car even better) and a GPS (laugh all you want but GPS’s across the world are saving marriages)

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Allstate. I am pretty keen to share their new program of roadside assistance without the monthly fees. You pay when you need it.

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