Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Road Trip Tips and Tricks

As a mother who voluntarily gets in a car with her children for a 14-hour road trip each year to Myrtle Beach, please allow me to give you some (If You Are Crazy Enough To Be) Traveling On Long Car Rides With Children--Tips and Tricks:

1.  Most important:  If you can, TRAVEL AT NIGHT.  We usually leave for Myrtle Beach in the early evening after the boyz have eaten dinner.  Then we only have to make one (or two) potty stops before it's time for them to change into pj's and settle down for the night with a movie on the car DVD player lulling them to sweet sleep.  We learned a hard lesson last year after we drove home from Baltimore during daytime hours.  Chaos, restlessness and irritability ensued.  Hubby and I were outnumbered 3-to-2 and it was a long-ass 6 hours.  Never again.  We ONLY travel at night.

Pulling into the driveway after driving straight through.  Someone who is NOT ME was looking quite chipper for 6am, eh?

2.  Let your children pack their own bag for the car.  I mean, obviously you must approve.  Allowing your 6-year old to ONLY pack 47 baseball cards isn't conducive to anyone, if you know what I mean.  But crayons, coloring books, word searches, clipboards, etc. are all good things to encourage your children to pack.

3.  Make sure Nintendos/iPods and all other electronic devices are fully-charged before you go.

4.  Gotta have Scooby snacks!  (This is our family term for car food.)  Licorice, granola bars, water, juice boxes.  The key though is to not have too much sugar (hyperactivity!) and not too many liquids (I gotta peeeeee!). 
You know you totally do that with licorice too.

5.  I used to think I was being all Fun when I would purchase new movies for the boys to watch for the first time in the car.  Notsomuch.  You know how kids like to watch the same thing over and over and over again?  Well, if they are watching a movie for the very first time, it may not necessarily capture their attention.  (This happened to us.  The movie was Gulliver's Travels.  Needless to say, it wasn't a Car Ride Hit and the natives got restless.)  Save your money and go with the tried and true.  Just let your children pick which movies they want to watch.

6.  Best tip ever?  FLY if you can!  Trust me, I would SO much rather take a 2 hour flight than a 14 hour car trip.  But obviously, with a family of five, it is much more economical for us to drive to our destination, rather than pay for 5 flights and then STILL have to rent a car.  So I grin and bear it, and try to make the best of it.  And just remember, as a last resort, there's always Benedryl...zzzzzzzzzzzz.

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rose said...

I definitely agree to have the kids pack their own bags for the car ride. I let them pack their backpack full of whatever activities they want to do in the car. I bring my iPad with me for movies and games and TV. The kids don’t like to watch the same movies over and over, so the TV Everywhere app I have with my employer DISH Network helps out a lot. I have the Sling Adapter, so I can access all our subscription channels from anywhere. The kids can watch their favorite shows live instead of watching movie after movie. I just had to buy the Sling Adapter for $99.00 and the app was free to download. Right now DISH is giving a $99 rebate back when you purchase the Adapter, so it’s basically free. Go to this link for all the details of the promotion. http://goo.gl/Qsggz The kids love this app!

MommaKiss said...

Oh dear, the longest trip we've taken with kids - well, was just with one kid - 7 hours. That's the last time. Now our limit is 3 hours. Otherwise we're flyin, baby.

crown lanta koh lanta said...

Traveling at night sounds a good idea. We have never thought of this and bringing the kids is always a chaos. It is just great when they sleep the entire road trip.


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