In 2015, I did something crazy-wonderful—I went on a 6-day road trip across 4 states with two kids under two—and I did this by myself. It went really well, we made a lot of memories, it boosted my confidence as a mother, and I’d do it again. I want to share some things that I did that really helped me, and that will help you too, if you are planning a road trip this year for your family.
Here are the best tips to not only survive your road trip, but to also enjoy it:
1. Make sure you get a good amount of sleep the night before you leave on your trip.
2. Pack strategically. In the cab of your car, you will want to keep changes of clothes, wipes, diapers, and Ziploc bags in case you need to put away dirty clothes/diaper blowout clothes/spilled drink clothes/you-name-the-reason-you-had-to-change-your-kid’s-clothes. Pack lots of snacks (finger foods—not anything that will require a spoon) and sippy cups with spill-proof lids.
3. Sync your driving time with regular family routines. For example, if you are going to drive at night, and you believe your kids will sleep in the car (lucky you!), dress them in their pajamas when you put them in their car seats. If you don’t want them to eat a lot in the car, feed them right before you leave, so that you don’t have to stop to eat anytime soon right after you leave.
4. Prepare for pit stops every few hours. Plan the pit stops when you know your little ones may need to be nursed or have their diapers changed. Older ones can walk around and stretch their legs. There are apps that can help you to plan your pit stops, including Roadside America and iExit.
5. For entertainment, you can bring audio books, real books, digital games, digital devices such as a tablet (with educational apps), DVDs (if your vehicle has an overhead DVD player), or small toys.
What road trip advice has helped your family? Share it in the comments!