Monday, July 22, 2013

Surviving a LONG Road Trip

We just got back from our family vacation to Lake Havasu, AZ.

It was a LONG road trip. It took us nearly 15 hours to drive home.
You know what….it didn't suck.

In fact….the ride out there was actually enjoyable. Yes, it was kind of fun. Yes, we still had our three kids 5 and under with us. (Although it would have been a lot easier without them)

So, now that we survived and didn't kill each other I thought I'd share some of my best "road tripping with kids" tips.

One of the best things I did was make a trip to the dollar store. I purchased a bunch of stuff to make an "activity bag".

I bought paper, coloring books, stickers, and little prizes I could had out.
I also bought little containers where each kid could have their own box of crayons, markers and wipes.
This way there was no fighting over a certain color, marker. I also put the wipes and kleenex in there so they didn't have to ask me for them. I put sunglasses in there too. Dollor store kids glasses are the best thing ever. Seeing as how my kids lose them like crazy.

I also gave each kid their own lap tray so they could color or hold their snacks. You can find these online.

I handed out the little prizes (chalkboards, "guys", toy horses, games, etc) every few hours or so. This was a nice way to break up the long trip with something new for them to do.

I also had a snack bag. Lots of snacks seemed to be the key to happiness. I tried my hardest to buy food they don't get at home but they would love to snack on. But I also tried to avoid sugar as much as possible. There is no need to get them all jacked up on energy in a confined place. 

Every time they asked for a snack I gave it to them. It kept them happy, and kept our sanity. I had little plastic cups I would fill up for them. That way I didn't have to prepackage snacks at home. 

I packed a cooler too with food for a picnic lunch. That way we got out of the car, stretched our legs, and ran off some energy, and saved money. 

They each got their own water bottle, to avoid fighting over one. Dollar store….love it.

Find rest areas to stop at, so they can run around like crazy people.
We also stopped at a Burger King with a play place to use the potty and let them play for a bit.

On the way to the Lake we stayed a night at a hotel, so the next morning we could see the Grand Canyon.
This was out of our way, but we really made it a priority to see it. Who knows if we'd ever make it back that way.
This broke our trip up a bit, and added a mini vacation in the middle of a long road trip. I really suggest making the most out of the trip. Go a bit out of your way to enjoy it more. It was totally worth it!

Invest in a neck pillow.

Ok….I actually did have a neck pillow for all three of them….they didn't even use it.
Geesh! I guess kids will sleep no matter what.

But I think one of the best tips I can give is to just go in with a good attitude. We mentally prepared that the trip was going to be draining. But we prayed, and allowed God to control the time we had as a family.

And we did.

Hope you can enjoy these long road trips too!

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