Summer’s winding down but the Mantoan family fun just doesn’t stop! Next on tap, a sixteen hour+ drive to the Midwest to visit family and bust a move at a wedding. As you can imagine, I‘m knee deep in trip planning (I’d probably have an easier time arranging to drop Navy SEALS behind enemy lines), but I thought I could still share a few pointers with y’all before we hit the road. This week it’s seven tips for taking a road trip with your kids.
1.First, reconsider. Do you really need to take this trip? Is it something that could maybe wait until everyone is older and able to be financially responsible for their own plane ticket? Will you really let anyone down that much?
2. Don’t bother buying or making special road trip goodies a.k.a. bribes. It will only lead to your vehicle getting trashed all the sooner. And once your kids know you’ve got ‘surprises’ it’s all they’ll ask for until your supply is exhausted. You won’t be guaranteed more than five minutes of play value / peace until their curiosity pushes them to ask “Is that it? What else did you bring? This game/book/toy isn’t interesting. I’m bored. Give me a new surprise. Don’t act like you don’t have any more.”
My kids all pack their own bags of activities, then, when everyone is bored, it’s not my fault.
3. Oh, you’ve packed snacks for the road? How cute. What are your plans for hours three onward once every morsel of food has been consumed except for the huge crumbs sticking to the carpet, walls, cup holders, etc.? Rest stop food will suck up a month of my husband’s salary if we’re not careful. This time around, I’m prepared.
4. You can’t pack enough paper towels. Last time I brought the Brawny lumberjack dude along and we were still cleaning up spills with someone’s socks by the end of the trip.
4. And always plan on double the number of plastic bags for road sickness. Last time Fulton wanted a bag to spit into just because everyone else was getting sick. He had such a fun time smiling and pretending to throw up while everyone else was miserable and losing breakfast.
5. Yay for electronic devices for every child! And one lousy charger that everyone can fight over. I can’t believe I didn’t Amazon Prime this bad boy up. I guess we’ll resort to arm wrestling at rest stops to determine charging priority.
5. Try some fun car games like ‘I Spy’ during the brief spans of time when everyone is holding onto a thread of hope. Byron’s favorite game by hour six is called ‘Dead Indian’. “Okay guys, let’s pretend to be dead indians. First one to talk loses.” It’s great for like the 15 seconds that Teddy participates.
6. Make sure your vehicle is road ready. I mean, make really, really sure your car has good brakes, lights, tires, air conditioning, everything because in the middle of Indiana at 1:33 a.m. there’s no one to hear you scream. Except your kids…who are now all awake, and are hungry, and have to pee.
7. You’re going to stop every two hours for someone to go to the bathroom. Accept that as fact. Do not go over two hours. You will not make it anywhere but the narrow shoulder of a busy highway with a screaming child who just pooped their pants if you try to go so much as a minute past two hours.
I’m sorry, were you looking for real advice? From the master. How are you finishing up summer? Link up below and remember to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the quick takes. I look forward to reading your posts!