Sunday, February 27, 2011

My top 5 tips for taking road trips with kids

We just got home from visiting my brother and his girlfriend in Seattle and while I was driving back today I started to make a list in my head of the top 5 tips I've learned while taking long road trips.

1. Kids should be dressed in cotton pajamas.  Why you ask?  Because they're comfy, thin, and breathable.  While traveling you'll likely run into several weather patterns.  For instance we started out today in rain, then lots of snow, then sun.  The kids had their blankets on or off depending on how warm they wanted to be.  I don't care for fleece because it's not very breathable, it's staticky (sp?), and they usually have feet attached.  I like to be able to throw on a pair of shoes easily.

2. Keep them eating.  I made these and these (keep refrigerated if possible), bought beef jerky, had lots of bottled water and fruit.  Now that I've learned my lesson about carbs, I realized that eating animal crackers or goldfish crackers makes me hungrier.  This costs me more money when I have to keep buying more food + I have to buy bigger pants ;)  If there is an open bag of goldfish while I'm driving, I'll eat the whole thing.  However, today I had an open bag of jerky and only ate until I was full.  Carbs, for me anyways, just don't fill me up and the same goes for my kids.

3. Take along some favorites and some new things.  Bring your kids' favorite toys, books and stuffed animals and bring a few new things.  This will keep them occupied longer.

4. Buy or borrow some portable DVD players.  My FIL got us 2 for the kids as Christmas presents this year and this weekend was our first chance to use them.  They are life savers and I hope we never have to take a long road trip without them.  I don't personally agree with having projectiles in the car that can cause injury in the case of a crash, but these ones were velcroed on in two places, so the risk was less in my opinion.  They have already been removed from the headrests and we'll only be using them on long trips.

5. Be prepared.  Be prepared that if you're visiting family or friends that they won't have enough food to feed your troop.  Be prepared when traveling in bad weather; carry chains if needed, extra blankets, a first aid kit and possible snow boots for yourself.

What are your top tips for road trips with kids?


  1. I agree with your five steps for driving during the day. We usually try to take our long road trips at night so G can sleep the whole time and we can have a quiet trip :)

  2. I would have to agree also to your list. I bring lots of food in the car for the kids and me to snack on. Instead of the DVD players I bring my Ipad with me for the kids to play games and watch TV. I work for DISH Network and have the TV Everywhere with them. I was a low cost for the piece needed on my receiver and the app was free to download. The kids enjoyed it because they got to watch their shows live and not miss anything. They also had stuff on our DVR and got to access that also. That is one thing that I never leave home without when we go on road trips.

  3. Bridge,
    I don't know how you do it, driving at night would kill me the next day as far as being tired. I'm glad it works for you :)

    We've thought of buying a used Ipad, but our children are so small that it wouldn't be safe in their little hands. Maybe in a few years, thanks for the advice :)

  4. Good tips to have. Long road trips with children can turn pretty hectic at times, so it's important to have something to get your kids occupied while you're busy driving. In any case, it's always good to plan ahead, and get your car checked in advance to make sure it's in tip-top shape.

    -Hermine Lindsie