Two Days In a Car…Our Very Long Road Trip TipsA Day in the Life Travel Uncategorized
Call us crazy but we are driving to Florida for the holidays. It is quite funny the look I get from some people’s faces once I tell them we are driving. Jaw drops, a gasp and a “YOU’RE DRIVING?!” I guess you either love the idea or hate it.
I drove to Florida with my parents and my sister many times throughout my childhood, and it makes me so happy that I can do the same with my husband and kids. It is an experience like no other, the good and the bad, but the family bonding it creates is priceless.
My husband and I have done it a few times; first time when it was just us and one child. Then last year was our first experience driving with two kids. I’ll be honest and say I was really nervous driving with a (just toilet trained) 3 and 6 year old, but we knew a lot of people that did it, got some great tips, and it truly was better than we thought it would be.
There were some rough patches; a small tantrum when my little one just NEEDED to get out of the car, no nap for either kid on the first day of our travels making it for a VERY LONG DAY, and of course, the reaching back and forth on my part to get what the kids need from the floor if they couldn’t reach. Overall though it wasn’t bad, and the kids had a blast. So, here we are and we are doing it again!
I have learned a lot the past couple of years in what we need to do and bring to make our road trip successful. So I thought I’d share all of my pearls of wisdom with you because really, two days in a car makes for a very long time!!
Here is how I plan for a successful ride:
I used to laugh at one of my best friends when she would make a laundry list of things she needed for a trip. But I have since learned that it is so necessary! I have a list for almost everything. One for me and hubs detailing the clothes, shoes, cosmetics, etc we need. A list for the kids, a list for the food we need to bring and what I need to buy, and of course a checklist for our computers, chargers, ipads, etc. I check off as I go and makes things a little simpler as we get closer to our departure date. This takes the guess work out and you don’t have to double or triple check what you’ve already done.
We go away for two weeks so we need alot of clothing (okay, well, I overpack but I’m a female, and its what we do!). In order to maximize space in the car, we use duffel bags instead of suitcases. Suitcases are so bulky and will take up more room in your trunk. We have a duffel bag for my husband and I and the kids get their own. If your trip will take more than a full day and need to stop somewhere overnight, make sure you pack a separate bag just for your overnight clothes (pajamas, an extra set of clothing, toothbrush, soap, etc). This way you aren’t scrounging through a huge bag of clothes, let alone have to drag 30 pounds of clothes into your hotel room for such a short period of time. We also pack a different bag for our shoes; they take up so much space, (and I need a least 5 pairs), so a separate bag all the way.
3. Toys and Games
We are going to be in the car on and off for roughly 26 hours. The kids will need ALOT to do. We buy them handheld games, cards, colouring books, colour wonder, maze books, word searches, and download movies/games on the computer and ipad. You need enough to keep them busy for a few hours at a time. Movies are a saviour for sure since they take up such a nice chunk of the drive time. So get a good memory stick and download! Netflix also has released a wifi free downloading option now which is amazing!
Get yourself some big shopping bags and a great cooler (we bought ourselves a plug in cooler and that way we don’t have to worry about our food spoiling). Not only will the games and toys keep the kids occupied but so will the snacks! Plus, you don’t want to be stopping for food every time they get hungry, so make sure you have plenty of options in the car that are within arms reach. I pack a variety of items from dry goods, to fruits and veggies, sandwiches, muffins, and of course there’s the junk food option because happy kids = happy car ride. Though now that I think of it, less sugar = more naps = quiet time for mom and dad!
As much work as it is to get everything bought, washed, packed, and organized, I couldn’t be more excited!! And I hope that this year’s ride is just as smooth as last years.
Do you have any tips for getting ready for a long road trip? Would love to hear what you do so please share!
Happy Holidays everyone!