I had the pleasure (and yes, I said pleasure) of taking a 17 hour road trip with my 2 year old and 5 year old in tow. It was definitely a last minute decision because we initially planned to fly. However, adventure got the best of us andddd…. we decided to make it a family road trip to Orlando, FL. Woo!
We packed one suitcase with everything the 4 of us would need for our vacation. Then we filled a cooler with some snacks, drinks, and fixings for a few yummy sandwiches. We also grabbed a few other things to make the ride as comfortable as possible. It all went quite well with over 30 hours on the road! If you’re wondering how we did it, check out my 10 simple road trip hacks to make road trips with the kids fun.
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Have some fun games to play during the ride
We pre-planned a few games we could play during our trip. We played: ISpy, 21 Questions, Spot the Jeep, Tic Tac Toe, and we had our old reliable tablet on hand for the kids to play some digital games on.
Pack your food ahead of time and Have Picnics along the way
As I mentioned earlier, we had a cooler filled with food, drinks, and snacks for the family. This is a great way to save some money while on the road. We would turn our breakfast, lunch, and dinner breaks into a picnic at a rest stop as long as weather permitted. Here are some ideas for things you can pack for each meal:
- Breakfast Bars
- Sandwich fixings (PB&J, Ham & Cheese, etc.)
- String Cheese
- Meat or Veggie Wraps
- Pasta Salad
Bring along a Busy Bag
We packed a busy bag using some of the activities in Just Give Me 10 Minutes by Katie Davis. We also had a tablet and a PlayStation Portable , as well as headphones, coloring books, and reading books. During rest stops, and whenever the girls started getting antsy during the ride, we pulled something from the Busy Bag.
Countdown to touchdown
We played a cool game during our 17 hour trip each way. We did a countdown. Every time we completed an hour of our trip, according to the GPS, we would do a special activity to celebrate. Some of the activities we did were: have a snack, make a silly video, make a “Yoga on the Go” stop (where we make a stop in a safe area and take pictures in a certain yoga pose). We tried to keep most of the activities quick and simple. We didn’t want to pull over every hour just to celebrate. Ha. The girls really enjoyed doing this. I definitely think it made the trip go by quicker.
Take Yoga Breaks (AKA Potty and Stretching Breaks)
Every few hours or so, we would stop at a rest area or gas station to use the bathroom. We would also do a little yoga to get our blood circulating again. This helped prevent muscle cramps. It was also a great opportunity to use the restroom and freshen up if necessary.
Have a MovieTime Setup
I definitely recommend having a way for your children to watch movies during the ride! You can use a portable DVD player, or connect to wifi and put Netflix to use on a tablet. We were able to keep the girls busy for a couple of hours at a time (and even put them to sleep on one occasion) by putting on Netflix. If you want to take it a step further, pop open a bag of pre-popped popcorn and let them snack while watching a movie.
Have a First Aid Kit on Hand
Always have a first aid kit on hand. In the event that someone experiences a minor injury, you will have all you need on hand to care for the injury.
Bring along Pillows and Blankets
You want to try to make the car ride as comfy as possible. It can be quite difficult to sleep in the car. Make sure you have some neck pillows and blankets or throws on hand to make things as comfortable as possible.
Have a Great RoadTrip Playlist!
Of course you want to make sure you have some great music to jam out to during your travels! It makes time go by so much quicker (and keeps the driver awake). I prepared a playlist with some of my favorite high vibe songs to play during our longgggg drive.
Bring along some disposable seat covers
We made at least 10 trips total to the restroom during our trip. And trust me when I say, disposable seat covers are a lifesaver. Make sure you have a couple of packs on hand. Not all restrooms will have seat covers, plus, you may want to have larger toilet seat covers for your kids to use. I recommend checking out these disposable covers from Amazon.
These are just a few handy suggestions I have for you if you are planning a family road trip. Using these hacks, we were able to, not only make our long car ride bearable, but FUN as well! What are some road trip hacks that you would recommend? Please share in the comments below.
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