Road Tripping with Kids

One of the many joys of living on the east coast is being in driving distance of so. many. fabulous. places.  And I am determined to see and do them all.

This however, does involve getting to and from places with the little people, and still loving life on the way.

I thought it would be fun to discuss some road trip coping strategies we’ve employed.

Prenote:  My number one goal while driving is to get where we are going, with minimal stops and complaining. I definitely bend our normal expectations 🙂

1.  Electronics and movies are heavily restricted under normal circumstances. On road trips, it’s pretty much all you can take, but I like to do it in a way that increases the suspense (which helps pass the time, I think)  We pass the iPads around in 20 minute increments, read 30 minutes in between each movie going, etc.

Passing around the iPad gives you pictures like this.IMG_0499

And even this, not bad.

IMG_8442

Click through for more on how I attempt to make the time pass in a civilized fashion.

2.  Bring plenty of food.  Nothing is worse that having to stop at an inconvenient time for food that you know will be gross.  I pack nonperishable food, so if we do stop somewhere awesome we can save it until later.

IMG_8043

This was GOOD road food

3.  Distribute treats every hour, on the hour to kids who haven’t drove you batty in the past hour.  A good way of determining this is the strike system.  Every time they yell, whine, excessively bother someone else, etc. “That’s strike one.” Three strikes, no twizzlers for them.

4.  Limit the fluids to normal levels. We find while they are sitting in seats, with not a lot to do, they start drinking out of boredom.  This becomes a problem for obvious reasons. I keep the water bottles up with me and distribute as necessary.

5.  Consider breaking up a long drive with a destination on the way.  We have found we can take about 6 hours at a time with smiles.  Longer is possible, but plan on more suffering.  We find if we drive 6 hours, stop somewhere for an afternoon — they are happy (?) to get back in the car for more driving.

6.  Have charging cords handy (that work in the car).  It can be a real bummer when one of the iPads die, and you can’t find the cord.  GPS really drains the batteries so chances are you’ll need to charge your phone too.

7.  Bring a mix.  Of music.  For you.  Having good music really improves the quality of my drive.  I’m bringing back the 90’s mix tape, on CD.

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