November 19, 2019
This post is sponsored by Kelley Blue Book; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
We often take a 6 hour road trip multiple times a year to visit our family for holidays, but a 6 hour road trip with two little kids can be quite the daunting task and we have learned a thing or two in the approximately 20 times we have taken this trip over the last 5 years. So without further ado, here are my top 5 tips for making a road trip with kids a bit easier.
Yes, I am a crunchy, earthy natural mom who sends her kids to montessori school… BUT on road trips all of that goes out the window. JUST GIVE THEM THE IPADS. Or phones or whatever form of tech you’re currently watching your shows on. Use an ” unused apps” app to delete any of the unused applications on your phone that are taking up space you could be using for downloading movies!
Netflix and Amazon prime both offer the ability to download shows and movies. I recommend Story Bots on Netflix. It is very educational and the music is actually really clever and not annoying. I have found this particular headrest attachment to be the absolute best way to attach the ipad or phone to the back of the headrest, it is also pretty easy to adjust and reach while your sitting in the passenger seat and managing kids. Both kids can see and it adapts to ipad or iphone. It gets great reviews on Amazon and its $20.
I know it might seem counterintuitive to clean and prep the car before the trip but having a clean and organized space to begin the journey is a HUGE help for us. I take the car to the car wash and use the free vacuum to get all the kid crud from our day to day lives out and start the trip fresh. In addition to cleaning the car I also make sure to get my oil changed, and figure out if there are any maintenance things that need to be checked on or done before making the journey. The last thing I want is to be on a long stretch of highway and have a check engine light come on or have a tire or brake issue. Kelley Blue Book has created this free tool called the Kelley Blue Book Auto Repair Guide, where consumers can find out about needed recalls, repairs, and get help finding a fair price on repairs before taking your long-distance trip home for the holidays. You can find the tool here.
It is worth the $5-$10 per child for peace on the road when the shows have run their course and nothing can cure the crazy except a brand new coloring book with the magic ink markers! I love to hit up the dollar spot section at our local target and grab the little coloring books, trinkets, and other goodies to keep the kids busy. A set of sticky gel window decals is also at least 30 minutes of entertainment for your kids who are in booster seats and can reach the window glass to put them on. However, as much as I love to teach sharing at home, on the road is not the place for a lesson in taking turns an sharing so make sure to buy them each their own set of dollar spot goodies and pack them in separate bags.
Yep, pack them snacks. We always pack a cooler of cold snacks and a bag of cracker snacks. I pack milk and at least 3 clean empty sippy cups for our 2 year old June so we can refill multiple cups on the road. And a pack of ziploc bags is always handy. You never know if you’ll need extra trash bags, or a place to separate snacks into, and they work as dirty diaper bags for any of those roadside diaper changes.
It can get intense and the crazy kiddos all cooped up into one finite space can be maddening. I get it. However. my biggest advice is to just let things go. The fighting and the whining will eventually end, and if the parents are stressed the kids can 100% feel it and its all a negative feedback loop of stress and nobody wants that. Even though there might be some rule braking or extra snack eating or drive thru fries that you would never normally allow… my personal experience is to let it go just for now. Relax, eat the fries, and enjoy the ride! It will be back to normal before you know it.
I’d love to know your top tips if you have any different ones! And be sure to check out the Kelley Blue Book Auto Repair Guide before you start your trip to make sure you’ve got your car in shape to make the journey with no hiccups! Click here to check it out – it’s free!