Like many other families, our family takes a number of road trips each year. We have three beautiful young daughters and people often say to me “How can you stand to take road trips with young kids?” In fact, I love taking road trips. I now prefer them to traveling by plane. Here are my top 10 tips for having a fun and non-stressful driving vacation.
1. Leave early in morning, before Breakfast. This way you can get a few hours under your belt while kids (hopefully) sleep in car. Then stop for breakfast.
2. If your budget allows, buy your child(ren) a new toy for trip. Don’t let them play with it until you are in car and on your way.
3. Bring along a portable DVD player if your car doesn’t already have one. For long trips, pack at least 3 or more DVD’s. It’s even better if you can buy a couple of new ones to keep your child(ren)’s attention better.
4. Pack a cooler with lots of your kids favorite snacks, drinks and sandwiches. Keep cooler handy in car, so you can just reach in and give them something. Packing your own food saves on costs.
5. Stop at a nice rest area to eat your meals. This will be less stressing then hauling kids into a crowded McDonald’s. When we travel from Texas to Maryland each year we stop at a beautiful rest area in Tennessee. It has nice bathroom facilities and is located on several acres giving kids a chance to run around and exhaust some of their energy.
6. Stop every 3-4 hours. If you are traveling with small kids like us, you will really want to take advantage of this tip. Kids don’t have a concept of time. By time 3 hours goes by in a car it seems like forever to them. Even stopping at a gas station and letting everyone get out of car and stretch their legs for a few minutes really works.