Our family loves to travel. Not in a jet setting kind of way, more of a Griswold, load the family up in the car and get driving, kind of way. In the last year we’ve been on two long car trips with our kids, one trip for 12 hours and another 6 hour trip. We have a beach about two hours from us, so you can bet we’ll be making that drive a few times this summer. My kids are five and two and although things haven’t always been peachy keen with our car trips, we’ve found a few ways to keep them happy for the long haul.
How We Survive Long Car Trips With Kids
I grab a bag and stuff it full of any and everything I can think of to keep the boys busy:
1. Snacks on snacks on snacks.
My kids love to snack. They would sit around and snack all day if I let them. So when we take long trips, we’re sure to pack a plethora of snacks to keep them entertained. We also bring along a cooler, to keep things like fresh fruit, bottled water and applesauce packs cool. Something I didn’t picture, but we always have on hand are the take and toss cups. We fill them with water from the water bottles to keep the spills to a minimum.
Of course, every kid is going to need a toy. We try to keep the toys small, but of course there have been occasions where one of the boys just has to have something giant; like their whole stuffed animal collection. We let the boys choose what they want to bring and then of course I add a few more things for good measure.
3. Books, Coloring Books and Movies
First, I have no idea why the pig on this book has devil eyes. I mean red was an odd choice, but getting past that, it’s a cute book. My boys love to color, so we pack a pouch full of crayons, coloring books and sometimes even construction paper so they can craft their little hearts out. We also have a DVD player in our car and bring along some movies they like. On the longest trips we also periodically stopped at Redbox to grab new movies, which the boys thought was fun and kept them interested. Movies are a go-to for me because my kids almost always fall asleep watching a movie, haha.
We always keep things like a first aid kit, wipes and kleenex on hand. Another thing we always take is a couple of blankets. One of both of the kids always starts fussing about being cold, plus it helps them sleep!
In A Nutshell:
Be prepared to make a lot of stops and for some meltdowns. On our first 12 hour trip, we thought driving overnight would be good because they would sleep. It was the total opposite. Our youngest couldn’t sleep in his car seat and was a fussy guy. Luckily, we had already planned to just drive halfway so we were able to stop and get some rest and start up the next day! On the way back from that trip, we drove straight through and it went much better. We’ve also taken a few flights with the boys and although we can’t take as robust of a bag full of snacks, we still take lots of toys and activities for them to do. In our experience driving was easier for us than flying (if distance allows it). Mainly because the kids can’t get up and move around as often on a plane as than can when we drive (by making stops). Also, with flying there is also a lot of carrying of strollers and car seats, plus chasing kids, it gets hairy.
Our most recent trip was too a local beach. It wasn’t a long haul, just a couple of hours, but you can bet I came prepared. I also threw our beach essentials in my bag so we were ready to go when we got there.This tunic is from Rock Flower Paper. Their brand is adorably preppy and will be in Francesca’s soon! I immediately loved the print of this tunic, the colors are so cute. Of course, like with most things, fit was an issue for me. So although the tunic is a little bit too big to wear as a top on me, it’s the perfect beach cover up. Plus, with the striped bag, I felt like I should be classy enough to step on a boat somewhere and sail away…I mean if I didn’t have a sea sickness issue.
Now, for my embarrassment of the day, because I’m pretty much an embarrassing person. I slathered the kids up with sunscreen before taking these pictures and didn’t notice the giant glob of it still stuck on my hand. So it’s there in the picture, big ol’ glob. Like, can I get my life together. I ended up getting spots of sunscreen all over me and walked around like that until my husband finally spoke up and told me I was sporting a big blob of sunscreen on the back of my leg…and arm…and other arm.
Bella Pink Tunic – c/o Rock Flower Paper | Navy Stripe Carryall Tote – c/o Rock Flower Paper | Navy Stripe Dopp Kit – c/o Rock Flower Paper | Navy Stripe Cosmetics Case – c/o Rock Flower Paper
We will be taking a few more trips this summer, I know it! We don’t have any long trips left, but with the beach only a couple hours away, we’ll be there again! How do you travel with your kids?