So J and I just finished up a road trip with our boys. It was 16 hours. Our boys are 1 and 2 years old. Are we crazy? Yes. Was it traumatizing? Actually, no. We had a great time! There were a few small meltdowns, but nothing we couldn’t handle. Want to know how we did it? Want to know our secret? Was it busy bags? Healthy snacks? Premeditated rest stops full of children's activities? Benadryl (Kidding!)?
I’m going to be real with you guys. We just kept it simple and were honest with ourselves. That’s it.
Let me elaborate with the help of a list. My favorite!
How We Survived A Roadtrip With 2 Kids Under 3 Years Old.
A) We had no expectations. We booked a hotel at our halfway point and gave ourselves all day to get there. If we didn’t make it, we gave ourselves permission to cancel. We took as long as everyone needed.
B) We packed lots of snacks and activities I that know my toddler likes. For instance, he HATES busy bags and coloring with crayons. He loves coloring with markers and playing with action figures. Pack what works, not what you wish worked.
C) I downloaded a million new apps on the iPad for Archer to discover, and a few appisodes from The Disney Channel. Yay, technology!
D) We did most of our driving during naptime.
E) When the kids needed a break, we stopped. We didn’t push them to do more than they could do.
You really just need to be honest with yourself about what your child can do and what will really keep them from losing their minds. Would I have rather had my kid snack on carrot sticks and read books? Oh, heck yes! However, for Archer on a 16 hour trip, that wasn’t realistic. Could we have plowed through and made it to Florida in one day. Yes. However, we would have all been miserable, our kids would have screamed most of the way, and my marriage would have suffered.
This is us letting the boys get the wiggles out during a spontanious Chick-Fil-A stop.
My advice? If you plan on doing a long trip with young kids give yourself and everyone else a bit of grace. Take breaks when you need it, pack lots of snacks, download a few emergency appisodes, and look at it as a great adventure!
What tricks do you use during long trips with little ones?