So, you’ve seen the pictures, and the playing in the sand and surf and the happy smiles by the ocean but you know it took about 8 hours to get to the beach and 9 to get home the next weekend right? Yeah, unfortunately it was raining almost the entire way and there were several car accidents. 🙁
Anyway, that means LOTS o’ time in the car. WITH THREE KIDS.
So, I thought I would throw out some ideas for making it mostly bearable
(Since we are off for another trip to TX in a couple of weeks and I need a refresher after blocking out the last trip).
Let me start by saying if you do not have a DVD player already in your vehicle and you are traveling long distances with 2 or more kids
or any kid at all ever, you are CRAZY. Get one and figure out a way to rig it up and have headphones at the ready so you do not have to hear Finding Nemo 4.5 times. You know, unless you really like Ellen Degeneres’ voice THAT much. I do not.
Bring baby wipes – I don’t care if you’re kids are 13 and 15 you WILL use them, even if it’s just to wipe up your own coffee spill. “Baby Wipes. Not just for Wiping Poop Anymore!”
Make sure you have the MAIN necessities. Remember that time you forgot diapers and there was a blowout in the middle of nowhere? You don’t??? Ohhhh, I do.
Snacks, Snacks and more snacks. This includes drinks as well. Pretzels, peanuts, popcorn, whatever your kids like. And yes, this trip IS kinda like the circus so those snacks seem extra appropriate! Our actual favorites are M&Ms, fruit leathers, nuts, actual fruit like banana or apples, and yes, pretzels too. Maybe even some chocolate covered ones.
(p.s. one of THE coolest features of my Odyssey is the “cool box” that is at the bottom of the middle console – keeps 4 drinks cold. And no, they did not pay me to say that.)
Other activities. Believe it or not the kids may get bored with movies and may not sleep as much as you think
or at all so bring some books, and coloring books and crayons and play the license plate game and point out cows. It’s fun! MOOOOOO!
Get out of the Car! Find a nice rest stop on your way and actually have a picnic lunch. There’s a great one on our way, in Mississippi where the kids can run and play and of course, go potty.
Do not and I repeat DO NOT forget their “Lovies”. My oldest 2 pack their own back packs and always include their favorite pillow pets or whatever but I still have to make sure that the things K loves to sleep with are in the van before we pull out. Otherwise, there may be rough nights ahead and you’re already away from home so… yeah, let’s not add to that possible trauma.
Bring along Trivia Pursuit cards (we actually have a TP book) and the adults can ask each other questions while the kids are watching movies. Trust me, you won’t even hear Ellen Degeneres (you know when one of your kids refuses to use the wireless headphones, perhaps). P.S. This idea was my husband’s, he loves trivia.
Point out cool things along the way. On this particular trip there are several big bridges, The U.S.S. Alabama battleship, and a tunnel. But take note: If children are asleep, DO NOT WAKE THEM to see said attractions. It is SO NOT worth it. Trust me.
I think that about covers it.
Oh except to tell you that our next vehicle may be this one if I can find it. I totally need that seat that faces backwards so that I can pick up every doggone thing my kids drop and distribute snacks more efficiently. I mean seriously, Honda, you need to get on that, STAT. Because WAAAAY too many truckers saw my arse sticking up out of the front seat and that is just NOT safe. For SO many reasons…
Okay, so if you have any extra tips, please leave them in the comments, I would love to know what you do/bring/play while riding in the car with your kiddos!