Seeing that we live up in the mountains, we take a lot of road trips with the girls for short family vacations. Most often we drive to San Diego, but two weeks ago we took them to Vegas for the first time.
I wanted to go to the ABC Kids Expo to check out the latest and greatest and Brian had a business meeting. He let the girls choose which hotel they wanted to stay at, and can you guess which one they chose?
Think princesses and castles. Yep, the Excalibur. When they saw the pictures on the internet, they exclaimed, “Daddy, we’re princesses so we have to stay at the castle!”
It was a fun trip, but it reminded me that taking a road trip with kids is much different than without!
Here are some tips for planning road trips with kids.
Pack Snacks and Drinks.
I have discovered that I always need to pack more than I ever think we’ll need. Why? Because inevitably they won’t want to eat half of what I have, but if I have enough choices I’ll be able to find something they’ll eat without having to make another stop.
Plan Extra Time for Potty Breaks
Even if you don’t have to stop for food, you’re going to have to stop to use the potty, often. Just factoring in potty breaks alone, our drive went from what should have been 3 hours to over 4 hours. So plan for plenty of extra time for those potty breaks.
Bring Toys & Activities
One of the favorite toys for road trips is the girls’ LeapPads. They’re great because they can play games, watch videos, read books and more with only one small thing to pack. Just remember the extra batteries. Zoë also loves to draw, so as long as she has a notebook and pen, she’s happy.
Plan a Midway Stop
If you can stop somewhere midway in your drive for the kids to stretch their legs and burn off a little energy, everyone will be happier. Whether that means stopping for food, an attraction or just a random park along the way, everyone will feel much more sane if there’s a break planned in there.
Drive During Sleepy Time
If at all possible, try to plan your drive to coincide with naptime or extra early in the morning when they’ll fall back asleep as soon as you head down the highway. I love peaceful drives when the girls are happily sleeping away.
Rock the Tunes
If you can’t drive during sleepy time, make sure you have some good music packed. Zoë and Kaylee love to dance in their seats to all different types of music. It makes for great family fun!
Involve the Whole Family in a Game
There are a ton of road trip games you can play, but I had so much fun playing Instagram bingo on my recent trip from San Francisco to Pebble Beach that I want to create Bingo cards for road trips with the kids. Basically, you create a Bingo card with different things they have to spot on the drive. Whoever gets their row filled first wins! Since they love to play I Spy (also great on drives), I think they’d love this game.
The next road trip we’ll be taking is to the Hollywood Wax Museum, so I want to know:
What tips do you have for road trips with kids?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.