Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ridin' Along in My Automobile: Surviving Road Trips with Little Kids

We're on our way across about one-third of the United States. Lots of hours in the family van with itty bitty boys. We wondered if we were completely crazy for doing this, but we have some family obligations, and so we loaded up and headed out. And you know what? It is working out amazingly well, knock on wood. Here's my reflections as to why:
1) Prayer--for safe travel, harmony among the kids and God's merciful blessings on the whole process
(we asked others for their prayers too, and we can tell the power of prayer is working!)
2) Double DVD players (I know this sounds sacreligious as number two after prayer, but they have been really helpful as well). Expensive but cheaper than a plane ticket and well worth it.
3) Frequent stops. Who knew rest areas could be so much fun? I'm thinking we should pack up some weekend and just head to a rest area, then head home. (On second thought...)
4) Worked a little harder to make homemade meals before we left and bought fun some treats too. Being able to eat our own food feels comforting, saves money, and allows us to spend more time relaxing at the rest areas while the boys run and expend gobs of energy. It is more peaceful than going to a restaurant where you are stressed about the "wiggliness" of your boys (plus that's way more expensive too, and I like my cooking better--most of the time) :)
5) New toys/activities. Went to a specialty toy store before we left and picked out some play foam--really cool stuff. It doesn't dry out; despite its appearances, it isn't messy; and its really fun. Think sticky foam balls that stick together and are moldable.
We also bought some Scratch Magic papers and some Wikki Stix, which the boys are enjoying.
6) Not too long of a day of driving, frequent stops. 
Better get to bed; another day of driving ahead!  
What are your tips for merry road trips with little ones?


  1. Sounds like you are having fun! We've watched lots of Little House on the Prairie DVDs as we drove across the country with our 5 kiddos.

  2. Your rest stop stories remind me of my family- growing up my mom would always chase us around the rest stop so we would run and get tired out before leaving on the next leg of the journey. We would always have sandwiches wrapped in wax paper, milk from a cooler and a wash cloth in a baggie with a little dish soap on it to wash our hands (this was before "wipes" ) - but we had fun, didn't have to do the eating out drama- and of course saved $$ too. We kept the tradition going with our kids too.... the joke in our family was how I ALWAYS made them "empty out" wherever we stopped... even if they didn't have to "go"... because I KNEW they would have to... as soon as we were out of the driveway! It's still a family joke today... all the times they say I "made them go" :) enjoy your travels!!!

  3. HEY! Jodi told me you have a blog TOO! I LOVE it! I am going to have to ask you where you got the foam stuff later on! I hope you have a great trip! SEe you soon!

  4. Liz, they're at Toy Town. Single bricks are 1.99 I think, the 6 pack is 9.99 or 12.99, and then you can get even bigger packs with craft things in them like googly eyes, etc. for about $20. Hope you're having a great week!