This summer we will traveling quite a bit with my 3 and 5 year old boys and I am l both excited and dreading it at the same time. In addition to flying to Florida, we will hitting the road for a few out of state road trips. These road trips have me a bit worried and because I am a planner at heart, I have devised a sanity saver plan that will surely keep my little monkeys happy during these long trips.
Leave very late or very early: This might stink for you but it it not about you anymore is it? : ) If you can cover most of your trip while the kids are sleeping you will be golden (and tired but hey, go back and read my first sentence)
Plan on making a few stops along the way: When my husband and I used to travel we would try to get there as quickly as possible even if my bladder was about to burst! Now that the boys are here it is about the experience and not so much about the destination. If you make great time but have two cranky kids and a pounding headache when you arrive, you will not have a very good time, will you? Try and find some interesting things to stop and look at along the way and intergrate those into your trip. If that is not possible, use the rest stops as an activity. Getting a drink or a snack from a new place is a real treat for my kids since we don’t do it everyday.
Snacks: Speaking of snacks, have an arsenal handy in the car (along with lots of water) I have used this method quite a bit while doing my everyday shopping. The trick is to feed them a very light meal before the trip so they are hungry enough for the snack. I don’t normally buy sugary cereals so I break out the “sugar puff bombs” for these very occasions. I also give them water in a spill proof cup in a shape/character that they haven’t seen before. I swear something like that will keep my 3 year old happily sipping for an hour!
A New Toy/Coloring Book/Game: Hit the dollar store for this one. I picked up a bag of army men for the boys the other day and it kept them happily busy all day. They are still playing with them. They did not have anything like that before so new and different was the key.
The iPad: So they kids are awake and restless, having their fill of snacks and toys, and you just left the rest stop. What do you do now? Bring out the big guns….the mighty iPad!! This little gadget is like magic in my house. It has truly saved my sanity at the doctor’s office or when I had to bring my kids to a meeting (yes, I have done this successfully so it is possible). Mine is heavily protected with a nice case and an even nicer warranty so I feel ok about giving it to the kids. We actually have two now so both kids can watch a movie, play a game, listen to music, whatever they want. Whatever keeps them happy keeps mama happy.
Bonus tip Take a breath and have fun. That was the point of all of this, right?
I would love to hear your travel tips and stories. Share them below and help a fellow mama out. We need all the help we can get : )