Today's theme is...drum roll please...
7 tips/ideas for traveling across the country with kids!
In just a few days we'll be leaving 'life as we know it' to drive across the country to the beautiful Rocky Mountains for family vacation. We are beyond excited, but lets be real people and lets remember look at all of life realistically...(not with rose colored glasses eh!?) Traveling with children has its way of testing any parents patience. Whether its a fussy baby who needs to nurse, an antsy, 'gotta go potty', 'are we there yet' toddler, or the one who doesn't want anyone to 'touch them' - we come across little 'issues' along the way. The key is being prepared to handle whatever comes to take away the peace...and to be mentally ready in advance.
We have 25 hours of driving to do. We've driven this many hours before (down to Texas a few years back), but not with 6 kids. THIS time our kids are that much older and we don't have anyone younger than 3 in the car, so we have it going for us, I think. A year ago we decided to 'take it up a notch' and we purchased a 12 passenger van. Our mini van has over 130k miles on it and quite frankly our kids and our 'stuff' is just too big for it especially when it comes to road trips...which we do rather often...Williamsburg, tournaments, 'just us' weekends away, etc. We excited about having the extra space this road trip.
Here are some of the ideas we have that'll keep the gang busy and happy. Nothing 'unusual' per say...just staying organized about it and staying 'one step ahead' of it all.
Books! We'll be bringing along a selection of books as well as audio books which the library loans out on Play Away. We haven't yet done the Play Away's, but I think it'll be nice for the kids who tend to get car sick easily. The can listen to a book and still get the benefits!
Music! We're music lovers and music has a way of 'making the mood' so we have several playlists for our road trip. This is where some of the great memories are made!
Apps! We don't have a DVD player in either of our vans. Just something we felt strongly about not getting. But for road trips we allow the kids to bring the iPads and play games. A lot of our apps are educational, but we have some 'just fun' ones also.
Activities! Pinterest provided the inspiration and my girls make it happen. There are lots of great ideas for keeping little kids busy during long road trips. One of the best ideas is simple. Go to the Dollar Store and purchase a cookie sheet or two and some clip style magnets. Now you have a easy place for coloring and doing other drawing/writing type activities. We'll have lots of Color Wonder as well as a few other magnet type games and reusable sticker pages.
Stops! We don't allow eating in our van (of course there are some exceptions IF we have something that isn't totally crumbly). So, our stop are planned around meals/snacks. We also rely on stops for
Movies! We'll use the iPads for a couple movies during the drive. Neflix and Amazon Prime are great places to download movies.
Chat time! We have some really great conversations with our kids when we're in the car. I'm looking forward to those moments while we trek across the US!
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