We love road trips, which is a good thing- because we have a 600 mile round-trip drive to see Addie’s docs in Delaware in a few weeks. We are pretty pro at these, but the winter always brings up different precautions- tack onto that a newly potty using 2 year old, and we’ve got a road trip of awesome ahead!
So, what are our family tips to making winter road trips a cinch? Check ’em out!
It’s important to stay occupied, but who wants a mess? Sure, tech is great, but before I lean on the tablet for a movie, I rely on water art and coloring books that use one marker! Ink Magic has become my main go-to for car rides because there’s no marker dropping, finding, losing AND the ink doesn’t get on anything because it’s clear! The markers leave a rainbow of awesome on each activity page, are big enough for kids to grip, and the perfect in-car solution to “I’m bored!”
Snacks and water are a careful consideration for us. To avoid stopping and eating foods we aren’t used to and having to spend an arm and a leg on, we pack and go! Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cut up veggies and fruit and portioned crackers mean we are getting our faves without sacrificing the drive. Snack bags with everyone’s name on them means we all have our own (no struggle over sharing- or who already ate their crackers- in an already, potentially, stressful situation). For water, to avoid over doing it, we pack a few gallon jugs and an empty water bottle for each person. This means we get to decide how much water to have depending on where we are. No one wants to start a trip with a full bottle and end up needing to stop in an hour.
Dave and I also rely on the individual packets of Shakeology for their transportability. Knowing we always have an amazing meal at our fingertips- nothing we need to search for- with all the energy and nutrients we need to keep going, means the world! Getting hungry is not an option for me, as I am hypoglycemic. Add the fact that I LOVE to carbo-load when I am hungry, which leads me to crashing and real getting really hangry, having that option on hand is key!
Always be prepared. With a 4.5 year old and a newly potty trained 2 year old, traffic isn’t exactly our friend. The kids can “hold it” for about 15 minutes before we’re in panic mode. To avoid that, we keep a potty with us. It’s only for emergency use, of course, but it provides peace of mind, for sure!
**Parent tip: Place a plastic bag over the sides before your child goes, then toss the whole bag! Nothing to clean up after!
…for real. I love to hear the girls sing, but when we’re in the car for hundreds of miles, I can’t hear the same song a million times and I can’t deal with too much of the children’s genre of music. For that, I turn to Rock-a-Baby RI. We have loved their classes for almost 5 years, and though the girls’ schedules don’t allow for us to go to class anymore, their new CD, Old MacDonald and Other Historical Figures, is furthering their musical education and appreciation for the art every time we take a trip. Even better, the song Different is a poignant piece that brings up a really important conversation in our home- Addie has asked if it was written about her.
In truth, you know how much we love Rock-a-Baby. From the time Addie was able to hear at 10 months, we’ve been in their classes. The kids often talk about missing Harmony, Rhythm and Melody, and I love that they’ve learned about the music, as well as character development, and how to utilize their imaginations! Both Addie and Millie have had birthday parties with Rock a Baby, as well, so being able to bring their favorite friends along with us is perfect.
I urge you to download it or grab the CD for your car trips- Dozens of Cousins will make you laugh, and when your kids start telling you about harmonic equations, your head may spin. Why not educate with music? It makes the drive more than tolerable, but fun!