Hi Again! We've talked about making sure that your vehicle is road trip ready, but how about your family? Depending on how long the trip is and how old your kids are this can look so different. Road trips definitely changed for us over the years and for the better! Here are some of the tips I have picked up over the years of 12+ hour trips.
We like to make sure the kids are excited about the trip. We talk about the states we'll go through and the things we'll see. As the trip we make is one we make yearly, we also talk about landmarks (tunnels in WV and VA are a hit) and favorite parks to stop at and run! As our kids have gotten older we keep them involved in where we are, what our driving goals for the day are (we usually stop for one night on the way there and back), walking the dog - because yes, we bring our dog in our prius with us, and telling us when they're done in the car for the day. Obviously we don't let them make all the choices, but remembering that this is their vacation too helps all of us enjoy the long drive a bit more!
Car games are fun even for the coolest kids! We like road trip bingo, the license plate game and the ABC game. Landee has fantastic road trip games that you could print and laminate and use many times with dry erase markers. Battleship, Bingo, Checklists, and many different I spy games! . https://www.landeeseelandeedo.com/printable-car-games-for-kids-road-trip-games/
Downloading shows and movies on to your tablet can make the road trip much easier. Both Netflix and Disney+ will let you download shows so that you don't need to use your data. We download hours of shows, charge devices completely and hope to get to good wifi before the kids get bored with what they have downloaded. McDonalds, Starbucks and many other fast food restaurants have wifi you can use to get new shows downloaded.
Speaking of tablets and phones, we need to talk about headphones. Each person in our car has headphones so that we don't have to try to listen to shows, music, podcasts and audio books over one another. This helps keep the peace. Make sure you try your kids headphones out before you hit the road. If you have wireless headphones, make sure everyone is paired up before the trip. Drivers: remember that using noise-canceling headphones or listening to something loud in headphones is not safe as you can't hear what's happening around your vehicle!
A few new things I got for this trip are a kick mat that has a clear pocket for a tablet. My son gets car sick and holding his phone makes the Dramamine come out fast! I'm hoping this will help him. Spaces for sunglasses, tables, crayons, and some snacks will allow the kids to turn the smaller space of the Prius into their own. Amazon has a ton of options for kick mats that have pockets. Some have a tray table that folds down!
One of the smartest things I've ever seen for a road trip?? A suction cup sponge holder for crayons! (RIGHT?!) Even when we drive a mini van, we have crayons falling on the floor and rolling around causing some frustration. I am thinking this will be helpful for so many families! I only have one kid that really likes to color, but I got two of these so that they can use these on the window for pencils, small snacks, and honestly whatever they want.
I hope some of these tips help you on your road trip. If you have any tips, send them to us, we would love to share your sanity-saving tips with other families. [email protected]