Road Trips Archives - A Crafty Spoonful

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

These top 5 tips for surviving a long road trip with kids will help keep you and your family sane on your next fun road trip!

This summer has been full of fun memories for our family. From days at the beach, to drives up to Disneyland and Great Wolf Lodge, to a road trip to Washington State, we’ve seen quite a bit of excitement. But being prepared for traveling with kids in the car has been something we’ve worked on. And surviving a long road trip with kids takes a bit of planning. 

Since my daughter is newly potty trained the one thing we worried about when on the road with her is that she’d have to go #2 and not be able to tell us until we were too late and she got out of the car. Also, with the long 2 day ride to Washington State, we worried about how many stops we really needed to make and how many stops were just “fun” stops.

In preparation of our trip we decided to bit of research to make sure that we had a successful journey with three kids in the back seats. Since we’ve made this trek once before with our two older kid,s we kind of had an idea about what to expect. In an effort to make our next trip successful we wrote down a few things that helped us along the way.

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

Here are a few ways to keep your road trip fun and successful with young children:

1. Make sure to pack a potty –

We simply placed our Joovy Loo in the back of the car. That way if we needed to stop and there wasn’t a place to do so, we could just use the back of the van. This helped us a lot when my son was working on things and just needed to sit on something other than his car seat to help him along when he was little and it worked perfectly for our daughter as well.

It also gave us peace of mind when on long stretches of road. We didn’t have to worry about not being able to find a sanitary place to stop (my husband isn’t as adventurous as I am and doesn’t approve of a 2 year old relieving themselves on the side of the road unless it’s an absolute emergency… just wait till we go camping!).

Potty Kit Necessities to Bring: 

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

2. Plan out frequent stops –

This won’t just give your child a chance to “try” to go potty but it will also give them a chance to stretch their legs and get a little energy out. By planning out where your next stop will be you might be able to quickly answer your children when they ask how long it will be until you arrive at your next stop. That’s much easier for them to handle then to say, “Oh, about 12 hours!”

You can also use pre-planned stops as points for conversation. By letting your children know what the next stop is, or giving hints to where your heading, you might be able to create a sense of excitement and adventure as you make your way through the trip.

We had fun picking out where we stopped and made sure to mix restaurants in with quick pit stops at gas stations. I also allowed the kids to pick out one “surprise” at each stop to make it more interesting to them as well. They sure did love the huge gas stations we found along the way filled with everything from fidget spinners to snacks to souvenir t-shirts. 

Pit Stop Checklist: 

  • Did everyone try to go potty? 
  • Do we need to re-load on snacks or water?
  • Did we take all of our trash out? 
  • Do we need to change clothes?

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

3. Create a fun pack filled with games and activities –

By creating a fun pack filled with new-to-you toys, activities focused on the age level of your child, and games the children can play in the car you can create distractions and, hopefully, reduce the amount of, “Are we there yet?” questions from the back seat. Surviving a long car trip with kids is no fun when they don’t have anything to do IN the car. 

Figure out some fun games you want to play with your child on the road. Consider simple ideas like finding an object of a certain color, finding a certain letter of the alphabet, or, depending on where your driving, looking out for different animals! By making the ride fun and entertaining itself, your child will be less likely to complain about being in the car and more excited.

We brought our fun activity backpack and filled it with the following:

Another great distraction for the older kids is a portable DVD player or tablet that already has their favorite games and movies downloaded. We grabbed a copy of The Lion King and Disney’s Star Wars Rebels: Season 3 (both out on Blu-ray August 29th) to keep our kids entertained on the trip. it helped to have both a movie and a tv series because we could switch from the longer movie for longer stretches of travel and the shorter episodes of Disney’s Star Wars Rebels while we went through smaller stretches or in between playing other games in the car. 

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

Pro Tip: Finding fun crafts to go along with the movies you select are also fun! Check out these awesome Lion King crafts by clicking the button below: 

Download The Lion King Signature Mask Craft

4. Find a great local attraction to visit –

Take a look at a map and find a great middle point between your home and your destination. Are there any fun, quirky activities you can stop and do in between? Maybe a museum or a historical monument. By maping out a spot or two on the way to your destination you can talk with your children about what you might see, what they would like to do, and how you will spend your time at the next spot.

You can also use these stops as teaching opportunities. By learning a bit about the spot beforehand you can tell your child about the history behind the attraction as well as why it’s such an interesting stop on your journey. Surviving a long road trip with kids takes a bit of planning when it comes to local attractions but there are sure to be some gems along your route! 

Local Attractions Do’s and Dont’s: 

  • Do – take the time to explore and learn about where you’re stopping
  • Don’t – spend all day unless already scheduled
  • Do – consider free or in-expensive pit stops that take an hour tops
  • Don’t – forget that delicious bakeries and restaurants can be considered local attractions too! 

5. Make Sure The Kids Are Safe And Comfortable

When traveling with young kids, it’s important to remember that while we want our kids to be comfortable, we also need them to be safe too. I have 3 kids in 3 different types of car seats right now. My 2 year old is in a 5 point harness, my 6 year old just transitioned out of her 5 point harness into a high back booster, and our 8 year old has now transitioned into a regular booster seat. 

To make things easier on us and allow all of these car seats to fit, we brought along the new mifold we received so that our son could easily transition from our van to my family’s car up in Washington State when we arrived. mifold is more than 10 times smaller than a regular booster seat and is just as safe. The foam padding technology provides extra comfort and stays cool, even on hot days. And since it was averaging about 80-90 degrees our whole trip, this was a huge relief for my son. 

The mifold is convenient for parents for travel and road trips but it’s also great for carpooling, taxis/ubers, etc because it can literally fit in my son’s back pack. how awesome is that? 

In addition to car seats, check out our Road Trip Safety Kit:

  • first aid – includes bandages, first aid ointment, tweezers, scissors, and an ice pack
  • every day medication – includes indigestion medicine, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and allergy medicine
  • flash light
  • jumper cables
  • roadside assistance kit
  • 1 gallon water

What are your best travel tips for surviving a long road trip with kids?

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Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

Road Trip Tips: Traveling with Baby

This shop featuring road trip tips and Huggies has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SkinCareForBaby #CollectiveBias

Road Trip Tips- Traveling with Baby

At the end of April, Norah and I will pack up the car, swing by to pick up my mother-in-law, and head up to Laguna Niguel for Mom 2.0. Then a few months after that, the whole family will be taking a road trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico for Type A West.

With all that driving, I wanted to make sure I had all of the essentials needed when taking a road trip with a baby. These road trip tips (and essentials) will make these long journeys with baby easier. And since I’m prepping ahead of time, there won’t be a rush to grab everything we need at the last minute. But if you are running around trying to grab what you need for your next road trip with baby, I have a great check list just for you!

Road Trip Tips Traveling with Baby - keep an entertaining kit handy

Road Trip Tips: Traveling with Baby

Road Trip Tips Traveling with Baby - pack the essentials for baby

Pack the Essentials

I don’t like hauling a large diaper bag with me anywhere. So I keep the important things in the car and then the car serves as home base for our needs. The same goes for when we’re on the road. Instead of keeping everything in a huge bag all jumbled up, I put the essentials in a nice tray container that we can keep in the trunk.

Road Trip Checklist For Baby - resized

Road Trip Tips Traveling with Baby - diaper changing stationHuggies Little Snugglers ready to go road trip

 

Restock The Diaper Changing Station

As I’ve shared before, we have a diaper changing station in the trunk of the car. Not only does it make life easier when we’re running from one thing to another during the week, it also helps to have a changing station on road trips as well. No changing table in the bathroom at the rest stop? No problem! And when the kids get older, I even take a little potty in the trunk too!

I keep a good stock of Huggies® Little Snugglers in there (about double what I’d normally have) and a new package of Huggies® Natural Care Wipes. And next to the diapers is a first aid kit, a trash can, and a changing pad. Super easy to throw together and keep stocked before we leave on any trips. 

And, of course, I pack a full bag of diapers and wipes for our destination. 

 

Road Trip Tips Traveling with Baby - pull out cloth wipesRoad Trip Tips Traveling with Baby - wipes container with cloth wipes

Make A Fun Entertainment Kit

This entertainment kit is not only easy to make, it probably contains things that you can find in your house right now!

Here’s what you need:

  • empty Huggies® Natural Care Wipes container
  • soft new-to-baby toys
  • cloth squares (can use old cloth wipes, wash cloths, or an old t-shirt cut into squares)

Add the soft toys to the bottom of the wipes container. Then take the cloth squares and fold them onto one another. Put the cloth squares on top of the toys and put the first square through the hole at the top then close the lid.

This not only keeps my baby entertained (she can pull OUT the cloth squares and then try and get her toys) but also provides some toys for her to play with when we get to our destination also. And the toys also serve as fun entertainment when we have to stop and stretch our legs or eat a meal.

Road Trip Tips Traveling with Baby - hidden soft toys

What are your tips for taking road trips with baby?

We’ve been a Huggies® family since we started using disposable diapers. And the Huggies® Little Snugglers are awesomely designed to help keep baby’s skin clean & healthy. The Wetness Indicator in Sizes N-3 is a color-changing indicator that lets you know when your baby’s diaper is ready to be changed. Super convenient when on the road or on vacation. 

You can find both Huggies® Little Snugglers and Huggies® Natural Care Wipes at Walmart in the baby aisle and they’re super budget friendly – the lowest price diaper pack is $8.97. 

Huggies at Walmart

10 Vacation Tips With Kids

10 Vacation Tips with Kids

Recently I read on Facebook from a friend that vacations with kids are simply trips, not vacations. Because as a mom, or a parent, there’s no relaxing as one would expect on a vacation. And while I see where this friend is coming from, I don’t know if I buy it. Maybe that’s because the larger vacations we’ve taken with the kids usually end up being with one set of grandparents coming along as well (which I HIGHLY recommend for those who get along with their parents/in-laws). Or maybe it’s because I put myself into the vacation mentality and try to balance rest/relaxation with exploration.

I guess it all depends on the mindset of the parents, right? And the planning. As a family of 5, our next vacation is going to take a bit of planning. Luckily I’ve found some great tips for vacationing with the kids… and planning the vacations. So starting now means I’ll be ahead of the game when our next vacation gets closer, right? Because planning a vacation for a family of four seems a lot easier than planning for the five of us. And I have no idea why! 

Vacation Tips with Kids

1. 7 Tips for Surviving Family Vacations with Teens & Tweens | Shaken Together

2. Staying Sane While Traveling with Kids | Turning the Clock Back

3. Taking a Road Trip to Disney World with Kids | My Mommy World

4. 12 Tips to Traveling with Kids (Without Losing Your Mind) | That Bald Chick

5. How to Stay Happy When Traveling with Toddlers | Smarty Pants Mama

6. Baby Air Travel Essentials | Meet Kristy

7. Surviving Road Trips with Children | More Than A Mom of Three

8. How Do You Potty Train When On-The-Go? ~Sunshine and Sippy Cups

9. Your Ultimate Family Road Trip Resource Guide ~Carrie Elle

10. Tips for Traveling with Children on the Auto Train ~A TIPical Day

 

Need more help with planning your next vacation? Planning a road trip with the kids? You might find this article helpful!

Road Trip with Kids Survival Gear

Road Trip with Kids Survival Tips

These road trip with kids survival tips featuring Capri Sun is part of a sponsored post for Socialstars. #CapriSunMomFactor

Road Trip with Kids Survival Tips #CapriSunMomFactor

A road trip with kids sound like good ideas when you’re planning it. The trip even feels like good ideas as you’re making your way to your destination. And when you finally get there – in our case it was 8 hours one day and 12 hours the next – you think, this isn’t that bad!

But then it’s time to head back home. And this is when road trips with kids get hard. I had to pull out all of my tricks for that last two days driving back from our trip and was so excited to finally be home.

Luckily this road trip was totally worth it for the whole family because we all got to meet the newest additions to our extended family; My sister’s new baby girl and my brother’s new twins. Plus the kids got to play with their cousins and had a blast doing so!  [Read more…]



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