Our family loves car trips, and as the one who makes the arrangements, I am the one doing the road trip planning. Since we have been on so many with our boys (10 since they were four months old), we now have all of the plans in place to make the trip as easy and fun as possible!
1. Plan your trip
The days of flying by the seat of your pants and just driving are gone when you decide to take your kids. We have found that mapping your trip, picking out hotels, and booking some are a great way to start. We always order a Triptik from our local CAA to give us a mapped out route. I love being able to flip a page to see what is coming ahead. Just remember to order yours at least a week in advance since they are custom made.
2. Book a Family Friendly Hotel that includes breakfast
While there are thousands of hotels to choose from, choosing one that accommodates families and includes breakfast is key to a great sleep and a great start to the day. Our hotel of choice? Hilton Garden Inn Great hotels (over 500 to choose from worldwide), a refrigerator and microwave in every room, complimentary internet access, family-friendly extras like cribs, high chairs and playpens, and best of all – a beautiful cooked to order breakfast every day. If you haven’t had their waffles, you must make that a priority!
3. Pack Snacks and Toys
When we head out on a car trip, we always pack the favorite boys’ snacks and lots of toys to keep them entertained. From long days in the car to restaurants along the way, kids need fun, interactive toys. We love to pack activity boxes full of new fun and inexpensive toys. This trip, we got containers with handles that the boys could carry themselves and filled them with all kinds of goodies from our local dollar store and craft store.
All of this fit into their activity packets
Packed and ready for the trip
4. Stop Often
While you may be tempted to drive and drive until you get to your destination, frequent stops will keep you and your kids sane. Kids need to run around, explore, and get a change of scenery. Well, timed stops can give everyone a chance to stretch their legs and gear up for the next leg of the journey.
5. Pack wisely
Most road trips could be taken with just some money and your passport. In my experience, this doesn’t work very well when you have kids along for the ride. Kids inevitably need more clothes than adults do. They spill things, and they often wear more than one outfit in a day and, in the case of my three-year-old, are very particular about what clothes are their favorites and which clothes they will not wear without at least one tantrum. To making packing more accessible, for this trip, we bought the boys super cool Melissa and Doug Trunkis, and we LOVE them! We haven’t even left for our trip, and the boys have been driving them all over the house. I love that the boys can sit on them while we pull, or they can maneuver it themselves. I honestly believe these are the best luggage available for kids. Durable, practical, and fun!
Our Trunks with stickers and M&D Memory games
Road trips with kids are fun, full of adventure, and an excellent time to be together as a family. While many of our friends think our upcoming six-day journey is crazy, we believe it is the perfect way to spend our holiday.