March Break is almost here.
I don’t know how early you make plans, but we are last minute planners, which basically means we’re not really planners at all.
We don’t actually know what we’re doing for March Break yet, but we still have about ten days to figure it out.
The kids are really hoping that we take a road trip to the U.S. to visit their little cousins during March Break.
We’ve made the trip before, and it’s about an eight hour trip (not including bathroom breaks for the wee bladders, so add at least two hours to that). The kids were three and six the last time we went on such a long trip, so it involved many snacks, dvds, music, toys, and pee breaks (did I say that already?)
Now that the kids are five and eight, I have no doubt they will be much easier to travel with. I’m lucky that they are willing to sit in their carseats/booster seats with zero complaint, and do not get car sick – ever.
So, here are my tips for a successful road trip with kids:
- Start with a clean, empty car. It’s impossible to get packed and organized if the car/van is a disaster to begin with.
- Put everything you don’t need during the actual road trip in the trunk, so there’s enough room for the stuff you will need to easily access.
- Dedicate separate bags for different roles – Snack Bag, Entertainment Bag, Emergency Bag and Mommy’s Bag of Sanity
Some Bag Details:
Snack Bag – Easy to eat snacks (granola bars, goldfish, fruit, etc), water, juice, wipes
Entertainment Bag (I have two of these – one for each of my kids and I hang them off the head rest of the seats in front of them for easy access) – they contain a book, notebook w pen, DSi or LeapPad with games, stuffy, etc. And lot’s of DVDs!!
Emergency Bag – Change of clothes for each kid, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, wipes, Tylenol
Mommy’s Bag of Sanity – iPhone, mags, book, laptop, earphones, mints, hand cream, lip gloss, camera, notebook/pen, Starbucks card – fully loaded!
(FYI: The perfect bags for lugging lots of stuff, and that are sturdy and flat bottomed so that they stand on their own – LLBean totes – love them. Super durable!)
Oh, and let’s not forget Daddy (a.k.a. the driver in our family) – he will require a bottomless Tim Horton’s coffee, a GPS, and CBC radio. And once we’re out of range for the CBC, he will require Mommy listening to his endless talk about work…..hence, ahem, the earplugs.
Once we’ve got the car packed properly, gps programmed, bladders emptied, and kids strapped in – we are off! We try to leave as early as possible so that we can get a few hours of driving in before our lunch break, and that way we can arrive by dinner time at the latest. At least that’s the plan, but as all parents know, plan on nothing but being flexible on road trips, or you might just be disappointed at some point.
If you can plot your stops in advance (for food, gas, bladder time), then you are awesome. If not, you are still awesome, but less Martha Stewart-like.
During the actual drive, I think it’s important for the kids to actually do more than just stare at the tv and other electronics, so we take breaks from that and play games together! For my son, I create a list with every U.S. state and as he sees license plates with each state, he checks them off. Sounds simple, but he enjoys it and it gets him very interested in looking out the window and finding every state. For my younger daughter, we do a Bingo game where we have animals, nature, objects listed that she has to find. It’s super fun times. Really. I also declare set “reading times” or “drawing times”, so that we can shake things up and again, not spend hours just playing with electronics.
I hope this helps you when planning your upcoming road trips, whether they’re during March Break, or not. This post is part of my continued partnership with Kinder
as a #KinderMom! Please make sure to stop by their Canadian Facebook page
to check out their 2012 toy selection, and enter their monthly contests!! You still have time to enter their February contest for a $500 staycation – well you have two days to enter, so HURRY ON OVER!!
“Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”