We just returned from an 11 day vacation and I thought I would share some travel tips. I can’t say that I’m an expert or anything, but I do have two kids (and one extra for the week) and we don’t have a mini-van. We drive an Accord wagon. Three kids in the back seat of an Accord can be a tight squeeze, but we managed. Luckily our visitor doesn’t legally have to be in a booster or there’s no way we would have all fit. It wasn’t easy, but we managed to fit all of our stuff for 11 days (plus extra quilts that we came home with) and all of us in our little car. And we arrived sane. Somewhat. So in case you’re wondering, I have a few travel tips. These are just a few things that I did to make our many hours in the car tolerable.
My first idea came from the August issue of Family Fun magazine. I found small toys (most of which I scavenged out of the bottom of the toy box) and wrapped them into foil balls. When the kids would get antsy, I would hand them a foil ball that they could unwrap and enjoy a “new” toy. This worked except for a couple of things. The Boy had a hard time opening them. He’s only 2. And The Girl kept asking for another one as soon as the last one was opened. But it was a good idea. And fun. I also included in the toy bag a few new toys and books, just to keep things exciting.
I have learned that while traveling, you can never have enough snacks. So I stocked up. We had lots and lots of snacks. We even came home with extras. That’s how much I bought. I bought things like crackers and peanut butter filled pretzels. We also had a bit of candy. I bought dried fruit and GoGo Squeeze applesauce (we LOVE these things at our house) to keep things a little healthier. We also packed bread and peanut butter and honey. I planned on picnicking for lunch the first day, but we were in Mesquite, NV at lunch time and it was way too hot so we just ate on the road. Oh, and don’t forget the water. Lots and lots of water. I don’t know if it’s normal the amount of water my kids consume.
I think my best idea of the trip was the purchase or two sets of headphones and a splitter. This allowed the kids to watch movies on our portable DVD player without the parents having to listen. If you’re already all high-tech in your mini-van and have that option, well, pin a rose on your nose. I drive an Accord wagon, remember? BUT, for those of you with your fancy shmancy DVD player/headphones, what happens when your kids want to watch different movies at the same time? Enter my next genius idea. Load up that iPod (or iPad, or whatever) with movies and BAM! you have two kids, two movies, and still nothing bothering your sleep, I mean the conversation you’re having with your spouse.
That’s it! We had a great trip and the screaming was minimal. Let me know if you have any great ideas for traveling long distances with kids. I can always use more help!