Saturday, June 2, 2012

Traveling with Kids and Keeping Your Sanity :)

As you may have read in a recent post, we leave for our big trip to Disney World soon.  We are traveling from Ohio to Disney with our four kiddos, ages 6, 11, 15, and 21.  They usually do really well in the car. Oh sure, sometimes it seems like we are re-enacting a scene from Vacation (what parent hasn't threatened to pull the car over?), but overall they are quite content and treat each other with at least some sense of civility.  However, it is important that I ensure my sanity as the trip organizer, planner, and entertainment director.  WHEW.

Poor quality picture from movie :)  It was 1983-can you believe that? -Pinterest
On a sidenote, my 6-old year saw the above picture and I told her when she asked that the car was called a station wagon.  She said, "Ohhhh, that's one of the cool cars."  :)

We are blessed enough to have more technology than we could ever need.  I Pods, cell phones, DS's, PSP's, and the rear entertainment system for movies. What more could we possibly need?  The problem is that when driving 17 hours the Tangled movie and same songs on I Pods can get old.  Tell me how on Earth most of us that are old enough survived growing up with no phones, I Pods or DVD systems in the car on long trips?   I rode in our string of station wagons we owned growing up with no air conditioning (except for the last one we had!) and certainly no DVD player.  I remember propping my ghetto blaster up on the side in the back seat and listening to WHAM! and Gloria Estefan.  My sisters and I would write in our diaries, look at Teen Beat magazines, drinking the usually forbidden can of soda and eating Little Debbies.  Ah!  Those were the days.

Any-whooo, back to our Disney trip.  I am on the search for the best ideas for traveling on long trips with kids.  I searched my fave Pinterest, and some other sites.  Very savvy, practical moms have already thought of everything for me!  I want to showcase a few of the best ideas I saw when doing some research.  I hope at least one idea inspires or helps you for any summer journey you may be taking!

One great site where I found a mega-list of travel tips for kids is We are THAT Family.  Here are some of my favorite tips I found here.

1.  Tape record (buy used at a garage sale or use an old tape recorder you have lying around)  your own voice reading stories that your kids can listen to.

2.  Take a dry erase board and marker.  This encourages drawing, writing, and endless games of tic-tac-toe.  One way you can also use dry erase markers is to use a plastic sleeve (like from an office supply store) and put any tracing paper inside.  You could draw a large tic-tac-toe board on a piece of paper, stick it inside the plastic sleeve, and write directly on the plastic.  When done, it just wipes right off.  You can use an old sock or a piece of felt as an eraser.  To have a flat surface, you can clip the paper/sleeve to a clipboard.

3.  Play Printable Car Bingo. (click for the link to this PDF printable) I love this idea!  Older kids can help the younger kids and it's fun for everyone as it passes the time.

Some of my own ideas that I always do on road trips:

4.  Take a roll of paper towels and a container of baby wipes for spills and messy hands.

5.  Take a few plastic grocery bags and use them for trash.   Each time you stop for gas or potty breaks, toss the bag.  I am a freak about having trash lie around in the car!

6.  Take paper and pens.  Everyone likes to draw or doodle to have something to do.

7.  Have each child take a special bag with all of their goodies in it--books, headphones, stuffed animals, games or music, etc.  Since I have a wide range of ages, this is necessary because they don't really use the same things.

8.  Pack an outfit for each member of the family in a small bag if stopping overnight on the way to your final destination.  This saves you from dragging all of your big suitcases into a hotel when you are tired and grumpy.

9.  Take a couple of garbage bags for dirty clothes or wet suits and towels that didn't have time to dry before you left.  Your nose will thank you later.

10.  And last, but not least...loosen up!  Vacations or road trips are a huge part of childhood.  Say 'yes' to the snacks or drinks you wouldn't normally approve (within reason, of course), be patient with each other, and remember that you, as the parent, have a huge impact on the whole trip.  If your attitude stinks or is less than positive, it effects everyone.  Make as many memories as you can and take lots of pictures.  They are only this age once!  Someday you will be wishing they were still in the back seat screaming at each other.

If YOU have some great travel tips or ideas, please share!!!  I look forward to hearing your ideas!

Pin It!

1 comment:

  1. I'm right there with you! The trash is always crazy, and I definitely need paper towels and wipes:)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...