My in laws live far away. They split time between Canada and South Carolina. We also travel for a long established Columbus Day weekend adventure with family and friends to Northern Michigan. We usually drive. We have a golden retriever. He is our first baby, I am sad to say he gets little attention these days with three other small critters in the house, however he is a priority when we are traveling. He can’t miss the lake in Canada or the woods in Northern Michigan. We don’t want to put him in a create under the air plane. So we drive.
Last week we did our yearly road trip to Northern Michigan. We decided to drive the return trip all in one chunk – 16 hours in the car strait. We hit the road at 6:50 AM and pulled in our driveway at 11:35PM. It was not that bad. Here are some ways to keep you, the kids, the dog, the husband, and the marriage happy on a road trip
Break the Rules:
- Junk food: I usually go to Trader Joes and stock up on granola bars, breakfast bars, cookies, pretzels, crackers, and portable yogurts and apple sauces. Anything that is designed to be easy to travel with. It is OK to constantly snack. Especially for the very littlest in the group where screen time does not work. We don’t usually have full meals on road trips.
- Screen time: We travel with one or two laptops with DVD capacity. I find that my kids like watching shows better than movies. The smart phones also come in handy for educational and not so educational games.
- All day PJs: They get to wear their pajamas all day.
Set Clear Expectations:
Like most things clear expectations are helpful. When we start talking about a long trip we say “We will be driving and driving and driving and driving and driving and driving and driving and driving and stopping to pee and driving and driving and driving…” Surprisingly this does limit the “Are we there yet”.
Seating arrangements are important. We have a mini van. Originally the two big kids were in the way back, the baby and dog were in the middle, with mom and dad in the front. When I wasn’t driving I switched with the dog or sat between the big kids. I managed the kids with knitting in my lap working on an easy project I could pick up and put down without trouble while playing games with the baby, reading books, reading instructions to work books, or reaching dropped stuff.
What are your road trip tips?