Have you ever had the crazy idea to take your small children on a road trip?
Because really what could go wrong with tiny humans locked in a car for an extended period of time?
We have always been a family who travels via car so when the opportunity came up to attend Perfectly Posh’s Ultimate Day Away we decided to make it a family affair.
As such, all five of us took a road trip to Salt Lake City this past weekend.
Seven and a half tiny hours in the van with three kids. Each way.
We survived – and came out of it with some tips and tricks to make your next family road trip a success!
- It’s all in what you pack
Clothes, toys, toiletries, games, barf bags, toddler potties, food…it takes up a lot of space. We have a Kia minivan which yes, holds a lot of stuff, but who wants to pack their car full to the brim? This trip, I limited each child to a backpack, a pillow, and a stuffed animal. Since it was a short trip, my two younger girls actually used one backpack for their clothes so we had even less to carry! Joe and I used a carry-on size suitcase for our clothes and toiletries. I brought a roll of trash bags for emergencies, trash, car sickness, and dirty clothes. We brought a cooler packed with milk and perishables and a soft sided insulated bag filled with waters, and one tote filled with pantry-stable snacks like sunflower seeds and granola bars. Once it was all in the car, there was still room for the dog – though she preferred to sleep on the snacks tote of course!
- Travel accessories that help, not clutter
My girls love to draw and like most kids, they also love to snack. They usually bring coloring books, crayons, a book or two, and a doll or stuffed animal. We’ve been on a few day trips before where they tried to read, draw, and snack on their laps but someone always makes a mess or loses crayons or drops her book and there’s always something someone can’t reach. This time around we invested in a few Snack and Play Travel Trays and they were pretty much a lifesaver. The girls were fairly self-sufficient and asked for help only 700 times instead of 1 million. And the best part: no food spills! Cleaning up the van when we got home was so much easier after this trip!
- Make a plan, but be flexible
We had all of our stops planned out, according to when we would need gas. With the girls being 8, 6, and 3, they have control over their bladders most of the time and we figured they’d make it a few hours at a time no problem. This worked great until there was a toddler poop emergency (everybody poops, right? We can talk about this!) and we had to stop early. Things happen – especially with kids! And while it’s easy to get frustrated because things are happening, try to roll with the punches. It’ll make the trip easier for everyone involved, trust me.
I hope these tips help you embark on your next, lower-stress, family road trip.
Tell me, what are your best road trip stories?