Monday, July 29, 2013

Road Trip with Kids: How to Survive (PART 2!)

Well, we returned from our week-long vacation in Colorado a few days ago and I thought I would write a sequel to my original post on road trips. So this is PART 2!

Here are some additional tips that worked for us on this particular road trip....

Easy to manage crayon holder

I used an empty Teddy Grahams container for crayons this time. Worked great since it fit in their cup holders. :)

Dry Erase markers with Pom-Poms as erasers

I had done this before but don't think I included a pic. I just hot-glued medium-sized pom-poms on the dry erase markers for a simple eraser. They stayed on the whole trip too. 

LEAVE AT NIGHT (if you can)

This is normally what we do and what we have done from the very beginning. If you are going on a LONG road trip and you have younger kids, there is a great chance that those little ones will be snoozing in their car seats for most of the night, as long as you leave at night! It just makes sense.

Our best experience with this was this last trip. We let the kids just stay up and we had them dressed in their PJs and ready to go. We left at 10pm and by 11pm both kids had drifted off in a peaceful slumber. Well, as peaceful as it can be sleeping in the car, I guess.  In the past, we had actually put the kids to bed, let them fall asleep, then we would ever so carefully transfer them to their carseats around midnight and hit the road. But this backfired a few times on us when the kids would wake up and since they had a little power nap before we went, they were wide awake until at least 3am. Not fun. I also don't like leaving in the morning because it is way too hard for the kids to stay strapped in their carseats all day. 

Now, this is not for everyone. Some people would struggle too much in staying awake while driving at night. But my husband is a night owl and is used to staying up late. He takes a nap in the afternoon, early evening so he gets some sleep beforehand. I wake him up with enough time for him to take a shower, finish loading the car, grab the kids and go. I also have his SPARK energy drink ready to go to keep him alert during the drive. (Get your Spark energy drink for your next road trip here!)


Again, this is if you leave at night, and you are wanting your little ones to fall asleep...but could certainly be used during the day when you have decided it is nap time!
We have XM satellite radio in my mom's car that has a delightful, soothing SPA channel. I don't know what it is about it but it works every time. It is so relaxing that the kids fall asleep. We put the music in the rear of the car and turn it up just loud like a charm. Of course, you could have this type of music downloaded to a CD too.


I saw this on Pinterest and gave it a try this trip. You can get these nifty totes at a dollar store (Wal-Mart also has them now) that can hold your food items and drink. I thought it would be easy for the kids to hold on their lap while they eat. 

Myla did great with hers and she liked having her drink right there.

Noah had a little trouble keeping it upright on his lap, but he's only 2. :)

These definitely made the car less messy as all the little crumbs fell into the basket and could easily be wiped out. 


We have always used them on road trips, just forgot to mention them in my first post. I can tell you now that they are important to have as the bright sunshine can be brutal, especially if your little ones are trying to take a siesta. :)

We had taken the window shades down the night before and didn't put them back on the windows until shortly after the kids woke up after this pic was taken! Too bright!

I like these that are retractable and have suction cups at the bottom. 

Have your Extra set of clothes handy!

It is wise to have an extra set of clothes for each kiddo handy. I think I may have mentioned this in my last post but each and every road trip reminds me of how important this is. :) I guess when they are older, they won't have as many spills, or get marker all over their clothes, right?! Plus I like to put them in fresh clothes if possible before we get to our destination. They smell better. :) ha ha

Ok, interrupting this post for a few CONFESSIONS.....

I do have to admit a couple of things....
About an hour after I had published my original Road Trip with Kids post, I got a call from my mom that her car was in the shop and would not be ready by the time we needed to leave on our 15 hour journey. (We are so blessed that she lets us take her fully-loaded Tahoe Hybrid anywhere and everywhere)
"WHAT!?! You mean, we will have to take MY car?! NOOO!!"
My mom's car was having apparent transmission issues and it would take a week to get fixed. We were leaving in 3 days! As I was freaking out about what car we would take now, my mom softly reminded me, "Monica, you just wrote a whole blog on how to survive a road trip with kids...and you didn't mention that you need a Tahoe." She was right, we didn't. But it would so be nice to have all that space and the DVD player etc! SO I became very humbled in that moment. Even though, I still was looking for a solution... and that solution was to take my mom's car to Colorado. I guess you could say I had a one-track mind! Long story short, I had called around a few places and found one that just happened to have a very skilled repairman with a lighter work load that week. He got the car fixed and ready in 2 days! Yea!! So we got to take my mom's car after all. Close call. So my confession is this: I do feel bad for freaking out over the possibility of not having mom's car. How silly.

And one more...

I explained about the Surprise Packages in my last post and how amazing they are to have on the trip to hand out when your kids are needing a little something new. Confession: I took my bag of surprises and didn't hand out ONE. I really didn't feel the need to. So, maybe they had plenty to do and weren't needing any bribes or maybe we watched one too many movies?! No, in reality, since we drove mainly at night, we only had six hours of daylight where the kids were up and they kept busy with a few other things. Plus we stopped for breakfast and let them run around a little. :)

Here are a few pics from the road...

Ready for the drive....

And she's OUT!

 Enjoying a morning snack...

I had no idea how happy Elmo could make my son.

Playing a little I-Spy

Decorating and wearing her crown
Noah's turn...being silly

 It's always good to see this big of a smile on the road!

Stopping for breakfast at Cracker Barrel!

Back asleep for a nap

iPad time

Drawing on the whiteboard

 Multi-tasking...watching a movie AND drawing

Family Pic!

It was, by far, our best road trip with the kids. Do I want to hop in the car tomorrow and drive another 15, no but it is good to know that these little tips and tricks do actually work. :) Hope you can find these helpful too on your next adventure!

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