This year, we went on vacation to Branson which was about a 12 hour trip by the time we stopped for gas. So how do you entertain your children while stuck in the car for 12 hours? How do you keep them from driving your crazy? Well, Michael is 15 months and was super easy, so maybe I’m not the person to give out this advice. But I think the reason he was so easy (aside from the fact that he is relatively an easy-going baby) was because of the things I did. This road trip was caravan style because we went with my grandparents, mom, sisters, their men and my niece and nephew. In our car was my family of three and my grandparents, which I think ended up helping because it gave Michael two other people to help entertain him. However, here is what I found that seriously helps keeping your children happy, you and your husband sane and to get you there faster.
- Do everything at one stop. I don’t mean making only one pit-stop. I mean, make sure you go the the bathroom, get gas, grab anything you want to eat and let your kids stretch your legs at every stop. It will save you time in the long run because you won’t have to keep stopping.
- Bring movies. I didn’t have to worry about this because Michael doesn’t watch movies yet, but popping in a movie will give you and your kids 1 1/2 hours of “peace.”
- Bring toys. This I did. I have totes that I use to organize toys throughout the house that easily slide into shelving units. I filled one of them full of toys and books that would entertain Michael for a long period of time. It also gave him toys to play with while on vacation.
- Point out things. If you’re on a road trip, you may see things that you don’t normally see at home or even things that you know your kid likes. For example, we passed a few fields that have the windmills used for electricity. Well, Michael LOVES fans, so I pointed out the window and told him it was a fan, I mean it kind of is and oh my he was so excited! Pure entertainment!
- Pack food! Yes! This saves money, allows for you to drive through meals if you want and will give your kids snacks to help tide them over until you stop for meals.
- Plan your departure. Depending on where you are going and how far of a drive that is, plan to leave or arrive according to your child’s sleep schedule. Sleep is like the BEST way to road trip with kid. If they are sleeping, you can keep driving and you don’t need to worry about how bored they are.