Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tips for traveling with small children

Ok so we just went on a long road trip to visit family and friends nearly 1,000 miles away. With 4 small children this is no small feat. People are always amazing that we can pull this off. Here are some tips we use to make it less difficult. Some of them are just good tips even if you don't have kids.

1.) Before you begin your trip make stock up on snacks you and your kids enjoy that are good for the car. Things like goldfish, dried fruit, pretzels, jerky, nuts, ect. It's better to buy these from a grocery store instead of a gas station for several reasons. This will save you money and time but it's also a good way to avoid eating something that you'll later regret or that has been sitting on the shelf for far to long.
2.) Before you leave make a check list of everything you need. As you load your car simply check each item on the list. 3.) Perhaps my most important tip is to make frequent stops. once every 2 hours works well for us.
4.) When you stop EVERYONE must go potty and/or be changed. This is also the time to feed a nursing or bottle feeding infant. 
5.) Depending on your child's age and bladder control consider using overnight undies. We have two that are potty trained already (5yr and 3yr) but they still wear pullups in the car on a major trip like this because you just never know. It once took us 5-6hrs to move 1 mile where there was a major accident. I was prego at the time and kind of wishing I had a pullup.
 6.) When you stop for something to eat get something for everyone even if they aren't hungry. They will be later. 
 7.) Make sure everyone knows to speak up at the first feelings of needing to go to the bathroom. 
 8.) Bring a road map. Yes, I hear you asking why. I know you have a GPS and smart phone. What reason on earth could you possibly need for bringing a road map. Trust me it's just wise to have a backup. Things can happen. Besides it's fun finding all of the oddly named towns. Every state has them.
 9.) Stop at traveler information centers for good clean bathrooms and to learn more about cool attractions off the beaten path.
10.) Listen to the radio as much as you can. I know your music is better because you can select what you want to hear but if you listen to the radio then you maybe able to avoid a long delay that you otherwise would have driven right into.
11.) Bring at least one extra change of clothes for adults and at least 2 for children. For infants I recommend more. There are the normal things that can happen like someone gets sick or leaks through a diaper and then there are the strange things you can't account for like being pooped on by a squirrel or sitting in chocolate.

I hope you find some of this useful. Do you have any good travel tips? What about traveling with kids? What works for you?
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