Disclosure: This post was written as part of my membership on the Netflix #StreamTeam. All opinions expressed within are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
We are a family on the go. Summers are filled with 22 hour drives to the Florida Keys and weekends year round are spent traveling around to cheer on our favorite mini soccer player. One thing that friends ask us often is, “How do you do it?” While many fret about a 6 hour trip to the Outer Banks, we have developed routines that allow us to travel long distances with ease. Here are our 5 favorite car travel tips:
1. Downloadable Content
If there is EVER a time for your kids to have access to a device, it is on very long car trips. We cut way down on the “Are we there yet?” whines by stocking their devices with content downloaded from Netflix. It is so easy to download shows. On my recent trip to Cupertino, I realized the morning I was leaving that I forgot to download some shows for the 6 hour flight. In less than 15 minutes, I had a bunch of Orange is the New Black and Fuller House episodes downloaded to keep me busy for the entire trip!
If I were packing the boys’ iPads for a trip this month, I’d be filling their devices with some recent favorites, including Boss Baby!
2. Short Stops
I think one of the biggest mistakes families make on road trips is that they take too many (and too long) of stops. We drive until we can’t anymore (usually in 3-4 hour stints) and then hit a rest stop for a gas/restroom/snack stop. However, we try to avoid touristy places, as the more time we spend OUT of the car, the harder it is to get the kids back in the car. So, no stops to see the World’s Largest Inflatable Hot Dog for our family. We are have a routine and a mission on the road!
3. Snack Bags
We do not pack huge bags for the kids in the backseat, mainly because all of that “junk” usually gets scattered around the car. Instead each child gets a streaming device, a fidget spinner or Rubik’s cube, a book (Extreme Dot to Dot was a big hit on our last trip), and a small travel cooler packed with water and snacks. This way, they have snacks that they want and can ration them out in the way that makes sense for them. I get car sick of I turn around too much, so this prevents Mom and Dad from playing snack distributor, too.
4. Power on with a Playlist
My boys have interesting tastes in music as a result of our time in the car together. Recently, we thought maybe we would bring our boys to their first concert in this upcoming year, so we polled them as to who they would most like to see. I was expecting tween regulars like Taylor Swift or Bruno Mars, but no. They requested, in this order: The Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett, Zac Brown Band, Billy Ocean (say WHAT!?!?), and Maroon 5. Luckily for mom and dad, we would seek out (almost) all of these concerts ourselves. Win win!
5. Have Fun
Our travel adventures are some of our favorite stories to tell. Too soon the boys will grow up and create their own family travel tales. Today, I will focus on making the most of our adventures together. This cute video says it all…