We recently took a road trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin. It's about a 15-hour drive. We are very fortunate that our kids have always done well with road trips. Since Boogie was 4 months old, he was traveling on long car trips to Maine which can be done in about a day. As he became older we started to stop halfway through, but that was only because we started later. Twice I was caught with a long OB appointment the day of our trip.
But as traveling goes, my kids like it. They have always been contented with driving around. So what did we do to make it enjoyable for all of us?
- packing the car the night before
- we made fried chicken tenders to eat for lunch the next day. They're great. They can be held easily in little hands and they're okay cold.
- lots of snacks (Peanut butter pretzels, fruit leather, oranges, raspberries, kettle corn, bagel chips)
- personal thermoses (sp?) for the kids
- bags filled with crayons, dry erase boards, magna doodles, coloring books, and books
- audio books. Lots and lots of audio books. For this trip we packed: Magic Treehouse series, Ginger Pye, Pinky Pye, Alice in Wonderland, Sword in the Stone, Tall Tales, and the Nate the Great Series.
- DVDs (though the kids only watched one movie and it was only one time. They prefer audio books!)
- bathroom breaks/stretch your legs every 3-4 hours (this was perfect and it gave me time to nurse the baby. Each break was at 30-45 long. During this time we had the kids go to the bathroom when we came to a rest stop and right before we left
- OH and we surprised each of the kids with a travel buddy waiting for them in their seats. Boogs chose a dragon and Bug a pink triceratops.
One night I had them go through a website and had them pick and then ordered their new buddies in time for the trip. I told them it was for Christmas. When they got in the car they were surprised. Bug still thanks us for her "Cera." I love that their animals turn into pillows. Bug let me borrow hers when I took a nap in the car and it was very soft. We also were able to take the kids pillows at the hotel because ours were so crummy. They slept with their pillow pets and had no trouble at all.
As kids, Hubby and I remember taking family road trips. We still enjoy them and we enjoy the time it gives us to talk. On the way home, we decided to power through and finish the trip in one day. When the kids fell asleep I stayed awake the last five hours (9pm-1am) while Hubby was driving. We listened to music, sang, and talked all the way home. Good times.