Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tuesday Talk: Family Road Trip Tips

My family of four loves to travel together.  Kevin and I have been road tripping together for our entire 12 year marriage.  He's always the driver, navigator and deal finder and I'm always the packer, snack planner, cooler girl and fun stop finder.  We started traveling with Olive when she was just a few weeks old and she ended up with nearly 40,000 road trip miles under her belt by the age of two.  She's a great traveler and we're hoping the same will be true for Fletcher.

We have learned a lot along the way and adding kids to the mix definitely requires more planning to makes trip happen.  Our trips are always adventures and aren't always the most relaxing, but we are making great memories together.  We figure we'll have time for relaxing vacations later in life :)

Here are my best 10 Family Road Trip Tips for YOU:

1. If you're worried about having enough room in the car get a ROOF TOP BAG.  We thought about investing in a hard shell one, but our car doesn't have the runners on top to attach it to.  So we opted for a soft sided bag that worked so well!  It's a Roof Bag and it lived up to all of the expectations - it stayed put while we drove thanks to a non-slip mat, was water proof and held a ton of stuff!  Put the bag on top of the car, secure the non slip mat and the straps and load the bag LAST.  We also learned that packing soft sided bags for everyone was the best idea.  We all have darling monogrammed bags and the soft sided kind allowed us much more room than bulky suitcases.

2. Bring COZY THINGS from home.  For us that meant blanket, bunny and her pillow.  We also dressed in comfy clothes, wore slip on shoes and brought sun shields for the windows.

3. Bring favorite SNACKS that won't melt in the heat.  Twizzlers, fresh fruit, chex mix, peanut butter filled pretzels and gummy bears are our standard items.

4. Make up SILLY CAR GAMES.  Bunny was a tight rope walker here.  We played a ton of I Spy, pointed out landmarks, named colors of cars, listened to silly songs, etc.

5. Make sure that everything you need is ACCESSIBLE.  This mirror was a life saver to see Fletcher as we drove.  I also turned around to hold in his paci, feed him occasionally and checked on his sleeping.  The snacks were at my feet, the cooler was handy and Olive's toys were easy for me to get to when needed.

6. Bring ENTERTAINING things for the kids and for the adults.  We had new playlists for us and we like to ask each other Would You Rather Questions when we get bored with driving.  I packed books, stickers, magic markers that only color on special paper so nothing else got colored on and jewelry for Olive to try on.  Below she fell asleep reading her favorite book.

7. CHARGE all of your electronics ahead of time.  We brought portable chargers, charged things overnight and were ready to go for the trip.  We bought a refurbished DVD player off of amazon for less than $40 and a couple of DVDs for the trip.  Our drive was 17+ hours so it was so exciting to pull this out about half way through our drive.  I'm convinced that it was a life saver :)

8. Don't push things too hard and stay at a HOTEL when needed.  We opted to stop once on each leg of the trip.  It was so nice to get out and stretch.  We didn't know exactly how far we'd make it each day so we reserved our room using price line just a few hours ahead of needing it when we had a better idea of when we were going to need to stop.

9. Bring ART SUPPLIES for the actual trip.  We packed colored pencils, coloring books, play doh and a few favorite toys so that Olive could play once we settled into our condo.  She enjoyed these things all week long and loved having some special projects to do.

10. Be FLEXIBLE.  Things are not going to go as planned, stops are going to take longer, you'll hit traffic, you'll take wrong exits, someone will likely not feel well, you'll have to make emergency Wal-Mart runes for forgotten items and you will make tons of great memories together.  Sometimes the stars will even align and both kids will nap at the same time, you'll get to have some adult conversation, you'll find exits with Starbucks and you'll have a wonderful time.  Stops will be more fun than you'd imagined and things will go smoother than you'd expected.  It's a roller coaster of emotions traveling with littles, but patience, understanding, snacks and smiles help every trip to go better :)

I hope these tips were helpful and make you excited to travel with your family!!
Do you have any travel tips to share with me??
Leave them in the comments below.

BECKY GOEREND is the winner of the One Big Turkey book.
Watch for an email from me today!  Congratulations!! 

It's time to link up with my favorite Tuesday Talk ladies!!
Join us with you best posts of the week.

Polka-Dotty Place


  1. Such GREAT tips Whitney!!! We have a hard roof "topper" that goes on top of our van and we couldn't travel without it!! And YES- to having not only fun things to do in the car but art supplies/simple crafts/games for the kids once you get to your destination. My kids' favorites are markers/white paper and legos :) And absolutely- number one tip- BE FLEXIBLE!! Traveling is SO fun but it's also a lot for little people!! :)

  2. These are such great tips! Russ keeps asking to get a bag for the top of the car, so I'm going to check out the one you linked! Also, yay for winning the giveaway! Thank you!!! :)

  3. Great tips friend. Our girls haven't been in the car for more than 4-5 hours so we are SUPER nervous about our 12+ hour car ride coming up. These tips will come in handy helping us to get prepared.

  4. These are fantastic tips, Whitney! I love bringing art supplies when we travel too. I actually have a pack of colored pencils and a few other toys that my daughter plays with just for the road-tripping occasion so it works well for us. Thanks so much for hosting this week. Have a lovely Tuesday!

  5. Great tips! We only go roughly 4 to 5 hours on our trips I could not imagine 17+!!! You're like super mom! xoxoxo

  6. Great tips! The longest trip we've done is 6 hours, so your road trips impress me! And I love the tight rope walking bunny! My husband has made up a pretty funny game involving a turtle that never gets old ;)

  7. I think that the one thing I would tell others is to stop as often as you feel like it. I don't like rushing and everyone stressing or complaining so stops are frequent.

  8. We're AAA members, so I get a Trip Tik for road trips. It splits the whole trip into sections and has detailed maps of metro areas. I like it because we can gauge where to stop especially if we're in an unfamiliar rural area (like Miles City, Montana).


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