Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Travels with Kids

So we just accomplished a major road trip with 3 kids.
9 hours to see Gemma, 9 hours home.
And the kiddos did great!

See.... We made it.
We are all happy, and enjoying the beauty of Lake Erie.
That was another 2 hour round trip. But Worth it!

So...we thought we would give a few travel tips.

1- Map out McDonalds Playlands on your way.
That's right folks... you can map every single McDonalds Playland from here to Canada.
Not that we went all the way to Canada....we're not that brave.

2- Leave immediately after nursing the baby.
This gives you at least 3 hours before you should have to stop. Although we did do a few fast stops for a poopy diaper, because Helen just will not poop on demand.

3- Have a System for Stops
Have I mentioned my husband likes systems?
So here is ours.
Get your order together.
Go through the drive through...
Heck no are we taking 3 crazy kids to stand in line at McDonalds!
Mom keeps her food in the van while nursing the baby.
Dad takes kids in to eat and play on playland.

Total time of stop -- 30-45 minutes.

Stop #2 -- Same as above, but Kids get ice-cream instead of lunch!

4- Don't get frustrated with little girls who have to go potty.
By all means, you worked your tail off to potty train the child, now let her go!
Poop happens, and diapers need to be changed.
David was much more graciious than I was in this area... I mean really...we just stopped, do you really have to go?

5- Bring lots of snacks... bribe the heck out of them.
I admit it...I may not nurse on demand, but I do hand out snacks on demand. Forget the healthy diet, or spoiling their lunch (I mean come on...lunch was McD's). They want goldfish? Pass them the goldfish. They want fruitsnacks? Hand em a bag. We did however make every snack seem like a treasure or prize.

6- Create fun new activities.
And let them watch as many movies as they can until their eyeballs roll to the back of their heads. But Seriously... I recommend the Magna Doodle. We like the big ones too...not the little ones. Great "laptop" play.

And pick up a travel Aquadoodle too! Both are great travel items.
We had crayons and colorbooks, and on one trip I also bought little dollar store "prizes" that I would reveal to them every hour or so.

We came up with a tunnell song...
that you sing where else.... in the tunnell!

Make up a toll song...
give each child a bag of change to "pay the toll"

We yelled out "Cow", "Mountain", "horse" the whole way. It was a game of sorts.

Play "Eye Spye" or spot that car (search for a certain color car)

But Really, Our kids are great travelers.
And we are thankful for that. We have heard horror stories from many of you of screaming babies and whiney toddlers for hours on end.

Hopefully this post will help to eliminate some of the travel woes.

Charlotte did ask about 15 minutes into our trip as we passed Winston Salem...

"Is that the Grove City?" (Our desitnation)

"No Honey....that's not Grove City. We have about 8 1/2 hours left to go!
Want a goldfish??"

Happy Travels!
So what are YOUR travel tips for traveling with toddlers??


  1. These are great tips! We've been making cross-country road trips from Colorado to Pennsylvania for about 4 years now. We're taking another one in two weeks - and it'll be the first one for our 9 month old and OUR first with two kids. Should be interesting!

    Glad you had a great trip!

    ~ Jennifer

  2. I couldn't find an email address for you, so I posted my reply to your email here.

    I'm fairly new to the blogging community. One night I was just surfing around other blogs. You know how you get sucked in when you're searching the internet? Link after link after link after link - until you get to the point where you don't remember what you were even searching for to begin with? I guess that's kinda how I stumbled upon your blog. I hope you don't mind! I really enjoyed reading your stuff and your family is beautiful! It's nice to read about what other mommies are doing out there!

    And I will be sure to pass your thanks along to hubby. I really appreciate it!

  3. carrie
    sounds like you did a great job. i love the lunch stop plan! we haven't been brave enough to do our 12-hour drive to mississippi with karis in a while. and now with #2 on the way, i am getting more timid of long road trips (unless they involve a plane!) but you have inspired me! thanks. glad you guys are doing well!

  4. great advice!! Thanks for the tips!! We are headed to Maryland this weekend and I'll keep this in mind!


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