Sunday, April 11, 2010

7 Road Trip Tips for the Single Traveler (with Littles on Board)

Spring Break kicks off the upcoming season of Road Trippin'.   What a blast it is to cross several state lines in just a few hours on the road.  We traversed the two Carolinas, Georgia and Florida this past week and every minute in the car was worth the hours we got to spend at the waters edge with beloved cousins....but, I've collected a few pointers along the way.


Tip #1:  Let all passengers ages 3 and up bring a pillow (small blanket optional).  It is amazing the entertainment value in the positioning and repositioning of this piece of bedding.  

Tip #2:  Snacks pre-sorted in individual containers.  Fruit peeled/sliced ahead of time.  Water only.  Dry snacks bagged for quick toss-back.  No crumbly cookies or foods requiring a spoon.  Don't stop for fast food (makes for stinky car and stinky kids--not too mention an early death)

Tip #3:  Movies.  Movies.  Movies.

Tip #4:  Stop every two hours (thus averting the 2 1/2 hour break down).  Stop at rest stops.  No hot crispy fries of death to tempt you.  Bathrooms steps away from parking.  Grass to "run" the children.  Picnic table to eat your cheese sticks, fruit, and crackers.  

Tip #5:  While you fill up the tank: Do not let the children out of the car, clear interior of accumulated debris, sort water bottles and blankets, and scrub bugshield.

Tip #6:  When the going gets rough and the children get antsy, roll down all the windows (first securing any pertinent papers).  This is an instant refresher!  They'll eventually scream for you to "close the windows!!", but after you do an eery calm remains.

Tip #7:  If Tip #6 doesn't work, turn off the movie and turn up your favorite tunes and leave the windows open until it drowns out the "are we there yets" and the "Hazel bit me's" and the Avery shrieks.  (This is especially helpful during the last half hour of the trip).

Happy Trippin'


11 comments:

Jillian said...

I would like to add children's benadryl to the list....as a last resort of course. :)

Kurt Knudsen said...

You should write a traveler's guide for tiny people and their parents.

madsta said...

this is just making my dream of road tripping through all the states in a year seem more and more unrealistic :(

Susannah said...

This was actually a very helpful post! We are currently shopping for a minivan...any recommendations?

Ann said...

I don't care what you say, you've got this motherhood thing down!

Jordan said...

Susannah,

I have loved the reliability and roominess of our Honda Odyssey.

sara b said...

Looks like your week at the beach was dreamy!
Great tips, Jo.

This is me said...

Yes, yes, and yes to the pre-sorted snacks. I give my two big kids a gallon ziploc bag full of smaller ziploc bags of healthy snacks and a few treats (lollipops, etc). I tell them that that gallon sized bag is all they are getting and they are in charge of the timely distribution of the snacks. Once it's gone, it's gone! And then I don't have to play waitress in the van.

Tracy said...

Oh, I can relate...

robin said...

love these tips...

especially "roll down the windows".

we've got a summer of road trippin' ahead of us. it's gonna be brutal.

Susannah said...

That is great to hear-- we're currently looking at a used Touring Odyssey! Thanks so much.