Car Trips Made Easy

Posted by Christine Fleeger on 6/17/2009 11:32:00 AM
My family and I are about to embark on a two day trip from our small town in Western Pennsylvania to Key West, Fl. If you went on summer driving vacations as a child you will remember the typical "are we there yet?" and you parents enlisting the typical driving games.... Lets see who can stay quiet for the longest or the licence plate game or even my fave punch buggy and pa-diddle. Then there was the typical how many times can we get mom and dad to stop and eat. I like to think that I am smarter, and that the tricks that we pulled on our parents just wont work on me. So I have a few basic things to help you get thru those long car rides. 1. If you have a DVD player in your car USE IT! I do recommend going the week prior and purchasing or even now a days you can use netflix and getting the kids some new movies. Ones that you know they havent seen and they want to. If you do not have a DVD player in your car check out on line and in your local stores they are portable and very affordable. We like ours because not only will it work in the car but if we are staying in a hotel and there is no DVD player ours will hook up to a tv and plug into the wall. So I make sure I get some great family movies for the evening or a rainy day. 2. I also like the wipe off tablets. Now I do not mean the ones with markers unless you have older kids but I am speaking about the ones with the little bar that when you swipe it across it erases the picture. I also like the new markers for kids that will only write on the special paper. I know they can get expensive but again these can work for in the car or in a hotel room and you do not end up with marker everywhere. 3. For the older kids I have found that your basic things such as their hand held video games and Ipods are great distractions. I make sure that the night before we leave I have them all charged up and on my son's Ipod I put a movie or two that he can watch but may be too old for my younger daughter to watch. This gives him something to watch when we are watching the kiddy shows on the DVD in the van. 4. Seating. This can be one of the most important issues. We have a mini van and my daughter still has to be in a car seat. For long rides her legs hang over the side and this can get very uncomfortable as well as not being good for the circulation in her legs. We take a cooler or a Creight packed with things we will need when we stop at her legs and if necessary I put a pillow on top. My son lately has opted out of sitting in the seat right next to his sister and is now sitting in the "way back" as he calls it. This is a bit easier because we can allow him to buckle himself in and then turn sideways with a pillow behind him and put his feet up in the back. I also have a pocket hanger on the back of the seat in front of him so he has places to put all the things he wants to take with him. 5. Clothing is an extremely important thing to have on and with you. Even for older kids this is important. We always try to leave in the evening after the kids have had a full day of playing while my husband gets to sleep in that day. So as we start off I have the kids in comfy climate appropriate clothing. As we get closer to our destination (sometimes a much warmer place) this clothing can get too hot and uncomfortable on your child. I put an overnight bag for each child with some more appropriate clothing. Keeping in mind what we will be doing that day if we are getting out to play a bit and then have to get back in the car for more driving I will give them something a bit loose fitting so when we are getting back in the car they are still comfortable. Keep in mind that you might want two things just in case of accidents. 6 Food. This can be a tough one considering you are probably passing what seems like every fast food restaurant known to man and you child reminds you every time you pass one. This is something that I like to get the kids involved in. I recommend if you are traveling more than one day have a specific bag for each day, and remember the more your child consumes the more unscheduled bathroom breaks you will need to take, as well as if your belly is overstuffed think of how uncomfortable you are which in kids relates to the more complaining. I will have a Vlog up later today on how to pack these but the basics are have snack bags. You can always make these yourself or purchase them already made up. I find that if I follow these basic things we have a successful road trip. Good luck with yours and have fun out there this summer.



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