It’s no secret that traveling with kids can be tough. From prepping the snacks to charging the Game Boys and tablets, there’s a lot to think about.
So to any new parents out there or parents who simply haven’t yet experienced the “joy” of road trips with toddlers: We’re here for you.
Reporter (and mom) Victoria Freile of Democrat & Chronicle has written this ah-mazing survival guide that you won’t want to miss.
Road tripping with toddlers: A survival guide
Travel when kids are asleep
If you’ve got your kids sleep schedules down to a science, then take advantage of it! Schedule your road trip to start just before your sons and daughters fall asleep.
Give up your wingman
This is a tough one, but seating the non-driving parent in the back — for at least part of the trip — to entertain the kids and keep the peace can go a long way for maintaining your mental sanity.
Break up long drives
If you can, try to find parks or playgrounds to stop at along the drive. Sure, it extends the road trip travel time, but isn’t it worth it if it means avoiding cranky time? And if you’re lucky, maybe the kids with tucker out and fall asleep for the rest of your drive.
Prioritize items that are not easily purchasable during travel, like medicines and strollers. Other items like food and toiletries, Freile says, can be purchased on the road, so no need to worry if you forget something off that list.
“That said,” she adds, “don’t forget your child’s favorite blanket/pillow/binky/toy. Life will simply not be the same without it.”
Pretty much every mom knows her kids’ favorite toys and books, but the trick is to surprise them with a new toy (or one they thought you forgot at home) half way through the drive.
Set reasonable expectations
Google maps says the drive will be six hours? Great. Plan on eight.
Seasoned travel-veteran moms: What do you think? Every mom has her tool bag of nifty tricks for keeping her kiddos entertained. And if you think you have the magical formula for a peaceful drive, then we want in. Send whatever tips you have to firstname.lastname@example.org