I know I know, we have discussed this topic already. Road Trips and Games go together, got it. But I just need to add the tips that I learned this time around. We just drove from Utah to Massachusetts in 4 days. And the big thing about that is, it was enjoyable! Our little 2-year-old did amazingly well. Next time we do this drive I will have a newborn and will probably relearn how to have a successful drive across the country.
Here is what I contribute to our happy travels:
- We started each day with a prayer that God would protect us and have this time together be cherished.
- Behind the Seat Car Organizer: I created this in my head and my mom did the sewing. They turned out great and helped us keep in order all of our toys, books, movies, snacks. As you can see they got a ton of use already.
- Novelty Treats (ya know the ones the kids beg for in the grocery store that you never buy, now is the time): for us that was gold-fish, M&Ms, ring pop, fruit roll ups…
- Wrapped presents: we had a bag of little gifts wrapped in newspaper. Most of them were little things I collected around the house while we were packing. Like a little flashlight, little tube of lotion, balloons, magnets, scissors and paper, crayons, glow sticks… But we also got her some new presents like a Lightning McQueen race car, coloring book, stickers, etch a sketch. We pulled out the presents whenever we got back in the car after a stop on the road. This made getting back in her car seat exciting (that alone is worth it). Or if she was getting bored and had been so good she would open one.
- Children’s Songs: Whenever my husband and I sing a new song to her, she listens so intently. So we learned a lot of new songs. Mainly from the Children’s Songbook.
- Portable DVD player. I totally bought one of these (a used one) the day before we left, and I think it was worth it. Most of the time she would not watch a movie for more than 20 min, but those 20 min intervals were great.
- Good conversation with the spouse. This is a great time to get into those hard conversations you don’t want to have, or conversations where you feel the world comes together and you can see the bigger picture. Get to know each other.
- Educational and Fun stops. We were in a hurry to get to Boston so we did not make much time for fun stops this time around. But there is time for a $1 ice cream sunday at McDonald’s. Or even better, a quick drive around a historical monument. Pull off the road when something is calling to you, just go and do it!