Who doesn’t love vacation?! Well… I have to admit, the first three days of vacation with our kids isn’t really vacation, it’s more like HELL. Ya, I said it. There’s arguing, tattle tailing and just the normal annoyances of childhood. And I’m sure our kids are sick of us too at that point because I know I can be annoying too. But as we all settle in and realize we’re all spending time together everyday all day no matter what for the next week or so, we get over our drama. Man I can’t wait for our next trip! 😉
Last summer Matt and I rented an RV and we took a road trip to the beach (every vacation involves the beach so far) and again, the first 3 days was a night mare. The RV smelled like s*#@, the kids were fighting and Hudson kept trying to run away. It was a joke! I swore I was never doing that again. Fast forward three more days and it was actually blissful, SERIOUSLY. By the time we made it home 10 days after departure, we were all getting along great and Matt and I were still married! We talked a lot about someday owning an RV of our own, it’s been Matts dream for 20 years… He is older than me because 20 years ago I would have never said I wanted an RV, those are for OLD people! Haha! But after our experience, seeing our kids having a blast and actually having a SANE car ride somewhere, we made a goal of owning our own.
We prayed about it and took the plunge and purchased an RV. We leave for our first trip TOMORROW! What?! AHHH! But, this post isn’t about owning an RV, I want to share some tips on how to have an enjoyable get away with your family. Because everyone can use tips on this right? I know I still can! Here a few things I have found useful along the way for taking road trips with your family:
- Stay Calm– I know when I’m stressed out and trying to get out the door, my kids can feel it and they feed off of it. The saying ‘no one’s happy if mama ain’t happy’ is so true! My advice is to stay calm and try to be joyous, even when you want to scream! (Maybe scream outside or in a pillow if you need to) 😉
- Games– As my kids get older I keep thinking there’s going got be a time when they don’t want to play ‘old fashioned’ board games, but they still love them and so do I! We try to pack Uno, a deck of cards, and a board game. I’m so not the mom who pulls out math flash cards on vacation, I wish I was but I’m not
- Sketch Pads and Markers/Pencils- So maybe not all kids like to draw or color, but this has worked wonders for our family and occupies at least a good hour of drive time. Even Hudson likes to draw and color now! Woo hoo!
- NON Sugary Snacks– Boring right?! But our kids turn into psychos when they have too much sugar. They start arguing, crying, screaming, bouncing off the walls, throwing things, playfully but hurtfully punching each other, they get bratty and whiney, the whole shebang. It’s just not worth it. Instead, we replace it with salty chips and high carbohydrates!! NOT, I’m totally kidding, because we all know carbs turn into sugar right?! We like to stock pile our car with nuts, this beef jerky, water, and the occasional fruit snack (we’re not THAT anal!) We also like the veggie straws and baked snap peas but again, they are a carbohydrate at the end of the day.
- Electronics– We are lucky enough, and not so lucky enough, to live in this era of iPhones, iPads, tablets this and Nintendo DS that. We put a limit on to how much they can play what they’re playing, but it’s another life saver on the road!
- Plenty of Movies– No matter how many games or electronics we have, our kids always love movies! We stock our car with them and I always make sure to pack some old favorites that get stuck on the bottom of the pile at home. I love the look on their face when they see them on the trip and the fact they can go back to that little kid inside and watch them each 3 times in a row again makes my heart melt!
- FLIP FLOPS- For everyone. When we need to make a stop, the last thing I want to do is wait for them to get their shoes on and tie them. This may not be an important thing for every mom, but it is certainly one for me! I don’t care if it’s 32 degrees out, we are all wearing flip flops on the car ride! Hahahaha I swear I’m not mommy dearest!
- Comfy Clothes– Yoga pants, basketball shorts, sweats, whatever is comfortable is a MUST for the whole family.
I’m sure this stuff comes second nature to most moms out there, but it didn’t really for me. I remember my first road trip with my two older kids by myself, we didn’t have a dvd player or games. All they had we their old nintendo DS’s (thank God) and a few snacks. It worked ok for us that time, but now traveling with four kids it’s a whole new ball game!
A few necessities for me are wet wipes, hand sanitizer, magazines, pillow, kleenex, chargers, RX Bars, zip fizz, and ear phones. 🙂
I hope you share some of your tips for a peaceful road trip with kids!