Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 1 of 17
In the last couple of years, for multiple moves and vacations, my husband and I, along with two kids under the age of six, have logged more than 6,000 miles on the road. That's over the equivalent of driving from Los Angeles to New York City — twice. And while we've seen several of the beautiful sites this great country possesses, I've come to realize that most of the "traveling with kids" articles I've come across have left out some important details about driving long distances with young kids, such as …
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 2 of 17
1: Travel Time
Take whatever Google Maps estimates for the trip duration and add two hours for EACH child in the car three hours if the child is under the age of one.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 3 of 17
Children in the back seat must be separated at all times, taking into account their varying wingspans. If they are in car seats, a suitcase will work. If they are older, another car might work.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 4 of 17
3: Fear Factors
The terrified scream young children make for There is a poisonous snake in the back seat! is remarkably similar to the scream of There is a small fly in the back seat!
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 5 of 17
4: Cultural Interests
Children under the age of five do not appreciate architectural beauty of any kind. This includes the kind you already paid an exorbitant entrance fee for.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 6 of 17
If the road youre on is about to diverge into three different directions, the names for those roads will be something like 9, 9a and 9n. Confused? Dont worry, your navigation system will calmly encourage you to stay on the road your on.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 7 of 17
Your children can play outside for eight hours in the bright sun and not find it the least bit disturbing, but if it shines through a car window, they will shriek like wilting vampires.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 8 of 17
7: Nutritional Values
No matter how much time you spend combing the aisle of your grocery store to find the perfect healthy snacks before you go, your children will only eat the ones for twice the price and no nutritional value found at the gas station store.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 9 of 17
Cup holders are not for holding drinks. Sippy cups and the like belong upside down on the floor. Partially sucked lollipops and gum belong in cup holders.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 10 of 17
9: Asking the Right Questions
Despite what movies suggest, Are we there yet? is actually not the most unpleasant question on a road trip. Try, Daddy, where should I throw up?
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 11 of 17
10: Eating "Out"
Quaint little café that cant fit your double jogger? There is always the alternative of ordering the food to go and eating in the back of your van with the trunk open. Just keep in mind, this (and possibly the fact that you didnt have access to a hair dryer that morning), may give people the impression that youre homeless.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 12 of 17
11: Just Getting There
There is an unspoken, unbreakable rule between spouses that if all the children are asleep, you will stop the car for nothing. This includes hunger, full bladders, and police roadblocks.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 13 of 17
12: What's Really Important
After careful planning, monetary sacrifice, tedious packing, and tirelessly driving, theres a good chance youre going to get yelled at by a four-year-old for packing the wrong color swimsuit.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 14 of 17
13: Personal Space
There is nothing incongruous about loving your husband and jumping at the chance to sleep in a queen-sized bed alone.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 15 of 17
14: What Money Buys You
If your hotel has plush bedding, room service, and a hefty price tag, there is a high likelihood of being woken up by the neighbors kid at 5 am.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 16 of 17
The good news is most travel magazines leave out other things as well. They neglect to mention the soft warmth of your daughters arms as they wrap around your legs and say Mommy, this was the best day EVER. They dont have a leaflet that emphasizes how eight-hour conversations in the car with your husband remind you of exactly why he is still your best friend and the most interesting person you know. And they definitely dont say anything about the memories. Some moments may certainly not be funny at the time, (like having people donate change on the bumper of your van while eating lunch), but in time, they become the particles that bind us together as families.
Road Trip Survival Tips For Parents 17 of 17