Saturday, November 20, 2010

On the Road Again...

When I was a child, I clearly remember our long family road trips. It was back in the day when we didn’t wear seat belts and our van seats folded out into a bed. Thanks to my genius Dad, who installed a black and white TV and the video game Pong into our van, we were the coolest kids around. I remember singing Elvira at the top of our lungs and fighting over who got to sit by the windows. Yeah, we were styling it in our chevy van with blue carpeting up the walls.

As a kid, I didn’t have to think much about our road trip, I just jumped into our family van and enjoyed the donuts that were passed back to me as we hit the road. But now it’s my turn and I have a lot of planning to do.

Call us foolish, but we’re planning a long road trip to visit family. We’re going to be on the road all day with 3 bouncing boys in a minivan. Can you tell I’m a little nervous? I can imagine all the things that can go wrong, the meltdowns and changing moods or I can be prepared and hope for the best.

That’s where you come in. I’m sure over the years you’ve learned a thing or two on how to make your child’s road trip go smooth. So, I’m looking for YOUR expertise, any great advice or lessons learned would be welcomed.

Here are a few things I’ve prepared so far:

1. We’re leaving at 4 am so the kids can sleep off some of the trip. (Sorry Dad, here’s a Starbucks!)

2. Grandparents are driving along separately so the kids can switch vans to mix up the view and company. Also, it will be a way to separate the boys if they’re fighting.

3. I always plan a bag of goodies to help pass the time, you know the cheap stuff at the dollar store.

4. I may bribe with money. I was taught through the Magic 1, 2, 3 series to give the kids spending money for the trip, but they have to earn it through quarters given for every mile they behave well. The better they are, the more money they get.

5. We’re borrowing portable dvd players (thanks to generous friends), we’ll have one for each kid with lots of movies from our local library. It will be a great time to finish up The Little House on the Prairie series.

6. Of course we’ll have their DS games and Dramamine for our car sick kid.

7. Then for Mom, I’ll have my iphone with my favorite podcasts. (Helps to drown out the whining from the back of the car.)

So please, think back to your last road trip and share the good and the bad, I’m sure we can all learn a lesson or two from one another!

Wish us luck!


  1. My only tidbit of advice/information is that we used to try to leave early in the morning for road trips hoping the kids would sleep but the older the kids got they never went back to sleep. They were way to excited to sleep. Good Luck. Oh yeah as I'm sure you know always check and double check that you have all meds. Big Hugs

  2. I have no advice for you because you seem to have all bases covered. But I have to say I was THRILLED to see that someone else out there experienced the first video game ever PONG!

  3. That's a scary thought that the kids won't go back to sleep, I sure hope that doesn't happen to us!

    Good idea to double check the meds, can you imagine the mess we'd be in if forgotten??

    Betsy- LOL! You played pong too? What about Dungeons and Dragons?

  4. We always make each child a bag of snacks that is all their own. We buy things that we don't normally buy for them and they can eat it whenever they feel like it. Hope the trip goes well.

  5. Maybe take 2 days to travel? Leave when they get up in the morning.....get a cheap hotel along the way....and then head out for the rest of the trip. My kids NEVER sleep in the car, they are too excited for the trip. Maybe a beer and a steak waiting for dad when you arrive? Sounds like fun...kinda?! He he to you all.

  6. My dad would leave at midnight so we would all sleep in the car, it always worked like a charm. He'd sleep from like 3 until 12 (midnight) so he wasn't tired and would just take a nap when we got to my grandmothers house. I don't think I could sit in a car for very long now.

  7. Sounds like you have all the bases covered. I guess the only other thing that I could recommend is to limit the sugar snacks and drinks. They will give the boys too much energy. Their Aunt will have a sugar treat waiting for them when they arrive :0)(And a cocktail or beer for dad).
    Sunflowers seeds/pistachio nuts are a great way to pass time if they know how to open them. Don't worry the trip won't be bad! You have grandpa and grammy to help, that will make a huge difference. The boys won't be stuck in one minivan they will be able to move around for a change of scenery. As for leaving early, if the boys don't go back to sleep at least you will miss a lot of the holiday traffic thus making your trip shorter. Have a safe trip! We are so excited to have you all down here!
    Love ya,

    (Eye spy is a fun game for the kids to play along the way)