Monday, January 10, 2011

Road Tripping with Kids

After spending over 48 hours in a on the road with two kids under the age of two (and one who’s 30), I’m happy to still have my sanity (or what little I began with)!

Our trip from Virginia to Texas began around naptime on the 29th.  We rolled into my parents’ driveway 24 hours and 45 minutes later.  Driving straight through went really well considering that our kids are so young.  The only downside was that Trenton, normally a very heavy sleeper, woke up every time we stopped to get gas or switch drivers. 

We split our trip back to Virginia up into two days.  We left my parents’ house around 9am on the 7th, and stopped for the night just north of Mobile, Alabama.  We stopped early – 1) for the Aggie football game, and 2) because I seriously would have ended up in the looney bin had we not stopped.  Charlotte cried unless I held her hand the entire time she was awake.  I was in the passenger seat, and she was directly behind the driver’s seat.  An Inspector Gadget arm would have really come in handy.  Trenton did pretty good until he woke up from his afternoon nap.  It was all downhill from there.  He wanted his movies changed out every 5 minutes, wanted milk, wanted water, wanted a snack and was cranky about all of it.

We were all very happy to be at the hotel!  We ordered pizza, turned on the TV, and were good to go.  The hotel didn’t have cribs, so we put Charlotte down in one of the beds with pillows all around her.  We made Trenton a pallet on the floor.  We turned off the lights and put the TV on mute to get him to go to sleep.  No such luck.  I turned the TV totally off, got into bed, and tried to get him to lay down with me.  Even less luck.  Our luck turned even worse when all of Trenton’s antics woke Charlotte up.  Now we had two screaming babies.  I’m sure all of the other hotel guests LOVE us at this point!  The kids finally fell asleep.  There was no way we were going to risk waking the kids up by putting the game back on, so Jarrod and I went to sleep too – Jarrod with Charlotte and me with Trenton.

We got on the road Saturday morning around 8:30am.  The kids were MUCH better on the second half of the return trip.  We pulled into our driveway a little after midnight very happy to be home!

Here are my “sanity-saving” tips for road tripping with young kids:

  • If you don’t have a DVD player in your car, bring a portable one.  And get ready to have your child’s favorite movie memorized.  We brought a wide assortment of DVDs, but Trenton watched the same two almost the whole trip.
  • If at all possible, make your pit stops at truck stops.  We really like Pilot, but I’m sure that they are all pretty good.  In our experience, all of the truck stops we’ve been to have had changing tables – in both the men and women’s restrooms.  This is really a time saver when you have two diapers to change.  Another advantage of truck stops is that they almost always have at least one fast food restaurant attached saving more time. 
  • If you’re not in a huge hurry, stop for a meal at a restaurant with an indoor play area.  Your kids will have some major energy to burn off!
  • For kids in diapers – Desitin is your friend.  Put on a thick layer with each diaper change.  Sitting for so long can do some really nasty things to your little one’s bum, and you DON’T want to go there!
  • Keep toys and books handy where your kids can reach them.  We put a basket full of toys and books between our car seats.
  • If your child uses a pacifier, be sure you have a clip to attach it to the car seat strap.
  • We will be using these Road Trip Printables for Kids that I found over at Delicious Ambiguity on our next road trip.  They look great!

Feel free to post any of your tips as a comment below!


This post is has been linked to:

Tot Tuesday @ My Delicious Ambiguity


Holly said...

Yes the portable DVD player was a lifesaver! And sadly yes, it seems that the same movies get played over and over- Elmo saves Christmas like 5 times on the drive there. We always stop at Chik Fil A for lunch, and Logan got to go play in the play area; does great to run off some energy. Its amazing that even so young they do so well. Though I will be driving solo to Texas in July; not thinking I will drive straight through...

The Autocrat: Haley said...

Hey, I saw your questions about sharp edges on the soup can recycle for Valentines ... Someone else asked me the same thing. I don't have super snazzy can opener and it doesn't leave sharp edges. ... sorry I am not better help.

Jenn @ Delicious Ambiguity said...

Thanks for linking to me. You are awesome! :)