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I have some relatives that live far away from my own family and so we find that about once a year (if we can afford it) we travel to see someone somewhere. Typically we used to fly to Utah to see my in-laws and one of my sisters. Now that we have three kids though, flying is a bit of a problem when it comes to money. The tickets are already expensive, and add in extra seats for kids and you’ve got way too much money going into travel.
We are starting to get into road-trips when we want to see family. Recently we helped my mother move all her stuff out to Iowa from Florida since she is looking after her own father. It made sense for us to take the opportunity to be a help and also visit some family we have not seen in years. So we filled the back of our truck with my moms boxes, packed in a few bags and the kids and headed out on the road.
Luckily we have had some practice for road-trips by taking 15+ hour flights to and from Dubai. I also tried to follow some tips from those who’ve done this many times and I think it worked out pretty well (even with 22hrs of drive time)!
We luckily have a large truck to travel in should we desire, but we also have a compact car (yes, it fits our three kids in the back seat) and I will share tips and tricks for traveling in both sized vehicles. Keep in mind the size of your own car and what will fit and work for you.
Road trips are SO different these days than they were 15 years ago. Electronic devices are basically a must when it comes to being on the road for an extended amount of time.
Ipad or other Tablets for games and video watching. In conjunction with this you probably want to have “Portable hotspot and tethering” turned on for your mobile plan, it worked like a charm for us!
Headphones so you don’t have to listen to the kid shows, a kindle so you can read (if you’re the passenger), charging adapters, Tablet holder, and phone holder.
Note: With the tablet mount it is best for cars whose seats do not angle up at the ends on the shoulders. The phone mount is probably best for smaller cars that don’t have other spaces already.
Keep things tidy when traveling, it sucks to dig around and not be able to find a sippy cup or tissues while on the road. I really liked our back of seat car organizer (best for mid and full sized cars).
It greatly depends on preference but here are some of our most used snacks and drinks for the road between pit stops. We ended up eating a lot of pretzels (the stick ones don’t break up and make as big a mess as the traditional shapes). Cream soda was nice because it was refreshing and not too bubbly. Sandwiches and dinner rolls were also nice in additional to some salty and sweet snacks.
When on the road, some things that were very helpful were cups for kids that did not leak, and the Contigo ones below were excellent. A blanket for each kid is ideal, we had one big one and our three boys still fought over it. Baby wipes are also essential for any spills or sticky stuff on fingers and boogery noses.
In addition to the things mentioned, having a few choice soft toys and maybe even some coloring books can make a big difference in a road-trip!
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