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Monday, November 24, 2014

Mommy Monday: Traveling for the Holidays

So, the Holidays are upon us once again.  The cliche thing to say is that this year went by so fast but in all honesty, IT TRULY DID!  If you are like most families then you are likely traveling for one or all holidays this season.  Personally, my family decides each year which holiday we will travel for, Thanksgiving or Christmas.  It's such a burden to travel with three kids that I would drive myself crazy trying to travel somewhere for every holiday.  Below, I have compiled an easy peasy guide to saving your sanity while road tripping with the fam.  Should your sanity still be lost, drive yourself to the nearest liquor store once you reach your destination.


Having snacks for everyone is an intricate detail of maintaining a harmonious road trip.  In my early mommy years, I would run to the store and buy bags of chips, goldfish, cookies... all their faves, ya know.  Then, I would just open the bags in the car and do a "pass and grab".  This option absolutely works if a riot is what you're trying to achieve.  OMG, kids will fight over anything when held in close quarters.  Someone is hogging the chips, someone took too many cookies, someone is breathing too much air.  Let me just help save you from one fight now.  Divide your snacks up into sandwich baggies before the trip and PUT NAMES on them.  This way everyone has an even amount of snacks of their own.  Place the food in a comfortable reaching distance for them as well so you don't have to turn around a gazillion times.  Keep in mind, if you are traveling a distance of more than three (3) hours to pack more fulfilling food options like sandwiches, fruit or veggies.


If your kids are anything like mine, they are always "bored".  One would think a scenic road trip to Grandma's house would cease this "boredom", but one would be wrong.  If you don't occupy their time with activities to do while on the road, they will occupy your time with endless nagging.  It's easy to throw every electronic they own into the car and hope for the best but there's an even better method to the madness.  Planning ahead of time is required so start this stage at least two weeks before the trip.  Think about each of your children's likes and decide on three options to bring for each.  If video gaming is what they prefer, plan to rent a NEW game that they don't already own or if it's cheap enough, just buy it.  If they haven't yet already played it, their attention will be kept much longer before boredom strikes.  Should you have an intellectual on your hands who prefers to read then buy them a NEW book that you know they will love.  The key word here is NEW.  The surprise of getting something new for the trip, coupled with that item actually keeping their attention for an extended period time should keep them out of your hair for a while.  But be ready with other items to rotate throughout the trip because as parents we know that the excitement of "new" lasts a maximum of an hour, maybe two.

MISCELLANEOUS:  Naps, Temperature, Rest Stops

If at all possible, try to plan your trip around normal sleeping hours.  We like to leave the house around 10AM because generally most people will take a nap around 12/1PM.  Believe me, those few hours of silence will be well appreciated!  Never load the family into the car with coats or sweaters on.  Instead, bring some individual blankets or have them place their coats/sweaters on the floor in front of them.  Everyone should remain comfortable but if they get cold then they can just grab an item to cover up with it.  It's much easier to throw a blanket on than it is to take a coat off without removing a seatbelt.  Safety first kids!  Lastly, don't be those parents that try to win some imaginary award by arriving at your destination in record time.  Plan for rest stops to give everyone an opportunity to get out of the car, walk around a bit and stretch their legs.  Even a short break outside of the car will reset everyone's tolerance levels.

This year, my family is traveling for Christmas. *side eye* I cannot stand traveling for Christmas because of all the gifts that must be transferred back and forth.  We haven't traveled for Christmas in many years and are only doing so because we are having our first "Blended Family Christmas" with my older kids Dad and his family.  I will definitely be putting these tips to use and planning well beforehand (which is key!!) so we can have a successful road trip to Grandmas.  Do you have any tips or secrets for your family road trips not listed here?  Share them with us!!  Sharing is Caring.  XOXO


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