Dellabee and Me

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Driving..with Children

 

Long drives with kids can be the stuff of nightmares.

But it is such a cheap way to travel.

I have made several long road trips with my kids, and I feel like I have a pretty good system.

I always bring:

– portable DVD player

– small selection of DVD’s, at least one favorite one and several that haven’t been watched recently

– coloring books, crayons, markers, blank paper

– action figures and Polly Pocket-size dolls and accessories

– Pillow petz/small pillows

– kids’ books on CD

– Nintendo DS lite

I fought getting the kids handheld video games for a long time before giving in earlier this year. Because they both enjoy them so much, and they can send each mother messages through “pictochat,” the DS is a good motivator. As in, when I have to shout threats from the front seat, I can include a threat to take their DS’ and they usually shape up quickly.

One other thing I have learned through frequent road trips with the kids is that it is best – and safest – if I have the things I might need for the drive easily accessible for me. I have a shallow box that fits in the passenger seat, just a plain cardboard box, that I use to organize the DVD’s, CD’s, napkins/wipes, snacks, and small toys. This makes it easy to grab what I need and pass it back to them without needing to stop the car every 20 minutes.

For snacks, I bring grapes, granola bars, apples, string cheese, cookies, goldfish crackers, and lunchables. I bring one or two insulated lunch bags and put everything that needs to stay cold inside them in the fridge until we leave. For drinks, each kid has a steel water bottle and I bring a jug of water to refill.

Bathroom breaks are the bane of my road-tripping existence, especially because of my 4 year-old’s fickle bladder. I make everyone use the bathroom every time I stop – so every time I get gas or stop for a coffee, we pile out of the car and use the potty. This can eat up a LOT of time, so I try not to stop unless I have to.

We survived two 12+ hour drives. And I am so happy to be home. And out of the car.

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One thought on “Driving..with Children

  1. You are the travel master!! After, what is referred to in our house as “The Ohio incident,” (where I yelled at the toll booth attendant for making me pay $14 to get out of his ‘amazing*’ state) my family promptly gives me a dose of Benadryl and knocks me out for most of the trip. Works for all involved. 🙂

    *words changed to protect the innocent readers of your blog.

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