Road trips with your kids are unavoidable. Sometimes you can make it across the country to see family with all of the kid’s stomachs feeling fine. Other times, you can’t make it to Ikea without an “incident”. In either case, the key to any successful road trip is planning ahead.
- The next time you are at a grocery store or Walmart, go to the self-serve donut case. Typically, they’ll have small, wax-lined bags to put your donuts in. Grab a dozen or so bags. Keep them in the pockets on the back of the seats. Your car’s upholstery will thank you later.
- One word: Dramamine
- Pack light. Once on a weekend trip our girls were arguing about sharing one suitcase, and then filled two big suitcases with just their clothes, makeup and hair things. There was very little room left in the car. For a brief moment I considered tying one of them to the cargo rack on the roof. Mostly because they wouldn’t stop bickering with each other, though.
- Count your children before you drive away. Every time. Nothing sucks worse than driving 25 miles from your previous stop and wondering if you are missing a kid because nobody has argued, punched, kicked, bit or called each other stupid in the last half hour.
- Never entrust your children to lock the doors or check that the oven is not on. They won’t do it, won’t remember being asked to do it, and as soon as you hit the highway your wife will make you turn around to double check anyway. Do everyone a favor and check them all yourself before you leave. Bonus points if you check the bathrooms for any curling irons still plugged in.
- Have assigned seating. Ideally, I like to assign one kid to the seat furthest back in the minivan, one kid to a train and the other to a bus.