Road Trip! Here are 6 travel tips to traveling with 6 kids in a van for 16 hours (and making it out with your sanity)
|Travel Tips: Entertainment is essential!|
#1 – If one person pees, we all pee!
Don’t miss out on the chance to empty all the bladders at once! With any luck, you can get everyone on the same schedule and won’t have to make 6 stops everyone hour for all the kids to pee. There’s also the added incentive that “we will get there quicker if we make less stops!”. This helped a lot on the way home when we were getting down to the final hours of the return trip.
#2 – Distractions are the key!
Long car rides are the worst when you’re short on patience. Let each kid pack a small ‘carry on’ (grocery sack) with their own activities – crayons/coloring book, video game, books, cars, dolls, you get the picture. You can always fall back on the classic car rides games – ABC signs, license plate states, etc.
#3 – Pain in the neck!
Naps are inevitable when you are on a road trip, and I don’t know about you, but I cringe every time I peer back and see my kids asleep and contorted into painful looking positions. We bought inexpensive neck pillows for each of the kids (so there was no fighting!) and there were no complaints! If they were tired, they just threw on their neck pillow, settled in, and were out like a light. Some of the kids even wore their neck pillows for the majority of the trip, just for the fun of it. We also brought a small blanket for each of the kids to keep cozy with.
|Everything is a pillow...zzzzz|
#4 – Pass the trash!
Typically, when we reach our destination, the kids pile out of the vehicle and leave a field of destruction inside the car. From snacks and drinks to lunch stops and miscellaneous rubble that appears from who-knows-where, the floor is littered with a layer of trash. To counter this, we made it a little more fun to keep things clean by having the kids pass their trash up, each time they had any, and each person in the passing line yells “trash!” as they hand it on down the line. They got quite a kick out of this and would look around for things they could send up to the front. For the most part, all that made it to the floor were toys from the ‘carry on’ bags, which is another battle all on its own.
#5 – Limit fluids!
There are always snack stops when you are on the road and it’s tempting to grab something when you make a pit stop, but the more the kids are drinking and eating, the more they are going to have to use the restroom, and the more stops you are going to have to make. Give the kids each a beverage, but have designated times they can have a drink instead of letting them drink freely. This greatly reduced our stops on the journey home!
|Awww look, they're not fighting!|
#6 – Be patient!
Remember, you are traveling with kids. They are going to act like kids. Kids fight, bicker, get tired, whine, get hungry, and have to pee…a lot! So try to remain calm and level headed and if needed, make an unscheduled pit stop so the kids can stretch their legs and reset their attitudes (if you are lucky!). While you are handling all there is to handle, you might want to consider that a nearby destination would be just as great for the next family road trip!