Driving to Houston yesterday with all my kids made me think of some tips I could share about road tripping with little ones. I mean, after our epic trip from Austin to Cape Canaveral last spring...I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable in this department (not that I recommend that lengthly a car ride with small children).
1. Limit Liquids: It may seem rash, but I seriously let my kids have all of one sip of water before we get on the road. And once on the road, drink is severely rationed and strategized. Excessive pit stops can kill your time and frustrate momma.
2. Pack your family lunch (or dinner) to both save money and time.
3. If your kids are old enough (older than 5), I like to have a little pep talk with them before departure. This lecture, ahem I mean, pep talk consists of laying out expectations and the general schedule of the day. Something like, "We will be driving until dinner, I need you to remember your manners and treat each other kindly....and feel free to sleep the ENTIRE time."
4. Lower your expectations. If you're hoping to have a gloriously smooth and enjoyable driving experience with multiple children, you'll be sorely disappointed. Realize that there will probably be some tears, more stops than necessary, and a possible diaper blow out or two. Then, when it goes much better than that, you'll be pleasantly surprised rather than grumpy about a horrible trip.
5. Pray. I firmly believe this one makes all the difference. Pray that you'll have a safe trip. Pray that your kids will stay healthy while gone. Pray that the weather will be favorable. Pray for a happy mood to be over your family. And pray for it to be an opportunity to make memories with your kids that you'll cherish down the road.
I speak from experience on these, as we've road tripped with our kids (ages 7, 5, 3, 18mo) multiple times. In writing this post from my phone, I'm reminding myself I need to follow my own advice for our ride home today.
Yesterday was mostly a breeze...so here's hoping (and praying) for a smooth return.