Running errands with kids can evoke emotions we did not know we had in us. The cries, whines, screams, fights, and excessive loud talking can break a parent down – quick! Now imagine you go from a very short amount of time in the car with the kids to weeks on the road.
Easy Ways to Beat Road Trip Exhaustion with Kids !
We have been doing the whole long-haul road trips since I was first pregnant. Well really before then. But it seemed after we had kids, we just got stupid. Instead of flying, we opted for a car and super close quarters. It soon became our “thing”.
July and August 2016 found us pulling our little pop-up camper from Georgia to South Dakota – with an afternoon drive to Devil’s Tower, Wyoming – and back! We pull our camper with Marty’s truck but that seriously reduces our square footage in the cab. There were good days and bad ones.
Find a common ground between everyone!
Marty bought the kids a few Disney educational DVD’s for the road. We don’t have a built-in DVD player, just a simple one we installed these Portable Philips Double DVD players behind the headrests ourself. Thankfully those movies kept them entertained for a few hours at a time. There is something about Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan that captivates them. However, we had Star Wars and Harry Potter dvd’s as well. Those ridiculously long movies really came in handy.
Planning long trips all comes down to logistics. Marty will plan out the entire trip down to the mileage per day and hours in the car. We try to limit ourselves to 8 hours per day. It seems long but once you add in stops, it helps keep everyone from wanting to punch throat each other. So yeah, he does the logistics and I plan where we will stay, whether it is a campground or a hotel.
Splurge (Once in a While) on the Hotel !
Not everyone will agree with us on this one, but after logging the amount of miles we have in road trips alone, it is sanity saver. I love staying in “fancy” hotels because it makes me feel pretty. It might seem stupid, but when you feel pretty and have space to actually make yourself presentable, you are automatically in a better mood! For example, we wanted to spend half a day at the Mall of America. Instead of staying in the campground about 25 minutes away, we stayed at a hotel at the Mall of America and utilized every minute we had. We would have saved $125 if we stayed at the campground (which aren’t cheap), but having the time to decompress and 480 square feet instead of less than 175 square feet made all the difference.
A good pair of headphones go a long way. We own Beats by Dre and the noise cancelling ones are Marty’ favorite. When he is beyond annoyed with the whining, he puts them on and life is good. I often joke about it on Instagram but he no joke uses them to silence the decibel from the backseat.
When all else fails, take a day off. Our trips may be planned to a tee but we know they never go 100% according to plan. If we decide to get off the main road for a back road, it’s okay. Most of the time you need those “spontaneous breaks” to keep you enjoying the trip and not asking yourself why!!
Jump Fences and Spray Paint Cars to Keep it Exciting!