This is a bit of departure from my typical topics, but I know I am not alone in taking family road trips this summer and hearing those dreaded words 5 minutes after pulling out of the driveway ;) I also wanted to share some of these tips with you because we’ve have some epic fails (car-sickness, hospital trips, and more) on our road trip report card and the idea of traveling with our almost 7 year old twins was giving me major anxiety which kind of defeats the purpose of vacation right? If you are embarking on a road trip this summer, I hope you’ll find these tips helpful and I of course included my most worn item on the trip because I couldn’t leave out a quick fashion tip!
Step 1: Set the Intention
This may sound silly, but I will tell you that this was a big part of selling the car ride to my boys and also gearing myself up mentally that we were going to have a smooth ride. I told the boys repeatedly that the ride was going to be FUN. There would be prizes, a picnic, and fun activities along the way for them to look forward to. Because we’ve had some not so fun experiences in the past, I wanted to get ahead of them telling any stories to themselves that the ride was going to be hard. It worked, because they were so excited to get on the road and there was no mention of worry.
Step 2: Carsick Work-Arounds
The only way you really know someone gets carsick is by them getting sick in the car. UGH. If you’ve been there, you know what I am talking about. Neither my husband or I have this issue, so it wasn’t even on our radar, until it WAS. Now that we know it’s an issue, we have some things that we’ve put in place that help a ton. This trip I did things slightly differently to get way ahead of it and we had almost no issue. We always use the nausea wristbands so those went on for the entire trip. And we always use dramamine. BUT, I gave them ½ of a dose half and hour before we left and then saved the other ½ for our lunch stop. It was enough to keep their tummies settled and to keep them from getting super drowsy. I also brought mint and ginger of lollipops along to give them something to settle their tummies should they need them. We used them, but more than anything it was a distraction when the road got windy.
Click the images to grab these!
Step 3: Make a Plan
Like I approach almost all things, I came at the ride with my teacher lens. I planned benchmarks along the trip where the boys would get a prize, where we would be stopping for breaks, and where they could expect to see certain things. That gave them “mile-markers” along the way that gave the an idea of how far away the next thing was which cut way back on them asking when we were going to be there because they were focused on the next thing I had prepared. Our trip was about 7 hours so I had 3 little prizes for the car, linked here, and 3 planned stops for the bathroom and lunch at a park. For the prizes, I try to pick things that will either keep them entertained in the car or that they can use for a fun upon arrival! We also had road trip bingo in the mix which is a super fun way to keep their eyes on the lookout. I will caveat the bingo by making sure to have your kids looking down on straight-aways only. The one hiccup we had was because one of the boys was staring down at it while on a windy part of the road. No bueno!
Sample Road Trip Plan:
30 min before departure: ½ Dramamine
1.5 hours in: Potty Break/10 min out of car breather/Prize
2 hours: Treat (maybe for a bingo)
3 hours: Lunch Break/ ½ Dramamine/Park Play
4 hours: Prize
5 hours: Potty/10 min Breather
6 hours: Final Prize
Outside of that one little hiccup, we had a really smooth trip with a grand total of 45 min of screen time! That is a huge win for us (not because I have anything against screen time, but it has often led to sick kids so we try to keep it to a minimum)!
Finally, I wanted to share the item of clothing that I wore the MOST on this trip. Literally, everyday in a different way! My must have travel item? My denim shirt. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I LOVE a chambray shirt, but I don’t think I’ve ever worn it so much in one week. The summer can be a time when you need a light layer. When you don’t need a jacket, but a tank or T might not be enough for cool mornings/evenings. That’s where the denim shirt comes in clutch. I linked my favorites for you in case you don’t have one of them currently in rotation! Simply click the image to shop.