The family and I set out on a road trip to our home state. As enjoyable, crazy, stressful and fun as it was, it will be a while before we do that again. My husband, who I have deemed Mr. Road Trip, was super excited for the 2o + hour drive. Me, not so much. There is just something about being stuck in the car with 3 kids for 20+ hours that just doesn’t appeal to me. Ok, now I am starting get off topic a bit. My point in this post is that Road Trips with kids can be an enjoyable experience. If you are semi prepared, you can handle it. Bring tons of things that will keep them busy (and can not be used as a projectile). We bring several books that can be traded among the children. We also have a portable DVD player in the car with a few movies that the kids pick (and that will not annoy you after the first ten minutes). As a side note here, while Spongebob may be entertaining, it WILL annoy you within an hour! So I recommend bringing several choices for the trip.
When I say that we drive for 20+ hours, I mean it! We only stop for gas, food and bathroom breaks. NO HOTEL! It never seems to work out to where we are tired and the kids are tired at the same time, so we trade out driving. However, after every trip we say NEVER again will we drive straight through. So, if you can plan it out to work get a hotel and enjoy a good nights sleep. To help the kids from getting really restless in the car, and the car from getting destroyed, we stop and get out to eat all of our meals. Everyone gets a little break and feels rejuvenated!
I am one of those people that feels guilty using a bathroom and not purchasing something. Also, I have noticed that a lot of stores require a purchase to use the facilities. So to remedy the fact that you can spend a ton of money doing that, I have a plan! When you stop for gas everyone uses the bathroom, get your snacks, drinks or anything else you may need. It never fails that one of the kids will have to go shortly after departing the gas station, so we use Rest Stops. Surprisingly, most of them are way cleaner then the gas stations you stop at! If there is not a Rest Stop and you have to use a store then top off your gas tank, this means that you have had a made a purchase and therefore can use the bathroom!
I happened to purchase a License Plate game before we made out trip back this time. It was around $20 ( a had a $10 coupon, so I got it for $10), but it is not your typical License Plate game! It has no loose pieces and it occupied our family of 5 even after the Road Trip ended! We managed to find almost every license plate, we had a few left by the time we reached home. A quick trip to the NEX got us Idaho, Vermont, and Oregon! The kids are still searching for Nevada, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Kansas, North Dakota, and Alaska! Considering we only traveled through 4 states on the way back, I was impressed that they found as many as they did! (HINT: When playing: check )the 18 wheelers, the truck will have one state and the trailer will sometimes have a different state! The best $10 I have ever spent!