As a parent I love recreating some of my favorite childhood memories. One of my fondest memories was going to sleep away camp in Tuxedo, North Carolina. Each year my Mom would plan a family road trip with a few stops along the way before dropping me off at camp. I can’t say that I loved the long car ride but it was always an adventure.
In an effort to beat the Florida summer heat we packed up the car and headed north to the mountains. It took almost 10 hours to reach our destination but boy was it worth it. Cool days and even cooler nights made every ‘are we there yet’ worth it!
Given the circumstances of traveling this summer I have a feeling we aren’t the only ones planning a road trip. Here are some tips that have worked for us over the years —
The night before:
• Set your route and plan out your stops whether it be for gas, bathroom breaks or food.
• Pack and prepare food. We planned on eating all our meals on the road so the night before I made sandwiches and cut up fruit and veggies so they would be all ready to go. This not only cut down our stops but it was healthier too!
• If you can pre-pack the the car, do it. It will make early morning departures so much easier! • Make sure all devices are fully charged. This might seem obvious but just double check a full charge. • If you traveling with children (especially young ones) have them pack an extra pair of clothes so you can move them from bed to car without changing. My travel outfit:
I prefer comfort when traveling and this tank dress is just that. I added my favorite jean jacket around my waist so I would be ready for the cooler mountain temps!
The morning of departure we were up and out the door early, 5:00 am to be exact. As Nick finished packing up the car I was getting the girls out of bed. They stayed in their pajamas and crawled into the car with their pillows and blankets only to fall back asleep for a few more hours. Getting those first few hours of driving in while the kids are sleeping is perfect. Once they woke up I was ready to hand them their breakfast and iPads!
Pro tip: If traveling with kids pack a kids cooler or snack bag for the backseat. It’s much easier for the kids to manage their own drinks/snacks then constantly having to turning around.
Some favorite travel must haves:
• Books to read. I like to bring a book for the girls but audio books are a great option too. • Coloring books & crayons. I especially love these crayons so they don’t roll off the table! • Lap desk • Crafts • Interstate Bingo • Headphones for everyone. I personally like the Apple AirPods but these are the headphones the girls use • iPad/phone/other electronic devices
Pro tip: Make sure you download any movie or audio book the night before! In an effort to keep the kids doing something other than having their eyes glued to the iPad the entire time we brought some crafts for the trip. My oldest had recently learned how to braid bracelets so I suggested she make one for everyone!
If long car rides make you queasy like me and my family try a game of Car Bingo. It will keep your eyes up and looking around!
This was Lucy’s first road trip and she was amazing. To be honest she is happy wherever we are and napped the entire way. I do suggest a few things if traveling with your family pet - • collapsable dog bowl • car seat harness • or carrier
Not sure if it was the girls’ ages this year (6&9) or the activities we brought along but it was such an enjoyable road trip that I look forward to our next one! Stay tuned to for a followup post where I will share where we stayed in North Carolina along with some of our favorite hiking and dinner spots. If your traveling over this long weekend I hope you stay safe and enjoy!