We made it through our 5 day road trip from Utah to South Florida! It’s taken a bit to get settled in and I owe a huge apology to my readers for being so behind on blog posts! But I’m back and I can’t wait to share my ideas and tricks for traveling with kids! I really dreaded this road trip for months. And as it turns out, our kids were amazing…only because the prep saved us. It truly did. Driving long boring days through the desert was another thing for the adults but the kids were the least of the worries. We did have to stop every 2 hours to fill up the moving truck but that was perfectly convenient with taking 3 toddlers on potty breaks! They were only potty trained a month prior so frequent potty breaks were a must. Although looking back at the dozens of bathrooms they visited across the country in such a short time gives me the germ creeps!
Now let’s talk about what we put together. Ok, so this was one of my favorite DIY’s that I made for the kids. They used this the entire trip.
I used dollar store cookie sheets and painted them with chalk paint. They used these to color on, eat on, and any other toy that required a hard surface to keep small parts collected in. I added magnets to the back of puzzles and also added magnets to treat cups for easy snacks.
Here’s a happy gal enjoying her tray!
As you can see here, my amazing sister in law Angie made these cute travel pillows and attached velcro straps to the trays so that the pillows would stay in place. Brilliant, right?
This next invention was my mother in laws idea. I will admit that at first I was super annoyed by it but ONLY because the girls had a few moments when they were playing and fighting with it. But once they got over that, this gem was life saving! Before we put it up, poor Saydee kept getting toys and candy chucked back at her head, so using this easy pulley system helped us get treats to them and they passed back garbage to us! It was seriously genius! All we used was some yarn and a bucket and a little handyman knot tying.
Now this the best part. And this is what made our journey so enjoyable for the kids as well as us drivers! My mother in law and I both put together dollar store style “prizes” or “presents” for the kids to open a few times a day. She really outdid herself and came up with some super fun ideas! I cannot believe the time and effort their grandma put into making sure they had a fun and entertaining trip! We are so lucky to have her. Here are some of the items we had:
~Colorbook sets (Disney mini coloring books that come with crayons and stickers)
~Popsicle Stick Puzzles with their pics on them
~Dry Erase sheets with family members faces to draw on!
~Color Wonder Sets
~Glow in the Dark pens
~Glow in the dark toys and wands ( they loved this at night!)
~sticker sets (lots of different varieties of these)
~reusable sticker sets with scenes
~coloring books and crayons
~dollar store toys
~easy jewelry kits like link bracelets
And so many more! I’m trying to remember them all but there were sooo many! Pretty much everything was a hit.
We also couldn’t have survived without purchasing a few new DVDs they hadn’t seen before. I collected some oldies but goodies at a decent used price on Amazon.com like Peter Pan, Jungle Book, The Land Before Time, etc. We also waited to install our DVD player until just before the trip so that it was new and exciting but having new movies helped a lot! I also purchased some kid songs CDs by Disney from Amazon.com and they are still a huge hit in the car!
Feeding 8 people for 5 days on a budget was definitely a priority so I had to get creative. We premade chicken salad for sandwiches during 2 lunch days. I bought some Goober ( PB&J mixed) to make quick and easy sandwiches. We paired them with fruit and chips. For dinner we stopped and shared some Subway sandwiches and ate off the dollar menu at Wendy’s and McDonalds. I know it’s not the healthiest but when you’re paying $1500 in gas, $2000 for a moving truck plus a hotel stay, you really have to make some sacrifices. And everyone was happy so it worked for us!
The real key was making sure everyone had fun, healthy and FREQUENT snacks during the day. Here are some treat ideas I put together.
~Celery Sticks with PB packets
~Cheezits with Pepperoni Sticks
~Gogo squeez applesauce
~Granola Bars from Costco
~Fruit Leather from Costco
~Individual chip bags
~Bag of Variety Candy
In the end, I really feel like it was a successful road trip. Our kids were amazing and putting the extra prep into a road trip really makes all the difference and helps you enjoy it so much more! We have a lot of 10 hr road trips ahead of us to visit family in Northwest Florida and we are going to use all of these ideas again.
I hope you find this helpful for your next roadtrip and please share with your friends!
Thanks for stopping by Mommy Makes Things!