Nothing says family-bonding like 15 hours in a mini-van; am I right? In just a few, short days, my family is taking our first ever road trip to Tennessee! I love road trips, I truly do. While living in Arizona, my hubby and I, along with my cousin, decided a road trip to Vegas was a brilliant idea… at 7:00pm, so we drove 5 hours there, wandered around the casinos spending approximately $10, and drove back home. Total time in the car= 10 hours. Total time in Vegas= 2 1/2 hours. The next day we did the same deal, only headed to San Diego. Total time in the car= 12 hours. Total time enjoying the ocean= 4 hours. Sometimes the best part of the journey is rolling down the windows, blasting some tunes, and singing off key with loved ones. Now that we’re adding 3 children to the mix, I want to make sure this trip is
just as somewhat enjoyable. My goal is simple: arrive at our destination without pulling my hair out. Here’s my plan:
Clean Out The Van
Awhile back I did a post on organizing our van, and many of the ideas are still working… some, not so much. Before loading the van with an unbelievable amount of stuff, I decided to give it a thorough cleaning. I know it will look nothing like this after a week on the road, but it’s always nice to start with a clean space.
I believe snacks on the road are essential. Child whining about hunger pangs after 20 minutes does not necessitate a pit stop. (Do your kids get hungry upon entering vehicles like mine do? I swear we’ll be heading to our local library 10 minutes away, and they need a snack for the road.) Being that we are going from Minnesota to Tennessee in one day, we cannot stop every 15 minutes,
Family Road Trip Games
What is a road trip without car games? We are notorious for “The Alphabet Game” in our family- you know, find words on billboards starting with each letter of the alphabet, quit after P because the only Q out there is at the Dairy Queen. I know my kids are not going to be entertained with 437 rounds of “The Alphabet Game”, so I gathered some other ideas to try out.
License Plate Game: As an adult I still enjoy playing this game. Although I have only seen a Hawaii license plate once, it’s still fun to see how many states you can find. I Heart Organizing has a great printable for this game, and I printed one off for our family.
Would You Rather: I believe you can buy books with “would you rather” questions, but they are often geared towards adults. The Measured Mom came up with a great list of 100, kid-friendly, would-you-rather questions that can be printed for free. Yes, another printable we will be using for our trip.
Draw To The Music: This is actually something I have done with my patients, and I think it might be fun to try in the van. Each child takes a turn choosing a song, and while the music is playing they “draw the emotion” of the music. There is no right or wrong way to feel music, so they can draw actual things or just doodle. Hopefully we’ll have some fun art pieces in the end. *Remember to bring clipboards for each child so they have a hard surface to draw on.
Family Dinner Game: My daughter received this game for her birthday, and I think it will be perfect for hours… upon hours…upon hours in the van.
Books & Movies
I am certainly not opposed to pulling out some DVDs for my kiddos to watch along the way. I have discovered the best place to grab a few “new” movies, completely free, is from your local library. Often movies can only be checked out for one week, so keep that in mind if your trip is longer. However, the overdue rate at our library is only 10¢ per day, so even if I’m 10 days late in returning the movie, it’s only a dollar. While at the library, have your kids check out a few books. These also come in handy for long hours in the car.
Wish us luck as we head out! Do you have any road trip ideas that have proven successful?
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