We’re hitting the road this summer, making the rounds to the grandparents and other relatives along the way.  It will be just my boys and me as my husband will be toiling away at his desk job.  Which means, it will be Me versus Them in the loooooooong car ride to Grandma’s house.  I’m going into this challenge armed and ready!

If you will be road-tripping this summer with your family, take a look at some of these great tips to make it a bit more bearable for everyone.  And, if you have any of your own to add, please leave a comment and let us know!

  • Pack smart.  While consolidating space in my sedan is important, I do pack an extra bag of just the essentials – a change of clothes for everyone, perhaps a bathing suit, our toothbrushes, anything we might need for just a night.  Then, instead of having to trudge our huge everyone-packed-in-one-bag suitcase around, I simply pull out the smaller bag if we need to make an overnight stop.  In our larger suitcase, I do manage to pack all of our belongings together.  The key is to “layer”…place each item in an outfit in a pile, then pack backwards through your vacation.  That way, the items on top are the things you’ll need once you reach your destination, and each day following that should be the next on top.  This eliminates “the dig and throw” method that my boys usually have!
  • Since I do drive a mid-size sedan, indoor space is at a premium (we downsized from a mega-SUV last year).  To eliminate in-car clutter, my boys are both issued a backpack the day before we leave.  They are allowed to bring whatever will fit in the backpack, and nothing else.  If they want a special blanket or stuffed animal, it has to fit into the backpack.  If a certain toy is important enough to make the journey, it has to fit into the backpack.  Want a snack on the road?  It has to fit into the backpack!  That way, my boys only bring the things they REALLY want, and it elminates a lot of the “extras” we used to bring but never touched.
  • On the longest leg of our journey, I try to provide something new for the boys.  While a small toy (like a little car) is okay, I try to find something different than what they are accustomed to: for my older son, this might be a word find book and a new cool pen.  For my toddler, perhaps a small spiral notebook and crayons (or if I am really adventurous, I stock up on “party favor” toys and use those).  They get to take a break from the other stuff they brought, and I get a break from the “are we there yet” chants – hopefully.

What are some life-saving tips you have for travelling with kids?  Let us know!