Potty breaks, food/fuel stops, and keeping them entertained…the mere thought of hitting the road with kids (and in my case, 4 of them) may seem like such a daunting task, but I am here to assure you that it is possible and with some tips and tricks, road trips could actually be, dare I say it…enjoyable! We’re traveling from New Jersey to South Carolina for some Memorial Weekend fun so here’s my go-to road trip essentials and tips!
I have younger kids (ages 2-6.5) so the potty breaks can be frequent, and as you may know, they can’t always wait until the next exit or rest stop, so we have this portable travel potty that has been a life saver – we also take it to the beach and other places where a bathroom is scarce or when I try to avoid the port-a-potty. I highly recommend this because of its space saving capabilities as it folds up, so I can keep it under a seat or in a seat pocket and I can also put it in my backpack or stroller. It’s easy to both set up and fold back down. It comes with a pee-blocker so it’s good for both my daughters and my son to use. You can use almost any disposable liner bags as most are universal!
Travel Tip – The last time we made this trip, we left at night around the time the kids would be heading to bed essentially so they would just end up sleeping for the majority of the 12-hour trek. My husband and I also split the trip so each of us could get in some shut eye, too. This time we will leave in the morning after breakfast, and I’ll also be refreshed to take on the entire drive since I’ll be riding solo! Wish me luck!
Our family has a little bit of built-in entertainment as we have a Chrysler Pacifica which has the two built-in screens so they can play games and watch movies, which very much comes in handy. When the kids are over watching the movies, we have a fun road trip game that keeps them busy for a while, or until the cards run out! Of course, we cannot forget about the all-time kid fav indoor entertainment – the tablet! My kids don’t normally get a ton of tablet time, but I can always count on having less arguing and “I’m bored” or “are we there yet” convos. I love pairing their tablets with these headphones so that I can get some quiet time and a personal jam sesh or podcast in myself! For non-tablet users or just an alternative form of entertainment, LCD writing tablets are a no-brainer! My kids love them and I love them because it invokes their creativity, there is no mess, and they can erase and start over as many times as they want with the push of one button!
Snacks and drinks are key to any successful road trip, decreasing the amount of unnecessary stops being made and keeping you on track for a timely arrival to your destination. Bento boxes are great for this! Having a variety of snacks in their own container, being able to personalize to their taste buds, and them having the ability graze on their own time instead of having to pull over and distribute among the entire vehicle is a win-win scenario. As for drinks, I am a big fan of the insulted (to keep their water cold) and ever-so-important spill-proof tumblers for especially for my son who is heavily into the throwing stage of toddler life. I like to keep a small cooler for additional snacks/drinks for myself or to replenish the kiddos when we do stop to fuel or stretch our legs.
Travel Tip – I get the ick when it comes to public bathrooms and especially port-a-potties, but I came across these toilet seat covers and I keep them in our family vehicle and my backpack when we’re out and about and it makes me feel a lot better.
So if you have a road trip planned, I hope this helps! And if you have been thinking about whether or not to attempt one, I hope that this encourages you to move forward. I wouldn’t hesitate as it’s not as bad as you might think, and there will be plenty of memories made…adventure awaits!