by Frank

Endless road

Photo by Niels Timmer


This story is for anyone who has ever taken a road trip with young children.

I stay about 4 hours away from my family. Therefore, every major holiday, that I am off, we pack up the car and go for a drive home. Over the years, as my son has grown older, this simple drive has become more and more difficult. The earlier years were a breeze. He couldn’t hardly talk and he spent most of the ride sleeping. I wish I could turn back the hands of time because now he is blabbing  non-stop.

One year I spent the first 20 minutes of the trip explaining how long the drive was. Then the next hour and a half I answered the same question about 1 million times in a row. Any guess to what it was? 

Are We There Yet?

I thought I was going to lose my mind and then by the grace of God my son fell asleep. I was so happy that I accidentally turned up the radio too loud and started celebrating and woke him right back up. Then the second round of questioning began. I felt like I had broke the law and was being interrogated and my son was doing the good cop, bad cop routine on me. Except, I didn’t have the information he was looking for and he just kept questioning me.

On top of the questions we had to stop at the bathroom about 4 times more than normal and picking out a snack became as intricate and defusing a bomb with 10 seconds left on the timer. The wrong food would just make our trip a lot more miserable. So from my past experience I have come up with some awesome tips, for those of you who travel with kids, to survive the road trip back home.

TIP #1

Pack your own snacks.

I have saved so much time by packing food for the trip instead of stopping on the go. Make some sandwiches, grab some chips an cookies and don’t forget the juice boxes. This beats going through a drive thru with 6 people in the car and nobody knows what they want.

TIP #2

Schedule bathroom breaks

We have become so accustomed to our route that we now stop at the same exits to use the bathroom every time. This works if you know the route beforehand. If not, use a timer. ex: We will stop every 2 hours for bathroom breaks and everyone must go. (Be flexible or you might spend more time cleaning up the mess your kid just made after you didn’t stop.) 🙂

TIP #3

Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment.

Make sure you have some form of entertainment for everyone in the car. Recently for my son we have been taking our laptop for him to watch movies while we ride. He also has coloring books, books to read, and a CD of his favorite music. If that doesn’t keep him entertained we sing songs and make up silly stories. The more he has to do the better.

I don’t know about you but being trapped in a car with an unhappy kid makes everyone’s trip start off on the wrong foot. As you prepare to take your annual commute, make sure you use these three steps to keep you and your family sane over the road way.