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Things I Learned Driving Last Minute Across the Country with My Two Kids

Long title? Well... long trip. Something in my heart told me to go visit my aging grandparents this week, so I basked in the luxury of being able to pack up the girls and go. When that 4 minutes was over, I actually did the work of packing and going and let me tell you: it was an incredible learning experience. So here's the things I learned this weekend:

(CLEARLY they got their ability to sense a camera from me. My kids are hilarious!)

  • Don’t rush it Even though it's last minute, make sure you pack balanced snacks, extra underwear, and a favorite hair bow or stuffed animal to keep them company.

  • Let them watch the movies (But don't just throw on one that you "kind of" remember being "kid appropriate" from your own childhood. This is not the time... trust me! Just put on that favorite that's been looping for ages and sing along.)

  • Pack all the food Seriously - I mentioned this before but I'm mentioning it again. There's nothing like a road trip to turn even the most meal-oriented person into a grazer. Fill your cooler then fill another bag.

  • But sometimes just let them pick out some candy Does this just feel weird? Thinking about candy? Let's talk about it.

  • Picking out candy can take upward of 45 minutes so give them two choices not the whole aisle TRUST ME.

  • When possible make restroom stops at rest areas and create games that involve running around green spaces One of my FAVORITE stops is the Louisiana Welcome Center Eastbound on I-20. TONS of green space, covered picnic areas, Community Coffee (YESS!!) and they let my kids gather brochures and ask questions. They even decorate for holidays!

  • Be okay with long stops There's no prize for the fastest pee break. Trust me. I'd have won it when I worked Beach Patrol. Just enjoy the sights and sounds at each new stop.

  • Don’t try to drive more than 6-7 hrs a day Another thing I've left to my younger self is the long-haul. It was fine when I was driving alone, blasting CDs, and pretending everyone was saying "who's that cool chick" as I cruised my great-grandmother's old Grand Prix up I-45. But times change and it's better for my body, my kids' attention span, and all of our patience if we break. that. trip. up.

  • Make sure you arms can reach both of theirs for passing ALL the things up front ...or be read for crisis mode every few miles.

  • Find a really good chiropractor for when you are done For me, this is a non-negotiable. Thankfully, you can find TONS of them on Groupon so you can set it up in advance!

I'm sure I have another wave of learning on the trip home. After all, my kids will have aged by a week then!

Join me next Thursday, once I make my way back home, to talk about all the food hangups and drama that can impede the food freedom that become necessary with kids. Whether it's food choice, amount, or that whole "candy aisle" thing, I can help you out! RSVP here:

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