We went to Orlando Florida in February.
Yes, we are that crazy.
It took us 18 hours to get there. A few factors played into that long time frame such as weather and making a detour to see the beaches.
The kiddos, handled it beautifully. Of course, they were more prepared than I was.
Here are a few tips that seem to work for us with the longest car ride ever. OK, maybe it wasn’t the longest ever but it sure felt like it.
- Stop frequently. Sounds to be a bit counterproductive doesn’t it? Stopping so much when you are trying to get to your destination? We basically stopped every 2 hours for potty breaks and “stretch our legs” breaks. This really helped the kids in getting a break from sitting in their car seats so long.
- Pack snacks. We had snacks as well as drinks packed in a small cooler where we could easily reach in case someone was hungry or thirsty. This also cut down on the amount of money we spent eating junk food on the road.
- DVD Player. We have one built into the van. Best invention ever! Make sure you get headphones for them or you will want to chunk it from the window listening to kids movies for hours on end.
- Pack your kids a fun travel bag full of goodies to keep them occupied. I went to the Disney Store and bought each kiddo a Disney reusable shopping bag(this way I could use them when we were done!). I filled it up with coloring books, colors, their itouches, their DS’s with games, magnetic car games,books, a magna doodle, and more!
- Give the kids something new midway through the trip. When we had about half the drive left to go I gave the kids a new DVD movie each. I just went to Target and bought them from their $5 movie section. The kids loved getting something new and those 3 movies kept them occupied and silent almost the remaining part of the drive.
- Make sure you have extra batteries for the kids headphone and also the ability to charge a DS or a itouch in the car! Those car chargers are worth it people!
- If you have little ones who wait till the last minute to tell you when they need to potty, consider bringing your potty training chair or investing in one of those neat travel potty chairs for when there is not a place to stop in sight! Believe me, this will come in handy!
- Make up a scavenger hunt for the kids along the way! Make a list with some pictures(if you have little ones who cant read yet) and tell them to check off or circle the item when they see it. The first person who fills up their card wins a prize! You can have them look for particular gas stations, license plates from other states, McDonald’s(since they are everywhere) and more!
Myself, I was completely and utterly bored out of my mind. My bottom hurt, my back hurt and I was miserable sitting still that long. I wanted to run away. I just tried to remind myself over and over that we were headed to the most magical place on earth and we were together, having our first vacation as a family!
What are a few ways you make long car rides a joyful tolerable time for your family?