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Road trips have become my favorite way to travel as a family.  I love the freedom of packing up the back of the van and choosing what time we leave, where we stop along the way, and how long we stay.  In the past when we would travel by plane, I hated the fact that I couldn’t stay in a particular city for an extra day or two if I wanted to because the airlines would charge over $100 a ticket if I tried to reschedule our tickets home.  My favorite part of family road trips has to be being able to stay that extra day whenever we get the itch and not having the stress of rushing to an airport is great too!
 
Last June we took our first long distance family road trip.  We traveled from Boston, Massachusetts to Clearwater, Florida.  Stopping for a couple nights in South Carolina and Boca Raton and Orlando Florida for a few nights each. 
 The kids did so well and we had so much fun, that when our Christmas vacation to Charleston rolled around we immediately chose to drive.  We were able to get from Boston to South Carolina in one day, however on the way home we took our time and stopped in Atlantic City and New York City.  Now we are planning a third family road trip for August and we will be traveling from Boston to Orlando with several stops planned out along the way.
 
As much as I love road trips, they can easily become a nightmare if I don’t pack well and plan out ways to keep my kids entertained.  We always leave before the sun comes up, usually by 4:00am.  This way the kids are all still sleeping when we put them in the car.  The early start combined with the car motion usually keeps my kids snoozing until midmorning.  Then once they wake up its time to start pulling things out of my road trip survival bag.
 
Are you heading on a road trip this summer?  If so, this is what I recommend keeping in a bag close to you.  This way you can hand things out as needed in intervals through out the trip and also keep track of things each kid has which helps prevent the car from becoming a huge mess.
 
1) Electronics – no matter what your parenting style is when with  electronics when it comes to being on the road for 12+ hours with kids, electronics can make everyones life a whole lot easier.  We pack a portable DVD player with a variety of DVD’s, Ipads for each of the kids, Nintendo DS’s and Ipods.  It may sound excessive but having numerous electronics allows us to swap them out for charging and as the kids get bored.  Plus headphones are always a must!

2) Coloring Books, Crayons and Notebooks – The kids will get tired of the electronics and get ancy after a while.  My kids all love to color and draw, so I am usually able to keep them content with some crayons for at least an hour.  Its also good to take them into restaurants along the way.

3) Small Toys – I like to go down the party favor isle at Walmart or the dollar and clearance areas and pick up small easy to travel with toys that will keep the kids entertained for a little while.  Some toys that have worked out great are; Playdo, handheld games, sticker books, etch a sketch’s, mini puzzles, exc.
4) Sweatshirts or Blankets – The kids can start complaining about being too hot or cold every hour so I like to keep sweatshirts or blankets on hand incase one wants the air conditioner on and another is complaining their cold.
5) Refillable Water Bottles – Spill proof bottles work out the best for us.  The kids are always thirsty during our road trips, so I like to keep a drink redaly available for them however we learned quickly that if there wasn’t a cover attached to the drink it would end up all over the place.
 
6) Yummy Mess Free Snacks – My go to is Twizzlers Twists, the kids love Twizzlers candy and I like that its an easy snack that is mess free!  There’s no melting mess or risk of spilling and they still taste delicious.

Plus Twizzlers Pull N Peel candy is one of my guilty pleasures.  I could devour an entire bag of this yumminess in one sitting, so I try to keep a bag of it tucked away incase the kids get rowdy and I need a few minutes to escape into my own little world.
 
When we start packing for our road trip, its crunch time and as busy moms we don’t have any time to waste.  Luckily I am able to pick up everything I need to fill and refill my Road Trip Survival Bag at Walmart.  This is very convenient because Walmart is everywhere along our road trip route! 
What are your summer fun plans?

 



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