How To Realistically Take a Road Trip with Children

I have begun to mentally prepare myself.
9 hours in the car per day with 4 small children takes some mental preparations.

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Now, I don’t know if this is going to accurate or if it will work out like I want it to, but I have made a sketchy game plan of how we are going to do this.

Knowing full well that my game plans generally go out the window.

But it’s good to start with one.

Each day we have decided that our total drive time will be 7 hours (or more) to get where we need to go.  Now, that’s drive time only.  This does not count stops or emergencies or anything of the kind.  So before I started getting excited that we will be in the car from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, I  decided we are stopping every 2 to 2 1/2 hours for a half hour each.

We have small children.  We need to build these stops in.  And at each stop, we will use the bathroom.  We will also limit the liquids our children can drink.  Not drastically, but it will not be an all out smorgasboard of beverages in our vehicle.

My husband is not thrilled with this plan.  But I would like to point out that it’s a lot easier to plan the stops than to stop everytime we think we need something.

He’ll come around (because I believe I am absolutely right in my assessment of road tripping with children).

So with that in mind, let me present to you–The Traveling Schedule

  • 7:00 Get up, Get Dressed, Eat Breakfast (no time to shower), Make Lunch 
  • 8:00 Hit the road 
    • 40 minutes listen to music 
    • 20 minutes playing car games/by yourself 
    • 30 minutes book on CD 
    • 30 minutes video
  • 10:00 First Stop
    • Bathroom 
    • Snack 
  • 10:30 Hit the road 
    • 40 minutes listen to music 
    • 20 minutes playing 
    • 30 minutes book on CD 
    • 30 minutes video
  • 12:30 Lunch Stop
    • Lunch 
    • Bathroom 
    • Running around 
  • 2:00 Hit the road
    • 30 minutes book on CD 
    • 60 minutes listen to MP3 player 
    • 30 minutes playing 
  • 4:00 Mid Afternoon Stop 
    • Snack 
    • Bathroom 
  • 4:30 Hit the road 
    • 60 minutes Video 
    • 20 minutes playing 
    • 20 minutes or so listen to music
  • 6:00-6:30 Final Stop
    • Supper 
    • Check in and run around/Swim
    • Sleep
This may sound lofty, but on this schedule we have traveled 8 hours and I’m not freaked out.  I have a plan.  I am so not opposed to watching videos in the van but I think if we did only that, everyone would get bored and extra crabby.  
The only thing I haven’t worked into this schedule is switching vans.  We will be caravaning with Grandma and Grandpa and several aunts and uncles, so we are planning on doing the switcharoo to break things up for the kids (and for mom and dad!).  But I think that’s an extra bonus.  This is our plan if we need it and if we don’t, WOOHOO!  It’s all the better.

If you are taking a road trip with children this year, how are you planning on surviving it?

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About giannarae

I am a child of God who has been given the humbling job of being a wife and a mother to 4. Those whom He has given to me are my Sweet Peas and Buddies and one Honey.
This entry was posted in road trips with children, traveling with children, Traveling with your family. Bookmark the permalink.

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