A few weeks ago we traveled to California from Utah and back again. It’s about an 11 drive if you just drive straight through without many stops. But if you have kids, you know that isn’t going to happen!
I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old and was a little worried about how they would do being in the car so long. But I learned a few tips and came up with a few of my own and it actually went pretty well! I was pleasantly surprised!
1. Break Up the Trip:
We knew the girls wouldn’t make it the whole 11 hours at a time so we decided to just go halfway one night, spend the night at a hotel, then travel the rest the following morning. We stopped in Mesquite and stayed at a cheap hotel and then continued on. It was great to let the girls get some real sleep and a chance to stretch their legs and not be in the car. And that way we had just over 5 hours of driving at a time.
2. Bring New Entertainment:
Before we left, we stopped at the library and got some new books and books on CD that the girls have never read or heard. They loved the new stories and wanted to hear them again and again. We also borrowed a DVD player from Alan’s brother and brought a few movies. We brought Kami’s favorites and Finding Nemo, which she hadn’t seen yet. She watched Finding Nemo all the way through 4 times! Every time we got into the car she asked to watch fishies.
3. Fun Snacks:
I stocked up on suckers, Fruit by the Foots, Oreos, gold fish, and fruit snacks. Don’t worry we brought healthy food too! But if the girls got a little cranky, we pulled out a snack and they were happy for a while. Especially the suckers because they last longer.
Another fun thing for the younger kids is putting stickers in a book. I let Kami choose new stickers and bought a cheap little notebook and she would put her new stickers in her notebook. That entertained her for a while.
5. Get Out and Stretch:
Even with driving only 5 hours at a time, the girls still needed to get out about 4 hours in. So we would stop to eat at a fast food place where it isn’t frowned upon for kids to be a little crazy. Play places help or grassy areas to picnic.
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