We’ve done A LOT of road tripping with our kids. And while we often have a ton of fun, there are definitely disastrous moments. Remember the time we got rear ended in Colorado and then got a ticket?! That was nothing a nap and some ice cream couldn’t fix! Remember the time Lia was so grumpy it almost ruined our trip? She had an early bedtime and the next day was so much better! Or the time we went to see the USS Alabama and left after 10 minutes because all our kids were throwing a fit… Gas station gummy worms and a timer helped us out of that jam. The time we had to wait almost three hours to get some Gus’ Fried Chicken? Luckily, we had a lightsaber fight while we were waiting!
The truth is, there are always disasters when you’re traveling… especially when you have kids in tow! Over the years, we’ve learned a few tricks for offsetting or overcoming any disaster that comes our way. Here are our top five!
1. Ice cream. I’m not gonna lie, we LOVE ice cream. And sometimes ice cream is the answer to all our problems. (<–Click to tweet!) Whether it’s disappointment that a roadside attraction was closed or boredom from a five hour drive, when we get grumpy, we look for ice cream.
2. Change your scenery. Sometimes the kids (or the grownups!) just need to get out of the car! We make it a point to stop every couple of hours and get out of the car to do something fun. We’ve been known to fly kites on the side of the road, have a punch balloon fight at the beach, or have a water gun fight at a rest stop. Even if you just get out and run around in a field for ten minutes, just getting out of the car is often enough to change the entire mood of everyone in the car.
3. Have a dance party. Can you ever be in a bad mood or be disappointed when there’s a dance party going on?! Have a dance party in the car or on the side of the road.
4. Get to your hotel FAST! And then have a jumping on the bed fest! Our kids especially love jumping bed-to-bed. A little bit of rowdy, wild-and-crazy activity can help offset even the most disastrous day! And then go to bed early! Or put the kids to bed early 🙂
5. End on a positive note. Here’s the thing about kids… Kids tend to focus on the good stuff, so they’re gonna forget almost all of the bad stuff that happened. If you just end the day on a good note, you can go to bed knowing that tomorrow will be better! Maybe it’s a cannonball contest at the hotel’s pool. Maybe it’s ordering room service for dessert and eating it in bed while watching your favorite cartoon. So, whatever that looks like for your family, make it happen.
Want to learn more about how we road trip with our kids?! Check out our Adventure in a Box: Road Trippin’ kit!