This past June we took a family trip up the east coast using all Hilton points! One thing we have made a plan to do is to pick a hotel chain and airline, join their points program and try whenever possible to use that company only. For hotels, we chose the Hilton line, and there are quite a few hotels that fall under the Hilton name. Did you know most if not all DoubleTree Hotels allow dogs? So if you are traveling with pets and want to stay with a Hilton name, look for a Double Tree in the area. And as an added bonus, FREE COOKIES! Who doesn’t want free cookies?!?!
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There are tons of tips that I am sure you have stumbled upon on road trips with young kids, definitely do some research on this and see what did and didn’t work for others. Here are my top tips from our last road trip.
Tips and Tricks
First, you need to make sure whatever car seat set up you have is going to be comfortable for all kids involved. Whether that is having kids sitting next to each other or separated with their own activities.
Plenty of stops
I suggest planning out some scheduled stops. And not just rest stops but choosing places the kids can get out and run around. Our favorite stop was at Chick-Fil-A. I don’t think I have been to one that didn’t have a play area for kids. Great option for kids to run around in a controlled and air-conditioned area. We planned cities along our route to stop. And for the most part, didn’t need any additional potty break stops.
Don’t be afraid to have a little more screen time
We bought our 3 year old a Kindle Fire for Christmas with the intent it would only be used for long drives and plane ride only. We loaded a few shows and movies we purchased off Amazon as well as a few games and drawing apps. This has been one smart decision for us. While she loves having her Kindle, I find she isn’t glued to it as much as I expected her to be.
Have an organizer
We actually had two items to contain all kid items. I absolutely loved having a backseat organizer. She was able to store her notebook, crayons, and markers. Additionally, it had a fold down tray that was perfect for setting her Kindle on, puzzles, coloring, and eating! Check out the Rubbermaid Back Seat Organizer. In addition to the organizer, we also had a bin I purchased from Dollar Tree to hold all the toys and books for both kids.
Pack plenty of activities
We made sure both our kids had plenty of activities to go between the two of them. We bought a few music making toys for our 17month old as well as small toy cars and books. For our 3 year old we had coloring books, crayons and new books all purchased from Dollar Tree. Additionally, we purchased the Melissa & Doug Water Wow. She absolutely loves painting with these and we love them because there is no mess! To contain everything, I purchased a medium sized bin that fit perfectly in between the two car seats, from Dollar Tree. This was easy for the kids to grab books out of, and easy to contain toys when not in use.
I have to go potty…
How often have you heard this just after you passed a rest area or an exit with plenty of bathroom options, right? Since our little one seems to always have to go right now we bring our portable potty. In fact, the only reason we did not get rid of this item was to have on long car rides. And it has definitely come in handy. If you do not already have one we really like the Summer Infant My Fun Potty. It is simple, not oddly shaped and fits in our packed car nicely.
Pack a few things for yourself
On top of having activities for the kids, have something for yourself as well. Whether it is a book to read, or in my case an adult coloring book. If you are not the one driving, it’s a great idea to have something to keep you sane as well!
These tips here were perfect for our family’s long road trip. We learned a little more about road trips with young kids, like make sure you plan ahead so you are not scrambling last minute to find activities. I have seen quite ideas that will be implemented on our next road trip.
Have other tips for road trips with young kids? Drop them in the comments below! And if you are not planning a road trip but are instead flying check out my 5 tips for maintaining your sanity while flying with children post.