Monday, December 15, 2008

Over at a blog I watch, Ship Full O' Pirates (, Help For Growing Families, she mentioned something she did when her children were young while they were in the car. I thought I would take time to share what our family does when we travel......

Twice a year we make a trip down to Palm Beach, Florida to visit with my parents and grandparents. It is a 16 hour drive, and we usually stop 2 times, sometimes 3, during the trip.

Since we like to get up very early to begin our drive, we have our kids dress in day clothes the night before. This saves us time and hopefully keeps the kids in a slumber state to go back to sleep once in the van.

Here are things we do....

Breakfast: Each child gets a bag of dry cereal with a Vit. C hidden in there. They can't wait to see what color they got ( I usually put their favorite). Daddy and I get homemade egg mcmuffin's that have been warming in the oven while we get our last things together ( I wrap them in tin foil to keep them warm until we are ready to eat).

Lunch: Cheese quesadillas for kids and sandwiches for daddy and mommy. We usually stop at a rest area and let them run around while I set lunch up. We have chips and fruit to go with our meal.

Dinner: Sandwiches in the car or if the kids are very restless, we will stop at a Chic-Fil-A and let them play for about 30 min. while we eat. They eat in the car when we start our trip again.

Snacks: Since we don't eat a lot of junk food at our house, I use this as an opportunity to treat my kids with granola bars, dehydrated apples with cinnamon on them, grapes, dehydrated veg. chips, popcorn ( in baggies), and maybe a few M&M's each.

Drinks: water. They only get little sips at a time so we don't have many bathroom breaks. This works well as we only usually have to stop once between breakfast and lunch ( which we fill up with gas at this time) and once between lunch and dinner.

2 cars per child, tiny animals for each child, a bag of crayons, plain paper to draw, mazes ( printed from computer), 1 coloring book each and books foe them to look at our me to read. For the toddler, I have tin foil for him to play with along with the cars, and a magnadoodle. We always listen to music and I bring kids music by Judy Rogers when times might start getting rough ( usually about 30 min. before we are to arrive at our destination). And last but most important...our Bible to read scripture.

This trip we will bring our Jonathon Park audio series, I plan on making up papers with road signs for them to look for and cross off. Also, something I started a few months ago,when stuck in traffic, is starting a story and each kid contributes to it in different turns. They love this and all end up wanting to make up their own story. Some short...some Loooooog!

During our trips,it is a good opportunity to answer questions and speak of the things of Christ. Kids always have questions, though we don't always have the answer, we try.

I would like to try this time to make a surprise bag for each child. Fill a brown paper bag with some of their favorite small things and a few food treats.

All this sounds a lot but I have a black bag, medium size that can fit next to my feet and what fits...goes...nothing else. I always have more than I need but want to be prepared.

I always enjoy traveling and the kids are good. Not much fighting until it is late night and one is trying to go to sleep while the other is fighting sleep! :)

And I love the extra time with my husband, AJ, in the car. I enjoy being with him more than anyone...always making me laugh, we have great talks, share memories, talk about things that concern us, just sit in silence and much more. He is fun to be with and I look forward to our trip to be with my best friend, even more.

This is all I have, but it works for our family. If anyone else has any tips they would like to share on what you do for long trips, please tell me. I always like to try new things!

Have a great Christmas and may our Lord be glorified in each of our homes!


Anonymous said...

Hi Christina, what a lot of fabulous ideas. Thanks for linking. :D

Tracy said...

Sounds a lot like many of our trips when they were younger! I also used those plastic, TV trays with the pocket on each side....used to fit nicely over the car or buster seats...for coloring, snack time...etc. And the side pockets could hold stuff, like crayons. Then they stack inside each other for storage.

Kristy said...

You sound so much more organized and structured than I am! We don't travel that often, so maybe that's why I don't have a "game plan". We drove to Virginia once, a couple of years ago. It was nice. This year we went to Disney for the first time, and that trip to Orlando seemed to take forever! We have lots of family in Michigan, but haven't been brave enough to try driving the 20 hours it would take to get there!