Last weekend we packed up the car with Wonderful Halos and all the other essentials for a road trip from Phoenix to Sedona. Since Owen has spent the majority of his life living in walkable cities we have experienced very few road trips as a family, but now that we have a couple under our belts I figured I would share our top ten tips for a healthy, happy family road trip. A lot of these tips I actually got from you guys so please continue to share your good choice moments in the comments below so we can keep this conversation going (and so you can enter to win a prize from Wonderful Halos)!
1. Pack healthy snacks for the entire family. It probably has something to do with my childhood (and my mom’s push for stocking up on snacks before leaving town), but I’m all about it. Whether the distance is just a couple hours or an extra long stretch of driving, I know I am always happier with a stomach full of healthy snacks. Sweet treats tend to be a go-to for travel, but it’s difficult to find snacks that are sweet and healthy. Wonderful Halos are the good choice solution for all ages so you can indulge without guilt.
2. Prepare for motion sickness. Since Owen has very little experience in a car (we haven’t owned one since before he was born), he tends to get motion sick extra easy. Once he turned two we were able to pack anti-nausea medicine, additional healthy snacks, vomit bags and an extra change of clothes in case the worst happens. I always kick myself when I forget to do this, even if it’s just a matter of peace of mind.
3. Try to time out naps with longer stretches in the car. It’s always a jackpot sort of moment when we get Owen to nap in the midst of a road trip. This way we don’t have to worry about keeping him entertained and Zack and I have the chance to listen to a podcast or music we’ve been wanting to catch up on or have an uninterrupted conversation.
4. Soothing music or silence. When Owen isn’t napping on our trips it’s always best to play music we know he enjoys or to keep the music off all together. I know that’s not the most fun for parents, but we’ve noticed that it really helps his overall mood.
5. Keep the car a stress-free zone. Traveling with kids can be ultra stressful, but we’ve noticed that if we remain calm and stress-free, Owen is much more likely to do the same. Road trips with little ones aren’t always easy, but when we do our best to relax and go with the flow it makes a world of difference.
6. Give yourself plenty of time and stop frequently. Ideally, when we’re taking a road trip we really like to take our time, that way if Owen is feeling antsy we can get out of the car and let him stretch his legs. This also tends to make the drive itself more of an experience rather than a rush to just get to our final destination.
7. Have a kid-friendly activity planned at your destination. We chose to plan a mini-hike (more of a nature walk) and a picnic once we arrived in Sedona. Owen was able to walk the whole way (while we watched extra closely) and was so excited to spread the blanket out and dig into our snacks. We packed raisins, granola bars and Wonderful Halos Mandarins, which we love because they’re sweet, seedless and easy to peel.
8. Make sure to bring plenty of toys & books to keep your little ones entertained. Owen’s gammy recently picked up a magnetic whiteboard with letters and numbers – this was a huge hit on this particular road trip. We also brought toy cars with doors that open and close, legos and books. I find having a larger variety of smaller toys is what does the trick so that there are more and more options when his patience is running thin.
9. Know your kids limits. We’ve literally traveled the world with Owen, but we’ve also learned how much is too much. Every child is obviously different when it comes to these things, so don’t be afraid to space out a road trip or switch up your plans for something that’s more realistic for the whole family.
10. If you’re traveling somewhere you’ll be staying overnight, consider leaving close to bedtime. We have yet to try this particular tip, but I feel like it’s so valid. If you’re heading out to your family’s place for the holidays this year I imagine leaving closer to bedtime when you know your kiddos will be sleepy will make things so much easier.
Don’t forget to share your good choice moments in the comments below as part of Wonderful Halos good choice giveaway!
This post was sponsored by Wonderful Halos.