My kids are angels, that is, until we get into the car. It never fails. Once we’re in the car; the hands start flying, the screaming starts and my poor husband and I are left wondering, why on earth we ever thought going for a 3-hour car ride would be a good idea. Going on a vacation with kids is no different. Keeping kids occupied and happy while on vacation takes a lot of creativity – especially when little ones are involved.
Check out these tips on how my husband and I make it through vacation with 3 kids under 6 and still have fun!
- Be willing to stop. I know, I know, it’s so hard to find the time to stop want to stop, especially when your on a deadline. But, keeping kids cooped up in the car for hours at a time, can be a really bad idea. Not only are you keeping the kids from wearing their energy levels down, but you’re preventing your family from making a ton of awesome memories. Tip: You have to eat, stop at a place where the kids can play. If you have to get gas, make it a bathroom break and allow the kids to get a snack, even if they’re not hungry.
2. Have fun – don’t be afraid to stop at that expensive restaurant or store, vacationing is all about having fun, letting loose and having a good time; chances are your trip will be a whole lot better and way more memorable.
3. The earlier you leave, the better – I always try to leave early morning (just early enough that my husband and I will be functioning and awake enough to drive, but late enough we’ll be awake that evening) to allow the kids to sleep for the first few hours. This buys us quiet time and a lot happier kids when they wake up. Plus by the time they usually wake up,we have traveled a few hours and a couple hundred of miles.
4. Be prepared for anything – with vacationing the inevitable can happen, so always be prepared. Last year, my family had to leave a hotel, unexpected, because it was too dirty and we ended up sleeping in our car because all of the hotels were booked. From bad hotels to flat tires vacations can truly test your patience.
5. Bring help, if you need it – My husband and I have become pretty good at traveling and doing things with three kids throughout the years, but whenever we need help or think we will, we always bring help. Never ever risk traveling to a big destination and not having the help you need. Not only will you ruin your vacation, but you most likely won’t be relaxing.
6. Leave plenty of time for unplanned stops – with little ones, there’s always someone who has to pee or is thirsty, so stopping the car is inevitable, it has to be done. Leave plenty of time in between arrival times so you can make it on time without stressing.
7. Remember not every destination is perfect for everyone – last year, my family and I saw so many of our Facebook friends bragging about the beach, so when we decided to head to the beach, later that year, we had a miserable time. We were expecting so much more, but in reality going to the beach with 3 kids all under 5 was a nightmare for us and involved lots of chasing and very little relaxing. Just because someone loves a certain place doesn’t always mean you will.