Road Trips Don't Have to Be Hell
When traveling with small children, planning ahead is essential. You are going to have to stop for potty breaks and there is no way around this. Plan on doing them and just add them into your itinerary to save yourself aggravation.
If you have typical children, there are going to be squabbles. The best way to avoid these is to make sure that you have plenty of things to keep them occupied so they don't turn to picking on each other out of boredom. Typically, these sort of outbursts happen when children are bored. Bring games, coloring books, music and if you have a DVD player in your vehicle you can bring their favorite cartoons and movies. For some parents, the extra cost of the DVD players are worth more than their weight in gold.
Trying To Keep Stops To A Minimum
Bring snacks, bring drinks, bring wet naps of some sort, bring extra changes of clothes for each child and be prepared for messes and spills. Prep your car with mats and blankets on the seats or towels tucked under car seats. By having food items with you to make sandwiches on the road and quick snacks and drinks, stopping for these things will not be necessary. By cutting out these stops, and the emergency stops to clean messes, you'll save time on your trip.
Depending on the sort of vehicle you have and the age of your children, you may even consider having a port-a-potty with you for those times when someone just cannot hold it another mile to the exit. Have the extra change of clothes with you for that very reason too. Children will spill on themselves and the car too, so be prepared to clean those up. You can never have too many wet wipes. Never.
Try to keep sugary snacks to a minimum as it will make children more rambunctious and if you stop to eat somewhere, try to find a place where kids can get out and run and play before getting back in the car. Bring along a Frisbee or something so that they have something to play with when you stop somewhere safe enough. State parks are a great stop over where you can have a picnic and let them run off steam. Sometimes taking the time to stop and let them play will actually save you time in the long run, particularly on longer trips.
Traveling At Optimum Times
If you have never done it, consider traveling at night when you can put kids in pajamas and let them sleep while you drive. If you are going somewhere very far and you can do your traveling at night, while children sleep, you may be able to make better time and even get some sleep yourself the next day. Make sure that you have everything packed to make the little ones comfortable, from their pillows and blankets to the favorite stuffed toy they need in order to go to sleep. These are just a few ideas to help you make long trips more successful. The main thing is to always plan ahead.