We recently made the road trip from the Detroit area to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Our main reason for making this trek across the East Coast was simply cost. Four plane tickets during winter break was really going to hit our pockets hard. So, after making the 21 hour drive to and from Fort Lauderdale, we made it out alive. Plus, I’m sharing some do’s and don’ts of road tripping with little ones.
Do plan out your course. Try your best to have an idea where you can stop if you are doing an overnight break or if the driver starts to get tired.
Do have mess free snacks on hand. Goldfish crackers (snack packs), fruit snacks, Keebler cheese cracker packs, and chocolate chip cookie snack packs (I mean, it’s vacation) were our go-to snacks.
Do purchase car iPad mounts. These were crucial and relatively inexpensive at various retailers. We grabbed ours from Target. They were easy to adjust and allowed the kids to comfortably watch their iPads without having to hold them.
Do download shows and movies from Netflix or iTunes. I tend to favor shows for the kids over movies. They would get bored with movies but the “binge watching” of shows kept their attention.
Do have individual bags/bins that include books, mess free coloring, and other easy activities that can be grabbed from the Target dollar spot. Our kids would get bored with their iPad’s and needed other stimulation. These were perfect.
Do place items properly in the backseat. My son was okay with his feet placement but my daughter wanted to rest her feet up on something to get comfortable. Simply placing a cooler with a pillow on top of it made the perfect foot stand.
Don’t second guess your GPS system. We planned on traveling one way, but the GPS recommended another, faster route. We were able to adjust our stop off points.
Don’t give your little ones snacks right before they are about to pass out. We had some chocolate or poop incidents on some blankets in the backseat… (luckily it was chocolate).
Don’t forget to check your Netflix downloads before you head back home from vacation. A lot of the shows and movies will expire after 1 week or less of being downloaded.
Don’t believe your child when they say they don’t have to pee. Make them anyway or you will be stopping twice as much as necessary.
Don’t stock up on too many juices or water. We filled the kids water bottles with cold water and only refilled them once each one-way trip. This helped prevent any bladder overfill issues.
Don’t be surprised if you have to adjust your plan. A road trip with a two-year-old and a four-year-old is bound to have its ups and downs. Be flexible and know the end is in sight!