Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Adventures in Parenting - Surviving a Road Trip

Some people love to road trip. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. As an adult I have I have adopted my father's motto--"the farthest I want to drive is to the airport." E has flown a ton in her young life and is in the car on a daily basis, but it is normally for short trips. This year we went to go to south FL after Christmas to visit family.

I know we are not the first people in the world to take a road trip with a toddler, but I was not excited about spending 3 hours in the car. So, when Ford offered me the opportunity to chat with Dannie Fowler from The Etiquette School of Florida and get some advice I was excited to take it. Here are some of her tips (spoiler...they worked really well):

  • Set Expectations - I sometimes forget how good E's memory is getting and how much she understands now. A couple days before the trip we started telling E what we were going to do. We also told her that we would be in the car for a long time. (She still will tell me that we have to be in the car a long time to get to Aunt Pattie's.)
  • Travel when Tired - We left to head down during nap time and started back about bedtime. This worked exceptionally well and she slept for an hour on the way down and the whole way back.
  • Make Frequent Stops - We did this on the way down. Shortly after she woke up, we stopped for food. A full belly and burning off some energy helped with the rest of the trip. Going home we didn't stop because E was asleep, but I would have welcomed the opportunity to stretch my legs.
  • Be Prepared - We let E pack a bag for herslef, but the car was stocked with books, snacks and other activities. Her favorite was the new Magna Doodle she got for Christmas. While we had it with, I was excited we didn't have to bust out the tablet the entire trip.
These things made the experience of being trapped in a car as close to pleasant as possible. (I still don't like road trips.) We had a great time while we were there and a few uncomfortable hours is worth it for the memories we made and views like this.

My Beach Baby