We’ve done the road trip thing a couple times now. By no means are we experts, but we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help us survive. We’ve done a couple 14-hour road trips that have helped us perfect our travels. With 4 kids. Good times, good times (at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves!) I’m thinking it might be useful to tell you how to save your sanity on a road trip with kids.
Thank you to Marathon for sponsoring this post (go sign up!!). All thoughts are my own. And scroll down to enter to win a $50 Marathon gift card, too!
7 sanity saving tips for a road trip with kids.
Have a lot of snacks in a large variety. Snacks that you don’t typically let them eat. Snacks that can change the tone of the ride. Fruit snacks, lollipops, gum, goldfish, jelly beans, whatever their favorite treats are. Get them! When things go south quickly, a favorite treat can save the day. Don’t forget to also have protein snacks too so they stick with them for a bit. Of course, you can add some healthy snacks, too. Really, try to add mostly healthy snacks. There won’t be revolting, I promise.
You’ll also want to make sure to have an ample supply of paper towels, toilet paper, wipes and trash bags just in case of a food mess, car sickness mess, or just any mess the kids or grownups might make.
2. Car Maintenance and Gas Up
This one is from Mr. Serious. Get the oil changed. Get the car in for an overall checkup. Check and rotate the tires. Just make sure everything is in good working order. Nobody wants to be stranded on the side of the road because of something you could have caught at home. Just a little added insurance! (And, if you do a really long trip, get everything checked once you arrive at your destination, too.) Your sanity is definitely on the line if something happens or you run out of gas!
Fill your gas tank before you leave. And really, we try to fill up at any stop we do. Nothing is worse than having to stop for gas when nobody needs a potty break!
Marathon is encouraging you to fuel up with their MakeItCount™ rewards program.
MakeItCount™ Rewards is Marathon’s free and easy-to-use rewards program that saves members money on fuel AND rewards them for shopping at participating Marathon gas stations. When you use MakeItCount™ Rewards you will get 5 cents off every gallon every day! Just for signing up and being a rewards member.
Of course, this isn’t just for your next road trip. Anything I can do to save money and add convenience to my life is key. For a busy mom who’s constantly on the move (kid’s camps, school, practices, family road trips, running errands, etc.), saving time and money is huge.
Marathon stations are conveniently located – they’re clean, efficient and I can grab a snack, fill up, and use my MakeItCount™ rewards. Talk about the perfect road trip stop. Gas, snacks and a clean restroom is a total win! Don’t forget, MakeItCount™ rewards consumers for retail purchases like snacks and drinks, so it’s a win/win for you and the kids!
Signing up is free and easy, and I can earn points to redeem towards airfare, hotels, and retail too. If getting gas is a part of your regular routine, you have to sign up.
Sign up at MakeItCount.com or download the free app and “Be Rewards Driven.”
New games, new sticker pads, new marker books, new coloring books, new reading books. Activities surrounding your destination (Disney princess books for a Disney trip, a book about a new state you will be traveling to). Anything age appropriate that will keep them entertained and intrigued but doesn’t have to be plugged in or make noise. Sometimes the kids need an activity that won’t keep their siblings awake. And sometimes, the quiet is just nice. Sometimes we also like to ask trivia questions.
4. Tablet (and chargers)
With 4 kids in at least 2 different age ranges, the electronic entertainment aspect is a bit of a challenge. The younger two are happy to watch a movie, but the older two usually want shows that fit into the teen and tween category.
If my kids will sit and watch a movie or a show and not ask no less than eleventy-billion times “are we there yet?” then it’s totally worth it. Between digital copies of movies and the ability to download apps you will be ready to hit the road.
Pro tip: Make sure you have a nice set of headphones for each kid! There is nothing like the noise level of four different recorded shows playing at the same time!
Think about it: happy kids and parents who don’t have to listen to the same movies or shows over and over again.
5. Travel Friends, Blankets or Lovies
Don’t leave home without them. Don’t let the kiddos go overboard. We let the kids pick one small friend (stuffed animal) and one small blanket. It made them more comfortable in the car. For the youngest, we have a handful of pacifiers and her lovies because when toddlers get fussy, they throw stuff! And when she calms down, I want to be able to hand her another one.
6. No sit down meals
The last thing you want to make them do after sitting in the car for a couple hours is sit down. And, then expect them to behave? I mean I do expect them to behave and I know they will, but they’ve been in the car. They want to run and stretch their legs. Yes, we’ve been that family that stops at the golden arches only to use the restroom and let them play and then grab just a small snack. We then eat that snack and anything else we’ve packed (if it’s meal time) in the car. After #1 (snacks), they usually aren’t very hungry anyways.
7. No big drinks
Yes, they can have drinks. But, they are rationed. With four kids, it’s almost guaranteed that one will need to pee while the others are asleep. So, we try to limit the pee stops as much as possible. Of course, we don’t want them dehydrated, either.
Hopefully, these tips will help keep you and your kiddos relatively sane in the car.
Do you have anything to add that has helped you keep your sanity on the road?
Enter to win a $50 Marathon Gift Card below so you can fill up your tank and keep yourself sane on your next road trip!
Giveaway is open to residents of the United States of America only. Must be 18 or older to enter. One winner will be selected at random after “July 31st” and will be awarded a $50 Marathon gift card for use at any of their participating store locations.
a Rafflecopter giveaway