I grew up traveling and taking road trips up and down California and longer ventures to Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma. Because of these experiences, I am old-school when it comes to traveling with my kids. As a child, I didn’t have the luxury of a portable DVD player or an ipad or handheld video game… and yes there was a lot of car squabbles and frustrations, but there was also a lot of imagination, games, laughter, singing, stories, and memories. Don’t get me wrong though, we live in a digital world, of course we have a tablet for the last stretch of the trip…or when traffic becomes horrendous.
Last week we went on a week-long vacation and agreed that driving was the way to go. It was our first day-long road trip. Destination: San Diego, California. We live in Northern California, so it wasn’t a super long trip, like days, but it was long enough for a first time. We left at 8:00 am and arrived around 5:00 pm (LA traffic was of course terrible).
I wanted to share some things I put together for the trip itself, things I found helpful on the trip, and of course, my favorite traveling snacks.
#1 Travel Items and Accessories
Before the trip I set the kids up with functional backseat organizers that worked GREAT for keeping things off the floor and easy to find. I also purchased head phones along with a splitter so each kiddo could watch the same movie. Finally, I found a few fun travel books and games that helped pass the time. I’ve included links below from Amazon where I purchased the items. Please note these are affiliate links. Thank you. HERE is my complete Amazon Travel page.
1. Backseat Organizer
2. Headphones and splitter
3. National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Atlas
4. Travel Scavenger Hunt Card Game
5. License Plates Across the States
6. Mad Libs HERE, HERE and HERE
7. Car Mount for tablets/ipads
8. Memory Foam Travel Pillow or Inflatable Travel Pillow
9. Lunch Bags, Water Bottles, Food Containers
10. Levono Tablet
11. Travel Games HERE, HERE and HERE
#2 Media Entertainment We enjoyed several forms of media entertainment on the trip. First off, we listened to audio books. The kids thoroughly enjoyed them and while they were listening on their headphones, mommy and daddy enjoyed Ted Talks (which are always inspiring). Below I have listed several sites for a variety of different audio books, stories, and shows.
1. Audible.com – I did a free trial of this and downloaded a children’s book.
2. Storynory.com – we listened to a few short stories as well as the first few chapters of Alice in Wonderland.
1. YouTube Kids TV
2. Favorite Netflix shows: Wild Kratts, Octonauts, Lego Friends, Mighty Machines, and Super Why.
3. Favorite Movie: Marry Poppins
1. Professor Pocket – Farm and Hawaii
2. Elizabeth Mitchell – good for sing-alongs and sleepy times.
3. Pandora Radio – for sleepy times I like Calm Meditation and Solo Piano Radio. While Scott drives, I jam out to the stations: 90’s hip hop or Capital Cities.
We can’t forget about food now can we! That’s the best part…right. I cannot travel without snacks. I love to snack on the road and I always make some homemade snacks for a trip and enough for a few days into the vacation. I’ve included some of my favorites below that are super easy, travel well, and satisfy. I’ve included the walnut milk because I always make a fresh batch of non-dairy milk for a trip. I should also mention that when we travel, I rent a house for our lodging! I must have access to a kitchen. We eat our breakfasts at the rental (big money saver) and I will pack snacks for the day, or even lunch depending on what I can find at a local health food store. We like to enjoy eating out for dinners when we travel, so I don’t fuss with that. That’s one perk of being on vacation…someone cooking for you!
3. Mini Muffins
6. Homemade Walnut Milk – this is my favorite nut milk!
I hope this post was helpful for those of you who travel with kids. Obviously, many of these suggestions translate to air travel.
We had a wonderful time exploring San Diego last week. And planning ahead helped the long road trip fly by. Happy travels on your future adventures.
Here are a few pictures of our trip to San Diego and Tecate Mexico.
This post was shared on the following link parties: Mix it up Monday, Busy Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Keep it Simple, Munching Mondays, Show and Tell Tuesday Link Party, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday