Surviving Large Family Car Travel
I wish I had kept a travel log of all the car hours we have enjoyed together in the last few weeks. It seems we have been everywhere on this furlough: CA, TX, FL, GA, SC, NC, TN, AL, AK, OK, MS… to name a few states. Truth be told, there were fewer hours in the car that we truly enjoyed compared to the ones that we simply endured. For our five children, whose normal travel in Mexico is an hour and a half at the most, car travel has become a necessary evil, and one to be avoided at all costs.
So apart from God’s grace, what are the practical things we did to survive two months on the road to a new place each week? I hope this will give you some good ideas for planning your next trip.
1. Staying Busy
- The alphabet game.
- The number game.
- I spy…
- The license plate game. (Download a free printable at WordTraveling.com)
- Drawing or writing in notebooks.
- Song Cds.
- Audio books and adventures. (aff: These are some of our favorites)
- Coloring/activity books and crayons or pencils.
- Reading books.
- Small toys.
- Occasional surprise toys or snacks.
- Homework. (if the trip is during the school year)
2. Breaking it Up
- We make frequent stops at play grounds and/or restaurants with play places.
- On long driving days we try to stop at one really neat place of interest along the way. (Most recently we have seen the Georgia Sea Turtle Center in Jekyll Island, GA, the Bass Pro Store in Macon, GA, the Daytona Motor Speedway in Daytona, FL along with several book stores.)
- And If we can we will make connections with friends who live close to our route we will meet them for a meal, a play date, or a an overnight stop as travel time allows.
3. Staying Sane
- We start each day’s trip with prayer for safety, sanity, and sweet spirits.
- We stay supplied with coffee and Blow Pops!
- If the kids are sleeping we keep driving, and often will listen to a teaching series or an audio book (like this one) to keep our minds busy.
- We don’t schedule hotels ahead of time. We know when we have all reached our limit and it’s time to stop for the night.
- We try to find hotels with pools and breakfast included, to work out extra energy before and/or after a day’s drive and to save money on food.
- If at all possible we try to have at least one full day out of the car in between trips longer drives.
Did you see my other post with practical family travel tips? What are your tips? I’d love to hear them!