Our family recently visited my parents this weekend which is about a 5.5 hour car ride. I feel like road trips can easily become stressful with small children and feel much longer than they actually are. Because of this, my husband and I have learned that leaving early is key for our family. It not only makes the trip go by faster for them, but is so much more enjoyable as a whole. I know some prefer to travel at night, which is also another great option with kids.
I thought I would share what works for us and how we are able to get on the road by 4:45-5:00ish with little ones. I would love to know anything that works for your family!
1.Pack & Load Night Before
I am naturally a very organized person so I like to have as much ready as I can prior to a trip. I pack everything I can the day before and either set it by the door or load in the car (garage). I keep a list of things to remember morning of by our things, but have 98% of it ready prior to.
2.Load Kids Last
My husband and I have learned to load the boys at the very end when we are completely ready to go. Because of this, we wake up at 4am to get ourselves ready, load remaining items, fill waters/coffees, etc. Once the two of us are set, we wake up our younger son to change diaper/nurse. Half way through nursing, my husband will wake up our toddler for potty and brushing teeth. We will both load them in PJS after! I bring cozy blankets for both and have shoes/socks for our toddler already in the car.
3.Quiet Time Until Sunrise
Since we leave early we usually have around 2.5 hours where it is dark and deemed as “night time”. Our baby sleeps primarily the entire time and our toddler as learned that we have quiet/rest time until the sun comes up. He will usually sleep for an hour or so and relax the remainder of the time. My husband and I both use our air pods so we are also following the quiet time “rule”. Once we realized we get the first half in complete peace, we agreed it was worth it to continue to leave early.
4.Plan Stopping Points
Since the first half is “night time” we always plan our stopping point for “morning” or when the sun comes up and they naturally wake up. We always stop somewhere where we can get breakfast, go potty, change diaper, and nurse. It is a great time to stretch and get out! I also nurse last so our baby can make it the second half.
It is so nice getting somewhere and still having the entire day. We usually have both boys nap once we get to our destination so they don’t get overtired.
As always, sending light and love.