We have been travelling lots this summer, between our regular trips to the Vancouver-area and our vacation to Ontario/Quebec, we’ve pretty much spent the summer behind the wheel. It’s not my favourite way to spend the summer, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
If you’ve come here via Pinterest and you don’t know me, then this need to know. I live in Prince George, BC and I have a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old. I frequently drive 700 km to Chilliwack, BC. It’s an 8-hour drive without kids and stops, but I do it about 10-11 with kids about every 6-12 weeks. Ever since my first trip with 2 under 2, I’ve learnt a lot about road tripping and travelling with kids, and I keep learning more each day.
A while back, I asked on Facebook about travel tips with toddlers in the car. One mom adamantly said no to the tech, movies, and such. I remember laughing and saying, you do you, you are one strong woman. She’s probably going to read this and smile.
But, guys, she’s right.
Ditch the tech. Don’t even bring it.
But Bailey, how else will you survive a 10-hour road trip with two toddlers?
Um, the magic that is boredom and snacks.
We’ve all seen that line where they say kids need to be bored and experience boredom, and I’ll be the first to pipe up and roll my eyes, but it really does get better and they really do figure it out.
We forgot our iPad on our most recent trip to Chilliwack, and it was notably the most enjoyable drive I’ve done with 2 kids.
- When I wanted to stop for lunch, or because I found a playground to play with there was no angry fight to leave the vehicle.
- My toddler was willing and ready to go. He wasn’t a Paw Patrol zombie that needed to be wrestled out of the vehicle, instead, he grabbed his shoes, and played hard until it was time to go and then I had to wrestle him into the car. That’s been my experience in the past, so much so I didn’t like stopping with the kids.
- Fewer Cranky Meltdowns in the back seat because there was less chance of stuff going wrong.
- When my kid has the iPad, sometimes he gets lost, drops it, volume issues, or the battery eventually dies. These all lead to colossal meltdowns while I’m cruising 100km without a safe spot to turn off.
- Sure, we had meltdowns, and fits with our toys, but nothing to the extent of an iPad monster kid.
- More Sleeping because my kid doesn’t fall asleep with the TV on. It pretty much has to be a miracle act of god for him to fall asleep, so without the constant buzz distraction of tech, he slept a good portion of our trip which is a major mama win!
- Lots of backseat creativity from these kids as they played with each other, tossed toys around and did their own thing. Sometimes even just staring off into the distance.
- I didn’t even need a fancy collection of toys – I just brought what he loves to play with: crayons, colouring books, hot wheels cars, plastic animals (and a few other fun things like playdoh, and a waterwow book).
Now, I’m not the type of road trip mama to just get in the car and go. So needing my kids to be at a level of unattainable good behaviour is not helpful for me; therefore ditching the tech worked.
When the kid did get squirrely and had emptied the big bin of toys me, plus a WOW water book, and some other “new” favourite activities) we stopped and played. We typically stop 2-3 times on the drive down with a big one hour play. In my experience, every minute of playing is worth its weight in gold. The more energy I can burn off the better whether it’s a stop at a local playground or just a puddle.
Now that we’re thinking that it’s time to ditch the screens and stick with good ol’ fashion fun in the backseat, tell me how you keep your kids occupied?
It’s probably comparable to slime, but one way I can keep them happy for another 90 minutes is by pulling out a container of play doh from the front seat 😉