As a family, we are very, very bad at staying put. Even when we fly off to some faraway destination together, we have a tendency to hop into our rental car and go other places – even if it’s only for a few hours here and there. To us, a vacation is an opportunity to really get to know a place – and in my experience, that often involves getting in your car and going off the beaten path.
That said, we do have two children. One is four, and the other is 1 ½, and trust me: plenty of our friends have expressed confusion about the fact that my husband and I actively seek out places to drive to.
“But Jordan,” they ask, “isn’t that…kind of…the worst?”
It’s not. (Or, okay, sometimes it is, but everything involving children is, from time to time, “The Worst.”)
The thing is, the hours spent driving from one place to another aren’t only a “necessary” part of any seriously cool adventure…they’re often the best part. Once you get the logistical issues (food and entertainment and basic cleanliness and such) out of the way, you can go ahead and see where the road takes you.
Here’s how to spend multiple hours in a car with children and still arrive (relatively) intact.
1. Pack Like A Pro. The goal: to keep the stuff that’s filling up the passenger area of the car to a minimum, while still making sure that those Goldfish are accessible like now. You already know to keep an assortment of toys, food and drinks readily available…but do you know what else you should have? A secret stash of more snacks and fun stuff to be revealed as necessary (like when you miss the exit and the very small people in the car need a snack RIGHT NOW).