How To Survive A Winter Road Trip

One of the things I adore most about Christmas is the excuse to have get together with friends and family, and of course this means those road trips far and wide.  What I don’t enjoy…the long drives with two little ones in the back seat asking “Are we there yet?”

After countless road trips over the past 13 years, I have learned more then a few tricks.  Here are my top five tested and true ways to avoid the road travel blues!

1)  Set up the ground rules.  My favourite rule:  On a long trip, each child is only allowed to ask three times each “Are we almost there?” or  “How much further?”   Trust me when I tell you this golden rule will be a life saver on a super long excursion.

2) Pack lots of healthy snacks.  It’s true that there often plenty of places to stop for food on the fly, but why take the risk of upsetting tummy’s on the road with greasy fast food?  Trail mix, pretzels, bananas, apples, cheese, crackers and peanut butter and bottles of water are the way we go.  (It doesn’t hurt to have some Gravol on hand too.  Just in case)

3) Movie time!  It doesn’t seem to matter if we are taking a 3 hour trip or a 12 hour drive, my girls don’t really seem to pay attention to more than one flick.  The only exception to this rule, the repetition and comfort of some classics; you can’t go wrong with episodes of Phineas and Ferb, good old Bugs Bunny or just about any classic Disney Movie.  We are also careful to take fully charged iPods and iPads.  Better to have too much to do then not enough!

4) 60 Second Dance Parties:  When the kids are starting to feeling cramped and getting tired of being in their seats, and when you are starting to feel the same, it might just be time for a 60 second dance party!  Break out your favourite CD, crank up the tunes and seat dance your way down the highway.  There is a sweet relief in singing and dancing your way though your favourite 80s tunes while your kids giggle at your complete lack of dance skill.

5) Something shiny and new!  There is power in a newly wrapped toy.  Head to the dollar store and pick up some silly putty, an etch a sketch, design a doll, or pipe cleaner art.  Each new toy can provide at least 20 minutes of entertainment! 

6) Be prepared for the worst…just in case.  Make sure your gas tank is filled to the top, pack mitts and hats for all of you just in case you happen to encounter a bump in the road and need to sit tight and wait for that auto club to come to the rescue.

7) Know that you will have to make frequent pit stops.  Little kids equals little bladders.   That is all. 

Set your kids and yourself up for success, kick back and enjoy the ride!

Happy trails!


  1. seriously…borrowing my parents car dvd player has saved our lives…or maybe my kids lives…lol…and it def cuts down on are we there yet…

    and always give more than enough time because it takes longer at the holidays for sure…

  2. Those are som great tips! No DVD players or computers when I was a child…(of course with all of us, there were also not a lot of long trips!). We read tags….back then mostly to see where people were from, now I read vanity tags!

  3. Great tips. Those days are gone for me. B

  4. Hah! I love the 60 second dance party tip 🙂 I can only imagine the looks on the faces of passing motorists!

  5. Love the idea of the 80s dance party too:-)
    We are planning to drive to Chicago on Christmas break…these tips will be useful! Thanks:-)

  6. And, be sure to remind yourself, they won’t be young forever and before you know it, they’ll be planning their own trips that won’t include parents.

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  8. ‘Are we almost there?’ familiar;)

  9. Love the 60 second dance party!

    One thing I can say about my kids is that they are great on road trips, and have always been … I am one lucky mom

  10. My kids love surprise gifts when we are on the road! We take trips all the time, and the one thing that saves us is our iPad. With the iPad, my kids can play games, read, watch movies, and even watch live TV through the DISH Remote Access app. A co-worker of mine at DISH told me about this app, and with a Sling Adapter hooked up to my DISH receiver, the kids have access to all our subscription channels live anywhere we can get a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. They absolutely love this option, and it keeps them quiet for hours. I also always pack a picnic, so we can get out at a park or rest area, and the kids can get out and stretch their legs.

  11. Great advice! I also have recently discovered a new secret. I buy a little basket at the dollar store for each kid and put their trip snacks in it. They know that these are their snacks for the entire trip so not to eat them all at once (and they actually do awesome at this) and then I am not always having to hand them back another snack as they can get it themselves!

  12. It would have been fun to have something for my kids to watch back in the day when we traveled with them! It’s a whole new world.

  13. I like your ideas for keeping the kiddies busy another one is crayons and a clip board they can draw or play games of tic tac toe or SOS.

  14. Great tips!

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