Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Backwards WFMW: Traveling With Kiddos

So that crazy Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer is at it again. It's another "backwards" version of WFMW. Asking for helpful tips and advice rather than giving it.

Mercy knows I'm all for giving my opinion, but today I need some suggestions for myself.

We will be leaving for Michigan in a week and a half with the three smallest of our 5 kiddos. We will also be renting a van so we won't have to drive the Loser Cruiser. This is a good thing in that if we were taking the Loser Cruiser we would have to be talking LIKE THIS FOR THE WHOLE TRIP. BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THE LOSER CRUISER IS 8 YEARS OLD AND IT HAS SEEN BETTER DAYS AND IT'S NOT A VERY QUIET RIDE ANYMORE. That and the fact that we would probably be broke down on the side of the road somewhere in Bucksnort Tennessee.

So, my question to y'all would be:

Do you have any ideas, tips, fancy methods or sage advice on how to travel with 3 children ages 7, 4, and 4 months?

The rental van might possibly have a DVD player and that would be great. We are also thinking about purchasing one ourselves Just In Case, if you know what I mean. For those of you that have DVD players in your vehicles, do you like them? Do they become annoying after, say, the first 10 hours of driving?

I'm afraid there will only be so much of Disney I will be able to tolerate and that by the time we get to Michigan I will want to drown The Little Mermaid with my bare hands. The rebellious fish that she is. Or better yet, let the Beast go ahead and eat Belle for being such a mouthy, little snippet.

On the other hand, I could take my Walton's DVDs and spend the whole trip with John, Olivia, Gradmaw, Grandpaw, JohnBoy, Mary Ellen, Jason, Erin, Ben, James Robert a.k.a. Jim Bob and Elizabeth. And we mustn't forget Ike and Cora Beth or The Baldwin Sisters. I know, I know. Sick and twisted.

I digress.

Anyway, I would love and welcome anything you fine internet people have to offer me in the area of traveling with little ones and keeping my sanity. Bless you all.


Jedi Miller said...

When Shelly and I took our trip with the Wonderful Franz family they had the electronic babysitter (dvdplayer). It is a must for really long trips. The cool thing about the one they had was that it had two screens and many ports for headphones. HEADPHONES, there worth the price, you can go to the dollar store and grap enough for the kiddos, then you don't have to sing-along with the LIttle Mermaid. Another trick that I have heard about is Nyquil. I'll leave it at that. Not sure how many parents out there do that but I have also heard Benadryl works just as well. Not my recommendation but I have heard it works :)

Another trick is leaving when you put them to bed. Once they knock out load them up and take off. They usually sleep really well once on the rode. I think it's the soft music and humming of the road.

So there you go traveling with kids tip from a guy who had no kids... Take it for what it's worth.

oh and don't use the "we will turn this van around" kids know it's an empty threat and it shows them you are weak (HAHAHA)

love you guys!!

Heather said...

Magnetic toys -- youcan buy little sets that come in the tin with all the bits - or if you have those old metal tray tables we had as kids - those work GREAT for all kinds of magnets -- also othe kids could use them for coloring ect on the trip.

If the DVD thing works out you could go to your local library and maybe borrow some new movies. OH yeah and HEADPHONES - then YOU don't have to LISTEN the the disobediant fish.

Lizardbreath said...

Books on tape and MagnaDoodles! We have a DVD player and love it, but the kids still get restless after a while. So we go to the library get a couple of books on tape/CD - get a couple of both kinds in case you don't have one or the other of the players. My kids will actually be quiet and draw on their MagnaDoodles while listening to the books. And, if you run out out of tapes, Cracker Barrel rents them as well. HTH

Mamabug said...

I have 3 kiddos 7-5-2. Invest in the dvd player but get headphones for each of the older ones and buy a splitter for $10. You won't have to listen to Disney and they both can hear it. We don't drive much but we fly a lot. I would also suggest a "treasure box" of new things that they can earn or be doled out as needed. Stories on CD like "Paws and Tales" are big hits around here too. HTH

Mommy said...

We took a long trip to Michigan too. I have three small children, ages 5, 3, and 20 months.

What I did was pack alot of snacks that they usually don't have. I also made them a box of toys to travel with. Crayons, polly pockets, etc. I bought a book on audio and downloaded into an ipod. That was for "me".

The ones that were potty trained wore a diaper for just in case. And we stopped overnight on the way up and down. We stopped at friends or family, so that didn't cost us anything.

We also stopped and visited family, and just took a break, and let the children run around and play.

Also get them a few toys that could keep them occupied that aren't expensive. Perodically give them to them.

Try to do a good bulk of your traveling during the night and early morning.

So those are my tips. We will be traveling most likely to Michigan for Christmas again. This time we will be riding with my husband's brother. That should be interesting. :)

Jamie said...

We drove from New Mexico to Georgia when the kids were 6, 4, and 2; and from Arizona to New Mexico to Utah when they were 8, 7, 4, and 2. DVD player. We put it in our carryon luggage for the last trip (we flew to AZ from GA). My friend with four kids borrowed it for their trip to Colorado and called me 4 hours later thanking me. Her husband sang its praises when they returned. Magnadoodles and Color-Wonder books also saved my sanity.

Karen said...

We do a lot of traveling and my tip is:

Don't, under any circumstances, give them all the toys at the beginning of the trip.

Keep a bag of small toys, color wonder books, magnets, healthy snacks, picture books, etc. up with you and dole them out as necessary. Some of their own toys mixed with a few (inexpensive) surprises always works well for us. Bags that hang over the back of a seat and make a desk (I know Avon sells something like this) are useful as well.

Kristin said...

The DVD player has to be used in moderation and in intervals - like every 2 hours they can watch a DVD or something like that. Some things that work for us are stickers, playing car bingo, letting the kids map the trip along the way, special snacks, stopping every 2.5 hours no matter if you need to or not, small pillows, giving the older one his own money to spend at the gas station, walkie talkies, Game Boy. Have fun!

Jennifer said...

My family travels a good bit and we have 4 children under 10. For the younger ones lacing shapes entertain pretty well. Color Wonder markers are great and we only ever buy these before long car trips, so they are a treat. You can't show movies the whole time. Space them out. Stories on CD or tape are very interesting for the kids as well. Also, the kids can have quiet time in the car, just like they can at home. In the past I have printed off coloring pages and info on the different states we were going to be passing through. I even took a book on all the states and when we entered each one I read all about it to the kids. They really enjoyed that. Frequent stops are a must, but you were probably already going to do that.
Good luck!

Milehimama said...

I did a post about it last year with LOTS of ideas:


Foundation Academy said...

2 hour breaks! Plan on an average speed of 50mph and breaks every two hours. (If you plan on 50 mph, you don't have to really count breaks in your time.)

Find indoor playplaces for lunch and spend an extra 10 or so minutes there, just so the kids can tear around and get rid of some energy.

DVD players are nice, but something gets lost in the process of watching them sometimes I think. I plan 1 movie for every 4 hours of travel time because of it.

My family is very well traveled, so we have a good routine. Have fun creating your own.