Top Tips for Road Trips with Little Ones

So we did it!  We successfully traveled 9 hours each way on vacation, in an SUV, with four kids (5 and under), many bathroom breaks along the way.  


Last week, we embarked on our journey to see some of the classic Midwest sites in South Dakota including the famous Wall Drug, the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, and so much more.

We went with my parents which was the bet decision ever!  Not only did we get to spend some good time with them but the kids got some pretty amazing time with their grandparents as well.  Not to mention an extra couple sets of eyes on the kids so we were finally matched up 1:1 rather than the usual zone defense we have to run on 4 kids!

I remember traveling as a kid and the lasting memories I have from it and want to try to provide those same memories for our kids.  So while it's not easy to plan, pack, and navigate a vacation with four littles, it's something I will always make a priority so that their little hearts are filled with a love for travel but also a desire to always come home to where family is.

A few things that went well...

  • We loaded up on library books before we left so that they had fresh books to look at during the drive and in the hotel room. Shockingly, we never used the DVD player during the drive although the TV did come in handy in the hotel room to calm down busy and energetic kids at times.

  • Snacks, snacks, and more snacks! Seriously, I made one of the biggest Costco runs of my life before we left for the trip. Not sure if I was afraid we wouldn't see a grocery store for a week or if I was more afraid of hearing the constant "I'm HUNGRY!" 10 minutes after we just left the restaurant. Either way, it served us well.

  • I used some packing cubes for their clothes to keep everything separated in the suitcase but definitely need more of those because trying to keep clothes for four kids straight was not easy....sounds like a problem for Austin | Fowler to solve! ;)

  • Right after we unpacked and got everything put away in the hotel room, I made sure the kids knew where coats got hung, shoes were put away, dirty clothes were to be put. I just tried to keep the same order and organization that we have at home because let's be honest, 6 people sharing a space for a week can get a little crazy if you're not staying on top of it and I wasn't interested in staring at a mess the entire trip!

Another successful family adventure in the books!  Now on to planning the next one!