Hitting the open road for an adventure can be incredible, but when you have young kids? Road tripping can be a bit more challenging. Will and Kristin Watson have become experts in the subject since they’ve been living in a renovated bus and traveling the country with their two-year-old daughter, Roam, since April 2019. These are their pointers for making the most of a road trip with your kids.
- Be realistic- This is the most important thing, according to these parents. Kristin says they sometimes forget this advice themselves and overshoot by going on a six-mile hike with their toddler, expecting her “to be an angel,” but meltdowns are bound to happen. “If they need to slow down and go at their pace, then you need to slow down with them,” she explains. “Work with them and they’ll work with you.”
- Be prepared for those meltdowns- An entertainment kit can help when the little ones get fussy. The Watsons’ includes toys their tot can play with in her car seat, coloring books and as a last resort, an iPad for when “nothing else works.”
- Schedule driving around nap time- These parents plan their travel time so they’ll be on the road during Roam’s nap time so she sleeps through part of it.
- Limit driving time- For this family, four hours is their max driving time and they also stop multiple times in that four hours to get out and stretch their legs. “You’ve just got to go slow, enjoy the journey, and it is what it is with kids,” Kristin says. “You’re going to be working around them.”
- And they recommend a few must-see spots for your road trip with your kids -
- Casey, Illinois, which is home of 12 of the world’s largest things, including the world’s largest rocking chair.
- Cave City, Kentucky, is close to Mammoth Cave National Park, which has the longest cave system in the world, and lots of outdoor activities nearby.
- National parks out West like Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and Glacier National Park in Montana are favorites of the Watsons and they’re budget-friendly, too.