My husband and I recently got back from road tripping to Charleston, SC with our two young children. The drive, if driven straight through, is about 13.5 hours. Yes, read that again, 13.5 hours. We had done a similar drive with Ben, our four year old, a couple years back and it was wonderful. No one told me it was game over when you added another child to the mix.
This trip was so wonderful and insane and tiring and lovely and awful all at the same time. I hate using the word awful, but there are no better words to describe some of the time (mostly the drive).
Charleston is a beautiful wonderful city with so much to do and see. Adam and I would love to go back without kiddos one day.
The drive was about 80% fine and 20% not. You’d think those odds aren’t bad, but you’re wrong. The 20% really negated that 80%. I’m glad we did it, but we won’t do it again until they are older!
Here are my tips for anyone that is coming upon a big road trip:
- Don’t do it. Wait until the kids are a little older. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but at four and almost a year it was rough. We had a family wedding and so much stuff so we knew this was something we had to do. I don’t like flying. At all. But it would have been better.
- Bring multiple tablets. Not kidding. We had three. One was loaded with shows, one had a bunch of non educational games and one had educational games. Our four year old went through them all.
- Bring ALL THE SNACKS. Not just for your oldest, but for the baby as well. Without snacks we would have never made the drive in two days.
- Let go of the notion that you will get to your destination at a certain time. I so desperately wanted to get to Charleston by lunchtime the second day. I thought it would be easy. Ha. The universe said I don’t think so. We got there around dinner time.
- You’re going to have to stop. I hate this. I hate stopping. I just want to keep driving. Impossible. That first day we stopped three times. Give in and let go.
- Try and get separate sleeping spaces when you stop overnight. Needless to say – we didn’t get much sleep.
- This is obvious, but always go for the Airbnb or vrbo when vacationing. Homes are always better than hotels.
- While vacationing make sure that you and your spouse allow time for each of you to get out. My husband and I took turns during nap time to go out and explore on our own.
- Date night. We were lucky enough to have my parents there for a night to watch the kids. This allowed the two of us to recharge and have a little adult time.
- Look at restaurants ahead of time. A lot of places weren’t kid friendly so I looked them up to see if there was a kids menu. If there was I would make a reservation! Most places took reservations and it was a blessing!
- Try your best to make good memories.
As much as I say it was hard, it was really great too. When I ask Ben about it he tells me his favorite parts were the wedding (which was amazing) and our last full day. Our last full day was honestly just walking to the park, walking by the water and eating some food. It made my heart happy.
Good luck to all of you out there planning road trips with your families for spring break. Got any tips to help out other mamas?!