This past week, we had the amazing opportunity to head out on a road trip to Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville, TN. Be sure to check out the blog post related all to their amazing resort and everything we got to do there!
Being that this was our first road trip with the kids in about 3 years, there were things that we knew we wanted to do and things that we didn’t want to do. These were the top 5 things that we simply just knew were going to help us this time around and we wish we had done the first time around. Although, we did take a massive trip to Chicago in literally one night.
Tip #1: Pack everything! Even if you think you won’t need it…PACK IT!
I like to pack the night before because I find that I simply forget less that way. I’m not going “oh shoot, I forgot my charger” whenever we head to our destination because I can literally just throw it right in the bag the night before. However, when it comes to kids there are never too many outfits or things to pack. I found out the hard way through many short trips to Orlando that we never pack enough diapers, sometimes we forget bathing suits, and there’s never enough change of clothes because they are kids and kids are MESSY! So my tip is to just pack and pack some more because worse case, you don’t use it. You don’t wanna be stuck having to purchase extra clothes on your trip.
Tip #2: Bring snacks & a cooler of drinks along with a backpack of things for them to do in the car
This tip comes from the many road trips I took as a kid with my parents driving from New York to Florida. We always had a ton of snacks and a cooler of drinks. This is so helpful because kids like to drink and of course they get hungry often. To avoid having to stop multiple times for food, bring all the snacks so that you can simply just give them one and keep on trucking. Having stuff for them to do in the car like a backpack full of items specifically for them or a crate full of toys makes it also easier for them to stay entertained.
Tip #3: Pack a portable potty
You read that right. Kids have to go when they say they have to go. There is no holding it so if you have a little portable potty in the car, you can stop off safely on the side and let them go super quick and then dump it out whenever they are done. If you can safely make it to a rest stop then definitely do that but sometimes that is not always an option. We learned that after a very long stretch between states on our trip to Chicago. Nothing but land for miles and kids had to go!
Tip #4: Clean the house the week you leave
Clean the house and do all the laundry before you leave so that when you come home, you simply only have to worry about doing the laundry from the vacation and your house is all clean. No thinking about this dirty dishes possibly sitting in the dishwasher still (my husband forgets to put it on sometimes) or that pile of laundry you had to do. This way you can truly enjoy your vacation without thinking of anything that has to do with the “real world.”
Tip #5: If you can, leave in the middle of the night
We chose to do this simply because Gracelyn doesn’t like to be in her carseat for more than 15 minutes when awake. If she’s sleeping, we can knock out a few hours but when she’s awake she starts saying she wants out a lot. So, we chose to leave during their bedtime so that we could get a decent stretch in before they would wake up. If you’re taking a shorter trip then do it during their longest nap time. It really helps if you have little who don’t love the car.
Just simple tips that we have picked up along the way!