We just recently went on a week long trip to see the grandparents (hence the hiatus from the blog). Before that, we scooted up to the beach for a few days. In a couple of weeks, we are heading to the beach again. Now… we are still operating on a seminary budget. Gas prices are insane so we try to save as much money as possible to make our trips cost effective in other ways.
Before we left to see the grandparents, an 8 hour (ish) drive, we stocked the cooler with sandwiches, juice boxes, fruit and other snacks. We brought some sweet treats as well because car trips should be fun! Because we had plenty of food in the car, we weren’t so tempted to eat out. The kids were content to eat the lunch provided. If we do eat out, we try to hit up dollar menus and use the juice and chips we already brought.
I am always tempted to buy my kids some new trinket or toy to entertain them in the car. I have learned to let them pack a toy box that sit between the two big kids in the back seat. They can bring books, toys, one electronic toy each and stuffed buddies and blankets. Because they are the ones who pack the box, they cannot complain about the choices for entertainment. I highly recommend open ended toys like the doodle pro from fisher price. They can draw and draw and draw! We often go the library right before a trip and stock up on new books. My rule is that the books cannot leave the car while out of town… so we don’t leave any behind. Burning a new music mix CD is also a cost effective entertainment option for the car.
I am blessed with great car riders. They rarely complain. They entertain each other well. I highly recommend planning ahead to make car trips more effective and less stressful over all.