Our Research TravelingMom took a road trip from Atlanta to Orlando. She gets real about what it is really like (at least for her) to travel with two small boys – and how she attempted to maintain her sanity on the way!
Each and every time I pack up our little family of four for a road trip, I always do so with high hopes. I have bags packed with a slew of activities ready for my little travelers to keep themselves occupied. I optimistically pack books that have gathered dust on my nightstand and eagerly settle into the passenger seat ready to take on the miles that lay in front of us.
Then reality sets in.
Maybe it is me. Perhaps the activity bags that I pack don’t have enough exciting things inside? Is the problem that I have tote bags and not bins? I have seen mamas on Pinterest packing activity bins. Could that be the difference? Regardless, the sweet children that happily buckle into the car quickly morph into restless, argumentative little dudes.
They say that hindsight is 20/20 and I can attest to that now. The travel Hungry Hungry Hippo game seemed like such a good idea. After all the marbles were all contained within the game, so I wouldn’t have to be digging under the seats for those.
What I didn’t count on was the noise. Oh the noise. In case it has been a while since you played a round of the game, it is loud while you are sitting at the kitchen table. It is even louder in a car. Despite my husband’s pleas that each game be the last, the noise didn’t stop. At the time, I was driving. My poor husband had enough of the noise and out the window, into the grassy side of the road, went the hippos. *Note: I do not condone littering. However, looking back on it now, it is a funny memory. And the noise did stop. I think the kids were in a state of shock.*
I had some really high hopes for our last road trip. We were driving first from Louisville, KY to Atlanta, GA to pick up a shiny new 2016 Ford Explorer. For me, the vehicle change was a going to be good; it was going to give us something to look forward to and a new ride for the remainder of our trip. We would stop at roadside orange stands and eat pecan rolls while chatting about all of the exciting things we would see and do while we were in Orlando.
Here is what saved our trip from the hippo incident: it was the Ford Explorer. Moods truly could have been better as we switched our luggage. Perhaps it was the hippos we left behind or the fact that the car we rode in to Atlanta was cramped at best.
But once we got all million bags moved from my car to the Ford Explorer and we were off, moods seemed to instantly lift.
My boys were excited that the second row of seats were heated, because you know, everyone needs their heated seat turned on in Atlanta in late April. The dual sunroof set up provided entertainment for the boys, because they were able to watch for airplanes flying overhead. In the car that we transferred from we encountered a problem with the portable DVD players because one of them had been borrowed from a neighbor and there wasn’t an adaptor for the car included. Not a problem for the Ford Explorer; there was a standard household plug for the back row. Score!
Once the boys were settled, the spirit of what I consider to be a ‘real road trip’ took over. We shared lots of laughs, one of the boys even daring to bring up the hippo incident. My oldest helped read the paper map he had insisted on picking up at one of our rest area stops. Yes, the Explorer had a fantastic GPS system that told distance to the nearest gas station and gave plenty of warnings before each turn, but my child just wanted a paper map!
Once my husband settled behind the wheel, I dared to dig out a book from my bag and turned on the massage feature for my seat. Yes, massage! It was so fantastic.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still heard “he’s touching me” or “he’s looking at me” but the complaints weren’t as frequent and I just didn’t care as much.
However, next time I think I will pack an activity bin instead of the bag. That may make all of the difference!
Tell me: Have you had any road trip mishaps that you are willing to share? If so leave them in the comments!
The photo of the Ford Explorer was taken by Yvonne Jasinski, Credit Card TravelingMom.