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road trip tips with kids...survival mode

so if you can tell from the above picture, I'm by no means the expert on travel.  but i do have some experience - good and some not so great - that i thought id share my favorite one stop shop for mommies out there headed for the highway this summer and also some our favorite car activities that have gotten us through half of our travel so far this summer. i'm currently on a 6 week road trip solo with my three girls (2, 5 & 7 years old), and its an adventure...but we are all better for it.  trying new foods, adapting to crazy daily schedules, finding new activities, and exploring cities to make the most of our days together.  its not easy being without my super involved and helpful husband, but its certainly been bonding time not only with my girls, but with our family and friends we are seeing along the way.

for the road tripping families out there this summer, my first recommendation is hit up the Dollar Store.  you are in and out for under $30.  first thing on your list there: a trashcan. no matter if you are in a minivan (me) or a fabulous suv, kids are messy, gross, and eat constantly - (why did we have them again??) - and a trashcan is your first essential to a road trip.  second, a great recommendation by my dear friend (thank you amy!), a plastic caddy - these have handles at the top, a drink holder built in and a side to put snacks, or lunch in....and when they are finished eating, you can fill it with a new activity... bringing me to #3.  ACTIVITIES.  the Dollar Tree has awesome activities that will most likely at some point get strewn among the car, but cost $1, so you can clear the floors and trash them all at the end and not think another second about it.  from figurines, to puzzles, play doh, art activities, to tea sets - my kids are always thrilled to have a new shiny object to play with.  and lastly no brainer but - snacks, snacks, and snacks.  maybe a big lollipop or two :)

and then there are the family games - our favorite is road bingo - you can get the cards at any toy store or amazon.   another fun idea that my genius friend came up with (christie & emily I'm looking at you!), the jelly bean taste test.  get different flavors of each jelly bean, kids close their eyes and get to taste one and guess the flavor.  books on cd are awesome and you can check them out at your local library or get cute disney ones at target too which my girls love.  alphabet game, name things you see outside in alphabetic order or just grocery items, and the always class i spy game.  lastly, one of our FAVORITE new things is to the WOW in the world podcast - its produced by NPR and is chock full of science and learning in a very fun format for kids.  my girls look forward to them every week.  just download them all before you leave town and if you've got bluetooth, you'll be in business for several hours of entertainment.

happy trails friends, and good luck out there.  safe travels with your littles.  i LOVE seeing all your adventures through instagram! below are a few from our recent adventures....xoxo