Who loves a road trip? Truthfully, this girl would rather fly always. I love flying and I get antsy in the car. But it is not always an option! And I love to travel so road trip it is!
We just got back from a 9 day trip to Arizona and California to see family, and we had so much fun! It had been months since we had seen anyone and we were all going stir crazy at home. I know there was a risk we took in travelling and getting out with COVID going on, but it was one we felt we needed to take. We took proper precautions to minimize the risk, but honestly, no risk no reward right? And to also just touch on this really quick because it’s not what this post is about- mental health is health too! We had a good routine going prior to COVID. We like going out and going places. I personally was having a harder and harder time staying positive and fighting anxiety. I needed this trip.
Anyway, on to the details! Albuquerque to Los Angeles is 12 hours. That’s a looooong drive. We have done it once before kids and it was long. Albuquerque to Phoenix is 6 ish hours. It made for the perfect road trip to see both families and break up the driving.
It was still a lot of being in the car for us and the kids, but our trip overall was pretty low key once we got to our destination because of COVID. I got no photos while we were actually road tripping, but here are some from the trip!
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Tips for a Road Trip with kids:
Drive at night if you can. We left at around 1 am 3 out of 4 legs, and then left at 8 pm the last leg. My husband and I are still semi conflicted on which worked better. Leaving at 1 am I feel like allows everyone to get a few hours of sleep in bed. Car sleep is just not sleep for us or the kids. For me, I am used to getting up at 4 am so I was fine to take over driving halfway if he needed me to. I hate driving at night and my night vision is already going. It was still dark, but at least it still felt like morning. Driving at the halfway point when we left at 8pm felt like driving in the middle of the night and was horrible! My husband on the other hand said it felt more natural to him and easier to drive at this time.
As for the kids, when we left at 1 am they would usually wake up when we stopped for gas at 3:30 to 4. Then it was hard for them to get back to sleep, and they were a little restless being in the car for most of the rest of the way.
We brought tons of snacks and activities to help keep them fed and occupied in the car when they were awake. The dollar store or Target dollar spot are great places to find car activities. Elijah loves these sticker books, so we got 3 of them to bring! I got a pad of paper and some crayons to color. I also got a lap tray from Target dollar spot for him to put his stuff on that was helpful! This one here is more expensive but has tons of pockets to hold things, so you aren’t reaching back every 30 seconds to get them something! It also has a pocket and stand for a tablet if you want to do movies in the car!
On thing that would have been great to have this whole trip is this travel potty. We stopped multiple times for Elijah to go to the bathroom both on the road trip and while we were in California. Yes, he’s a boy and just went on the side of the road or behind a building, but it would have felt a little better to have this potty! Especially if a #2 were to happen! This particular potty work with disposable bags that you just throw away, so no cleaning! Also it fits onto toilet seats with the legs flat so you can also use it that way.
In the past we have left early in the morning like the 4-6 am range. This works better for us because we get sleep and we aren’t driving in the middle of the night. Honestly if you are able to make a day of it and stop multiple times or if you have older kids I think this is probably better. It didn’t work as well for us because Isaiah just didn’t handle it all that well. He will sleep for a little while, but there is only so much you can sleep in the daytime!
I would still rather fly every time, but if it’s not an option, road tripping is so worth it! Traveling with kids is never really a vacation, but a trip, but It is worth the work every single time. We make such great memories every time we travel. And even as young as they are they are gaining experiences that will stick with them.