Setting out on a road trip with your family is so exciting.
There is some overwhelm too with all that togetherness and time outside the norm.
Here are 5 tips to make it as smooth as possible so you can appreciate more + stress less along your journey:
Plan for the worst but hope for the best
Plan your route. Look for some landmarks along the way to break up your trip. It’s amazing how a quick jaunt out of the car to move around and see something new can positively change the vibe for when you resume your ride.
Pack snacks and meals if you can. Maybe add in an extra treat. Something you don’t always have. We were traveling around Valentines and brought the conversation hearts. It lead to a lot of fun as we read them before eating and passed certain ones to one another. That’s the plan for the worst part.
Hope for the best is knowing that it’s not all going to work as planned but stay positive. Return to plan when you get off track but stay flexible. You can handle whatever comes your way- and Lollipops or gum makes whatever comes up more tolerable with your Littles!
Take a Moment for YOU
At any time you can pause. Breathe. And center yourself.
When mom's stressed out, everyone feels it. It causes breakdowns and nerves and all around wackiness. So take a moment when you need it.
It may feel impossible when you have little ones in the back going nuts and husband yelling because navigation isn’t going right.
Just pause. Breathe. Recenter. Your energy and vibe matters so keep it as calm as you can.
The best thing about a road trip is getting a break from the everyday grind. This means you want to be open for new experiences and different things to see. You may not know what they will be.
On our Chicago to Colorado trip, when we stopped for lunch, we happened to see a little museum called Overland Trail with all sorts of antique equipment in the front area. We were able to eat lunch in the parking lot there and then walk around and explore for a bit. It lead to fun discussion about the Overland Trail, which is a branch of the Oregon Trail that many pioneers and gold rushers voyaged on one the mid 1800s. It eventually lead to talk about how blessed we are to be able to travel so easily with so much comfort. Check out @EveryDayEveryMom on Insta for more about that.
It’s experiences like this that plant seeds of curiosity, gratefulness, and openness that are not learned in school. We are new to Homeschool since Corona. Check out this post about how Homeschooling actually simplified our life.
Allow for boredom
Boredom will happen and that’s a good thing. We don’t need to keep our kids occupied all the time. Feeling bored and getting creative is needed.
But do have a few tricks to keep things interesting. For us that included fresh journals to draw and write in, kindles loaded up with books from the library, and a new physical book too, some packable games are great, and a portable dry erase board for drawing and hang man- a total crowd pleaser. Also create a story together - someone starts with a sentence and then next person takes it from there with the next sentence taking the story wherever they want. Then next person picks up. It’s a lot of fun and hilarious to see how imaginative the kids are. They also loved a good book for me to do a read aloud of.
But don’t be afraid to just let them be and get passed that moment of boredom into creating a game or idea of their own. You’ll be surprised with what they come up with!
Give yourself grace. Give your partner grace. Give your kids grace. Give that wacky person your run into who messes up your plan grace.
Grace is that miracle gift we are all given.
Even when we lose it, we are forgiven. We all make mistakes. There will be times that you aren’t showing up as your best. The worst thing you can do is get stuck in regret, worry, frustration or anger about what was instead of enjoying what is in front of you. Those feelings will come, but you can’t allow yourself to notice it, accept it and let it pass through you.
Return to love. Return to calm and know you did the best you could with the tools you had. This helps you move through hard things and teaches your children to as well. It would be boring if everything worked out just right all the time. How would we learn and grow? Have grace.
So allow these 5 tips to help you on your next adventure.
Remember it’s the moments in between that matter most.
So try not to get too caught up In the destination and your expeditions for how it should be. Just enjoy it as it is, even the messiness and unexpected. It’s where the joy is.
Here's to finding your joy on your next family adventure!