Tears, screaming, someone tossing or snatching another toy, “I’ve got to go to the bathroom” shouted 5 times on a 1.5-hour trip! These are all my thoughts as we packed up 2018 Outlander that Mitsubishi loaned us for our road trip to Ocean City. My anxiety was high because this was our first road trip with two kids. An infant and a big kid, how would we survive! Well, I am here to tell you we made it out alive and this was honestly the best little road trip we’ve taken. Today I am going to share how we managed to have an amazing road trip with our kids AND keep our sanity!
I’m a planner, this is where most of my anxiety stems from. I must know what’s going to happen, when and where and if at any point my outlined plan has to be changed, I go into frantic mode! Because this is how I’m built I spaced all my crazy “to-do’s” and over organizing over a 7-day span. Did I mention I’m a bit OCD and a control freak!
First I must thank Mitsubishi for the 2018 Outlander because if we had to stuff our family of 4 into one of our sedans, this would’ve been a different kind of post. Something that titled “We Didn’t Make It” or “No More Road Trips Until Their Teens”. Instead, the space provided within the Outlander and other amenities contributed to what I will outline below! So thank you Mitsubishi you kept two parents sane while road tripping this summer (i kid)!
Here are my 5 tips for traveling :
1. Plan and Plan in advance- We booked this trip in January. Because we’ve been to Ocean City many time before we knew we wanted to stay at Bonita Beach. They have a family-friendly environment with there indoor pool, arcade and closeness to the beach. When we visited Ocean City three years ago, Doll was about three and we stayed on the boardwalk with a tiki bar in the lobby of our hotel! Great for when we were kids free, not so great with a toddler! So this time around we made note of our “new parenting failed ways”. For the first time, I had to request a crib which they set up in the room. One day prior I also had to make a change to our room because I accidentally booked us in a one-bed king suite and they upgraded us with no issues! Overall our experience with Bonita Beach has always been a pleasant one. They provided us with a coupon to a local restaurant (you know I love a discount) and their customer service was outstanding! So when you plan your next trip your accommodations will play a major role in your experience so choose wisely!
2. Travel During your little one’s Nap Time or At Night- We decided to do night time traveling and hit the road at 6 pm, which is Baby Girls bed time. We washed them up, feed them well and tucked everyone into their car seats. By the time we hit the highway baby girl was sleep and slept until we arrived at the hotel! Can you say AMAZING!!! Doll stretched out in the back on the Outlander and played on her tablet until it died. Which brings me to my next tip.
3. Bring gadgets to occupy their time- The Outlander came with a third row which we dropped to accommodate our suitcases, cooler, beach chair and umbrella and bag of “distractions”. Did I mention we only visited Ocean City for 3 days? Hello, my name is Nakia and I am an over packer! But that’s ok, the Outlander accommodated all of my “need”,” might need” and “just in case” bags. I packed Dolls tablet, baby girls quick grab toys (about 4, because she likes to throw them). A cooler with drinks, snacks, and baby bottles and of course pampers and wipes for quick grab sessions. Doll enjoyed the freedom of getting snacks at her leisure and she was also able to hide snacks and her tablet in the center console between the seats in the Outlander. This feature made her feel like a big girl and lessen the “mommy can you hand me.”
4. Make bathroom runs number one priority before getting on the road- This might seem obvious, but after you’ve packed everything into the car and rangled the kids up your next move might be to scream “ok everyone in the car”! I know, because we did this and then I had to make everyone get out and use the restrooms. Yes, there were “ugh” and “but I don’t have to go”. Nope, not falling for it! I changed baby girl for the last time and gave her a fresh diaper and Doll went to the restroom and so did the adults. Yes, we can hold it but, why would we! I also monitored Dolls liquid intake as the cooler was at her foot and she keeps opening it to get another drink.
5. Make a playlist everyone can enjoy- I created a playlist that went from dance music to soothing moody jazz “go-to-sleep” music! Yes, I know how to wind my kids down through music and it really works if you’ve never tried it. I used Spotify to create my playlist and we listened to it the whole trip.
So there you have it all easy, free and simple tips to keep your summer road trip fun and fresh! This will be our new structure going forward until they get older and I suggest you create your own according to your kid’s age, temperament, and your sanity!