Last October, before COVID-19, my family drove from Las Vegas to New York. We rented a mini-van, and piled 4 adults and two young children inside. It took us three nights on the way there, and four nights on the way back. It was different then I thought it would be, but one thing that really helped was being prepared for anything. I’m not sure if I would ever drive that far again with my kids, but now I think I’m okay for a trip that we need to stop for at least one night. I came up with five tips for all my fellow parents who plan on driving cross country with kids. Hopefully, they help you as much as they helped me. In addition, I’d like to add that highly recommend waiting until the pandemic is over.
5 Tips for Driving Cross Country with Kids
1 Pack Separate Bags with Everything for Kids
This was definitely the most helpful. In fact I had two separate bags in the car. One for DJ’s clothes, toys, electronics, and chargers. The other was Brooklyn’s diapers, wipes, clothes, toys, etc. We even packed our baby potty, although it didn’t fit in a bag, for DJ in case we were no where near a bathroom. That way we could pull over, and he could use the bathroom. In addition, we had a cooler inside the mini van with snacks, milk, juice, water, and sandwiches.
2 Buy a Car Inverter
Buying a car inverter was crucial for being able to keep everyone’s phones, iPads, and DJ’s gameboy charged the whole time.
3 Make Frequent Stops
This was a big one for us. We made a lot of stops. We tried to make them shorter stop though. The only time we stopped for longer was to eat. It was important to let DJ and Brooklyn get out of their car seats. Also, we had to make sure we changed Brooklyn’s diaper, and let DJ use the bathroom.
4 Stop At a Hotel Overnight
Obviously with the length of our trip we had to stay overnight. However, I recommend if you have more than a twelve hour trip to stop at a decent time at night. If we didn’t have our kids with us I think we wouldn’t have stopped as many night or as early as we did. We just knew how important it was for DJ and Brooklyn to get a good comfortable nights sleep.
5 Throw Your Schedule and Rules Out the Window
Of course, I don’t mean all rules; however, limited screen time might need to take a back seat for everyone’s sanity. During the long trips we didn’t follow our normal nap and sleep times. In addition, we didn’t limit screen time. We let them eat what they wanted within reason. It was all about keeping everyone happy and occupied for three to four full days of driving.
I hope you find this found this list helpful. These five things made the trip much more bearable. I was so anxious before we left for New York, but once we were into the drive I realized it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Check out my post on staying on the Las Vegas Strip if you plan to visit with you kid in the future. In addition, you can check out my last blog post if you’re in the mood for stuffed bell peppers.