From Mr. Handsome…
Traveling has become much more challenging with children. This was particularly obvious when we took a trip to Florida this spring and the drive took five hours longer than it should have. We had planned to leave first thing in the morning and get to the beach by early afternoon, but things didn’t quite go that way.
We knew it would be a long day when we got on the road one hour later than we had initially hoped. We decided to cook a big, healthy breakfast so we wouldn’t have to stop for two meals on the road. But the problem with cooking a big breakfast is that you have to clean up from a big breakfast, which takes a lot of time, especially with two children vying for your attention.
When we finally got on the road, we made it about 90 minutes before we had to stop for gas and a bathroom break. If we had been traveling without children, this would have been no big deal. But unfortunately, Littlest Buddy had been asleep and woke up immediately when we turned off the engine. So we took both kids out of their car seats and walked around inside the gas station for a few minutes to burn a little energy.
We got back on the road again, but after another hour it was lunchtime, and our stomachs started growling. Apparently the big breakfast was not enough. It seems like no matter what you do, you are always hungry when driving. I think it’s because you have nothing else with which to occupy your mind, so all you can think about is food.
When I traveled as a kid, lunch was quick and easy. We would pull our 15-passenger into a McDonalds drive-thru, order McDoubles, fries, and waters for everyone, and eat on the road. But we try to eat a little healthier these days, and a one-year-old and four-year-old plus ketchup doesn’t work well in the car…unless you like stained seats.
After enjoying Chipotle, we continued on our journey. I’ll spare you the boring details, but we had to stop multiple more times for diaper changes and snacks and to console crying children and stretch our legs. Then when we were finally about one hour away, we ran into unavoidable traffic that added an additional hour and forced us to stop for an unexpected dinner. We ended rolling into Florida at about 9:00pm.
Have any of you had challenges driving long distances with children? Do you have any tips or tricks to help the ride go more smoothly?