It all started last year when my husband and I decided to a do a couple leaf peeping day trips to admire the beauty of the changing seasons here in the PNW. One of the best things about living in Western Washington is that you are never far from the mountains or the sea. So much nature is available to you with not much of a drive. Last year, we never drove far enough that we couldn’t come back home that same evening. It was all day in the car with multiple stops. So this year, we took our first weekend long road trip around The Cascade Loop.
This is a popular drive and I’d never driven the entirety of it. We started in Seattle and made our way over the mountains and stayed the night just outside of Leavenworth. From there we traveled mostly North and then West where we spent the night in Burlington. Our final day we drove over Deception Pass and wound down through Whidbey and caught the ferry to head home.
The kids were completely fine and loved the adventure. My husband and I were pleasantly pleased (but maybe we just don’t give our kids enough credit). Here’s a very short list of a few things that I attribute to having a successful road trip with kids:
- Bring a variety of snacks because kids are literally always hungry.
- Bring some sweets. My go-to road trip candy is M&M’s and Skittles. A little bit of chocolate, a little bit of fruity. Don’t be afraid to give them candy whenever they ask. Haha! I’m serious. I just give them like 5 or 6 pieces each and they don’t usually just keep asking for more and more.
- Be excited! If you’re not excited about the road trip then why are you going? Share the excitement with your kids. Point out the beauty outside your window and answer as many questions as you can.
- Prepare a good music playlist. I recommend Spotify’s premium account because you can download playlists so they’re available offline for those times when you’re out of cell service.
- Make stops. More than just rest stops. The kids and their crazy amounts of energy need to run around and stretch their legs. This means you will get from Point A to Point Z in a longer period of time so plan for that.
- Have each kid prepare a bag of car goodies whether that’s crayons/markers/paper or easy to play games. Whatever it is, they will need a few toys to entertain themselves. We didn’t buy any special road trip activities and the kids were perfectly fine. (In all transparency, I did buy a few but then the delivery was delayed and we didn’t get it until after we were back home so I returned it all).
We hope to make a couple more long road trips in the future. Now, I’m craving some Skittles and M&M’s….