Hello Beautiful Momma!
Can you believe we are just hours away from Thanksgiving Day? With our family having moved only a few days ago we’ll be keeping things low-key. My amazing man whom I love to pieces has graciously volunteered to make the turkey (I have complete trust in him!)
Next on the menu is my mom’s Thanksgiving rice which involves cooking rice in seasoning & some butter after which I toss in sauteéd chopped mushrooms, onion & a few hard boiled eggs — add some roasted turkey juice for flavor & ta-dah! Mmm…I can taste it already.
Uh-oh. Here we go, talking about food.
How did this happen? #momlife
The struggle is real.
With holiday travel in the books for many of us…I want to share a few of our favorite unplugged tips. From the time our first child was born (he’s turning 8 this March!) our family has probably put in over 20,000 miles of road-tripping. We’ve made some amazing memories this way. Who says you can’t? It’s totally possible! And if you tried it once and it didn’t work out, don’t give up. Maybe it was just a bad day or your kids weren’t rested.
- Bring snacks and bottled water. Pack something you know your kids will love. We have a tradition of eating beef jerky on road trips. Stay away from sugary snacks and juices or anything that can spill easily.
- Keep baby wipes within easy reach. Baby wipes can get almost any stain out if you give it a good scrub. (Coffee spilled on your shirt? Baby wipes. Cheeto fingers on the seat? Baby wipes). You get the picture. It’s a beautiful thing.
- Pack extra clothes for kids big and small (you never know!)
- Pack lots of activities for little hands to keep busy with. One of my kids’ favorite games is a Melissa & Doug Travel Bingo . Another fun one they love are these water pen coloring books.
- Bring reading material. We love making a library-book-haul right before a trip. My kids each have a book-tote which significantly helps reduce any territorial struggles. We won’t go into detail on that..
- Play I-spy. Seriously, this costs zero money and kids absolutely love it! You can use anything inside or outside the car. It will keep kids guessing forever and bring excitement when it’s their turn.
- Listen to an audio-book as a family. This is like watching a movie, except so much better! You can find them at your library on CD or download it off the internet. If you need some good kid titles check out Sarah Mackenzie’s ideas on her blog or stop by her IG page.
- Bring some legos. On our recent airplane trip across country, I let my boys each bring a lego baseplate along with a handful of lego figures. I’m always amazed at their imaginations. If you have time…make a portable lego kit. This one is adorable!
- Schedule time for stops along the way. If you’re on a road trip, visit a family-friendly restaurant. Make pit stops. Let the kids run around and get some fresh air.
- Consider driving through the night. This one is not something I recommend due to obvious safety reasons. But it can totally work if you a). Don’t want to deal with all of the above or b). Your kids are really small and aren’t easily occupied. Bring their favorite blankets/stuffed animals and pound the coffee & sunflower seeds. The drive provides lovely white-noise which can usually lull any kid (or adult!) to sleep.
If you want some plugged-in traveling tips I would recommend getting your kids an Amazon Fire tablet. These are relatively inexpensive (I got one for $30 via OfferUp) and you can download something interesting on there for the kids to watch. A comfortable set of headphones I would recommend are the nabi which are safe for little ears and can be adjusted for adults as well.
If you’re going the screen-route setting a time limit is a good idea. Talk to your kids about why this is important and don’t be glued to your own screen. Practice what you preach.
Last but not least…loosen up and have fun! Take pictures, stop at random coffee shops along the way…and enjoy your time together for these days too shall pass.