10 Tips For Surviving Disney With Kids

Last month we got to go on a trip to Disney with our kids. It was one of the best family vacations we’ve ever had. It also took 6 months to plan and caused me alot of anxiety! Check out Disney Bound for more about my experience planning our trip.

I was lucky enough to have some friends who gave me lots of good advice. I also joined a Facebook group where I learned about the best restaurants and which rides we had to go on.

So I wanted to share some of those tips with you in case you’re trying to plan a trip to Disney with kids.


pinterest pin 10 tips for surviving Disney with kids

1. Lower your expectations, and then lower them again.

You’ve probably heard people say that Disney is the most magical place on earth. Don’t get me wrong, it is pretty magical and my kids will tell you that this is true. But if you go to Disney with kids thinking everything is going to be unicorns and rainbows, you will be disappointed. If you go to Disney in July it will not feel magical the whole time. It will be hot and it will be crowded.

Expect long wait times and don’t expect every Disney employee to be willing to bend over backwards to make your trip the most magical vacation you’ve ever had. I’m not sure where that came from, but our experience at The Beach Club was far from it. The resort was beautiful and the pool was amazing. We enjoyed our stay, but all of the cast members working there didn’t seem to love their jobs like we expected them to.

2. Bring water and snacks.

Most moms know not to leave home without a bag full of snacks, but I didn’t realize how important this would be at Disney World. Having a snack on hand when waiting in line with bored and hungry kids can be a lifesaver! Or maybe my kids are the only ones that get hungry when they’re bored.

I also wish we would have brought our own breakfast. We ended up ordering breakfast from the store in our hotel every morning. Not only was it expensive, but it took time that we could have been spending in the parks.

Another thing I wish we had brought was water. Again, I almost always bring water with me when we go anywhere, but for some reason we didn’t bring any with us.

One night we stayed at the pool until closing, and by the time we got back to our room the hotel store was closed. My husband searched the whole resort for at least 30 minutes trying to find bottled water. He never found any. We could have easily brought our own, and I actually saw several people bringing it in by the case at check in.

As far as bringing water to the parks, you can bring 1 or 2 bottles and then fill them up at the restaurants for free.

3. Choose your bag carefully.

I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to bring a bag with me to the parks. I didn’t want to have to find a locker to put it in while we went on the rides. But of course, like usual, I ended up carrying everyone’s water bottles, ponchos, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats. Also there was a space to put your bag on every ride so finding a locker wasn’t necessary.

I brought a medium size Kavu sling bag, but there were times I wish I had a larger bag.

Of course, the bigger the bag you bring, the more you’ll end up carrying and the heavier it will be. So I would keep that in mind when deciding which size bag to bring.

4. Make dinner reservations ahead of time.

This was something knew to me as a Disney rookie, but I’m glad that someone told me ahead of time. Right now, you can book your Disney dining reservations 60 days in advance if you’re staying in one of the Disney resorts.

I recommend setting a reminder in your phone once you know when you’re going that way you won’t forget. You can book the reservations for all of the meals during your stay 60 days in advance from the first day of your stay.

We had some really good meals on our trip, and I’m so glad that we had reservations for them. We were lucky enough to get dinner reservations at Be Our Guest, and I think this was our favorite meal.

Not only was the food really good, but the service was amazing and it was really cool when the beast made his guest appearance. I thought maybe my 9-year-old was too old to appreciate it, but the next day he asked if we could go to more restaurants with characters.

Other restaurants that we enjoyed were:

5. Use the Disney app.

We loved having the DisneyGo app. You can not only use it as a map, but you can also see wait times for the rides. We decided what to ride next based on the wait times and could avoid walking all the way across the park for a ride that had a really long wait.

The app is also helpful for ordering quick service food and finding last minute dinner reservations.

6. Build in some down time.

This was one thing that we failed to do this trip. We learned our lesson the hard way, but now we know. Next time we go to Disney, we will make sure to plan an extra day where we don’t go to any parks. If you’re staying at one of the Disney properties you can lounge at the resort pool or you can spend a whole day shopping at Disney Springs.

7. Wear comfortable shoes.

We walked over 5 miles every day that we were in the parks, so having comfortable shoes is essential. I recommend wearing tennis shoes and if you can bring an extra pair. There’s nothing worse than having to wear wet shoes and you’re bound to get caught in the rain at least once on your trip. Since we didn’t bring extra shoes we were able to dry off our shoes a little bit using the hotel hair dryer.

8. Pack sunscreen.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan said “Going to Disney in July is like walking on the surface of the sun.” Even if you don’t go in July like we did, it’s always sunny in Florida. And no one wants to be miserable after getting sunburn the first day you are there.

9. Expect it to rain.

It rains almost every day in Florida. Usually the rain showers are short and sweet, but it still stinks to walk around Disney with wet clothes.

So come prepared for the rain and bring ponchos! If you forget, most of the gift shops carry them, but you can get them much cheaper at Target or on Amazon ahead of time.

10. Don’t forget to have fun!

It’s easy to get caught up in trying to ride as many rides and see as many shows as possible. But unless you’re willing to wake up at the crack of dawn and drag your kids through the parks until closing for at least a week, there is no way you can physically do it all.

My husband and I decided before we even left that the most important thing about our trip was for our kids to have fun. We knew that it was going to be hot and if everyone was miserable we could go back to the pool at our resort.

So on the 2nd day when our boys wanted to do just that, my husband had to remind me that we were there for them. Who cares if you don’t get to close the park down? Maybe you miss the fireworks show, but if your kids are happy that’s what should be most important.

What tips would you add for surviving Disney with kids? Tell us in the comments and be sure to share this post with your friends!

Disney Bound

When you plan a trip for six months, the pressure to get it right can feel overwhelming.

Add in a trip with kids where you’re spending thousands of dollars to what’s supposed to be the happiest place on earth and the fact that you tend to over think everything. And it can start to feel like you’re planning your wedding all over again.

A friend asked me if I felt like my families’ happiness was on my shoulders and it was like she was reading my thoughts. Except she isn’t a fortune teller. She’s just a mom who has planned a Disney trip or two.

I spent the week or two prior to our trip feeling almost frozen. All of the pressure had gotten to me.

The pressure that I had put on myself. My kids have only been to Disney once and they were only four and one. So really they had nothing to compare this trip to. They didn’t know how many or what kind of rides to expect.

The Spiral

Even still I had overwhelming anxiety about our trip. I started having anxiety about my anxiety. This wasn’t really something new to me, but this time it felt like it was never going to pass.

My anxiety had me fooled into thinking that I’d be too anxious to enjoy Disney World.

What has the world come to that moms are spending their time worrying about whether or not their family will have fun on vacation? It’s not that I didn’t have anything else to do. I just couldn’t get these bad thoughts out of my mind.

Thankfully once we set out to drive to Florida, all of that did fade away. It was like Disney was somehow already working it’s magic on me.

Am I the only one who has experienced this roller coaster of emotions? Please tell me I’m not alone.

Stay tuned next week for tips on surviving Disney World with kids.

10 Kid Friendly Hiking Trails in North Georgia

The weather is perfect for hiking in North Georgia this time of year and there are so many trails that are within driving distance of where we live in Atlanta. As an outdoor lover, I have taken my family to a lot of them over the past year. Hiking is really therapeutic to me. It was also one of the few things that we could do safely when we were on lockdown last year. We discovered some beautiful trails that you may not know are within driving distance if you live in the Atlanta area. In my opinion, these are ten of the best kid friendly hiking trails in North Georgia.

pinterest 10 kid friendly hiking trails in north Georgia

1. Vickery Creek

If you live in the Atlanta area, the Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill is right in your backyard. It’s not only a great place to catch the sunset, but you can also see this amazing waterfall from multiple viewing spots.

Vickery Creek Falls

Did you know that the reason waterfalls are so relaxing is that the splashing of the water creates negative ions that balance out all of the toxins we take in? Once the negative ions we inhale at waterfalls reach our bloodstream, they release serotonin- the feel good chemical that reduces stress and depression.

There are a few different places to start this hike, but the one I prefer is behind the Old Roswell Mill near the Roswell Square. If you park at this location you can walk to the old historic mill and learn about it’s role in Southern history. You can also catch a bite to eat after your hike at one of the nearby restaurants such as Souper Jenny or Moxie Burger.

The total distance of this trail system is 5 miles, but it’s easily broken down into shorter hikes depending on how much time you have.

Mom Tip:

This trail doesn’t go all the way around like it looks on the map. So make sure to factor in your walk back to wherever you started when you’re planning your hike.

2. Sawnee Mountain Indian Seats Trail

At the rock formation on top of the Indian Seats trail

We hiked Indian Seats right after a thunderstorm had knocked down trees blocking the road to get to the shorter trail. I was pleasantly surprised that my six and nine year old both made it the whole four miles without much complaining. There’s a beautiful view at the top of the natural rock formation that makes it worth the steep hike.

The entire Sawnee Mountain Park is 821 acres with 11 miles of trails. There are many different routes you can take and the park rangers at the visitor center are super helpful with tips about which one will be best for your family.

Mom Tip:

The shorter hike which starts at the parking lot on Bettis Tribble Gap Road is ideal for families with younger children. You can even see a treehouse and fairy houses on this trail.

If you do the longer trail that starts on Spot Road, there are picnic tables about halfway up where you can stop for a snack or water break.

3. Amicalola Falls

Amicalola Falls is part of the Georgia State park system. It’s located between Ellijay and Dahlonega. There are several cabins, campsites, and even a lodge if you want to stay over night.

This is one of the prettiest waterfalls I’ve seen! It’s 729 feet high and the hike is 604 steps up to the top. So if you have really small children, you may want to drive up to the top where you can still get a great view of the falls without the strenuous hike. My boys are 6 and 9 and they hiked it without any problem.

Mom Tips:

I recommend parking at the bottom and walking up the stairs, stopping for a snack at the top, and then walking down the Westridge Falls Trail and Spring Trail. This way you can see something different from when you hiked up and it’s less scary to me than walking straight down all the stairs.

Amicalola Falls

4. Eagles Rest

Eagle’s Rest is a little known secret on the top of Mt Oglethorpe just outside of Jasper, Georgia. It has some really breathtaking views, an observation deck, and a carved wooden eagle statue that took me by surprise.

scenic view at Eagle's Rest hiking trail in Jasper, Georgia
Scenic view from Eagle’s Rest

Mom Tip:

The Eagle’s Rest Trail is a short .5 mile hike where you might even see some fairy houses if you look hard enough.

5. Falls Branch Falls

Falls Branch Falls is another hidden gem just outside Blue Ridge, Georgia. This is a short hike to a waterfall and it’s perfect if you have younger kids who can’t walk too far.

Falls Branch Falls

If you’re looking for something else to do after your hike, there’s plenty to do in the area. Blue Ridge has tons of other hiking trails including the Toccoa River Bridge. After our hike, we went gem mining at Lilly Pad Village which also has fishing, mini-golf, and hot cocoa in the winter.

6. Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center

I recently found this trail that runs along the Chattahoochee River and it’s right down the street from my house. If you’re looking for a good kid friendly hike in North Fulton County, I highly recommend checking this one out.

There are several different routes you can take to make this hike as short or as long as you want. You can also make it more difficult by choosing one of the steeper sections. And if you want your kids to have space to run around freely, there are several clearings where they can do just that!

view of Chatahoochee River from kid friendly hike at Chatahoochee Environmental Education Center

Mom Tip:

If you park at the Environmental Education Center, there is no restroom so make sure to go before you leave the house. But if you hike a few miles in there is another parking lot with a public restroom. You could park here if needed, but this section is often more crowded. Also there is a $3 parking fee to park in the lot with a bathroom, which you can pay using your phone.

7. Autrey Mill

We spent many summer days here last summer during the pandemic. It’s a great place to meet up with friends and hike a short walk down to the river. Then you can let your kids play in the water and cool off while you relax.

Autrey Mill also has a small indoor exhibit with a few animals including Pebbles the African Spurred Tortoise, fish, snakes, and frogs. And there are rabbits, goats, ducks, and chicken that you can feed outside.

Mom Tip:

Make sure to check out the teepee and the monkey statues that are on the Forest Trail.

8. Brasstown Bald

family photo at observation deck on top of Brasstown Bald hiking trail in North Georgia
Family photo at top of observation deck on Brasstown Bald.

Brasstown Bald is about 2 hours North of Atlanta just outside Blairsville, Georgia. Let me warn you now, the road is mostly curvy. If you get car sick easily, this may not be the best hike for you. But if you can stick it out, the view at the top of this short but steep trail is well worth the drive! There are several longer trails surrounding the .6 mile paved foot trail to the observation deck, but so far we haven’t tried them.

There is a really neat museum at the top with more friendly park rangers who can tell you all about the surrounding trails and waterfalls nearby. One told us that if you can make this hike in October, you can even see the skyline of Atlanta from the top.

Mom Tips:

There’s a shuttle service that will take you to the top if you and your little ones choose not to walk up the steep trail. It only runs 10-4:30 with a break from 12:30-1:10. Also, the park is closed seasonally during the winter months. You can still hike the trails and pay with cash using the honor system, but the bathrooms and trail are not maintained during that time.

9. Stone Mountain

If you live in Georgia, you’re probably aware of Stone Mountain. It’s kind of hard to miss actually if you live anywhere east of 285. But for those who have never made the trek to this giant quartz monzonite landmark, I highly recommend checking it out. There is enough to do at the park to make it a full day trip, including restaurants and a laser show at night. Certain times of year there are super fun family friendly festivals such as The Yellow Daisy Festival.

Fun Facts: Stone Mountain is 1,683 feet tall with a base circumference of 3.8 miles. It was created by a pocket of magma trapped underground 300 million years ago and came to the surface15 million years ago through uplift and erosion. In the1800s, it was excavated for granite used in cities across the country.

Mom Tips:

There is 5 mile trail around the mountain that you can run, walk, bike, or drive. The hike up the mountain is only 1 mile long, but some parts are very steep. There’s also a cable car that will take you to the top if you’d rather skip the hike.

10. Arabia Mountain

Arabia Mountain is in Lithonia, Georgia just east of Atlanta. There are over 30 miles of trails here, but I recommend parking at the Atlanta Wildlife Animal Rescue Effort (AWARE) at 4158 Klondike Road. The trail from this spot will take you to a short hike over a monadnock rock formation formed by erosion with giant flower filled craters. It kind of has an illusion of walking on the moon.

diamorpha in solution pit on Arabia Mountain hiking trail
Beautiful diamorpha in solution pit on Arabia Mountain.

We hiked this trail with some friends and brought a picnic lunch. The kids had a blast making wooden forts and running around together. We even saw some tadpoles in a pool of water.

child sitting on tree limb on Arabia Mountain hiking trail
Using wood to build a fort on Arabia Mountain.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of ten of the best kid friendly hiking trails in North Georgia. Do you have any more to add to the list?

10 Tips For Surviving Road Trips With Kids

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This Is Why My Family Is Sitting This One Out

Yesterday, while I was trying to write a blog about how to talk to your kids about coronavirus my kids kept begging me to come outside and jump on the trampoline with them. I finally gave in.

We were playing a game where they each had 20 lives and every time I made them fall down they lost a life. Then my 5 year-old-fell right on his wrist and immediately started screaming. When he didn’t stop screaming, I realized I had to take him to get it checked out.

After the x-ray technician came into our room telling me that we’d probably have to go to the ER for surgery, I called my husband sobbing.

I was crying because I felt like it was my fault, but also because now we’d have to go to the ER. I was upset because it would be the third surgery for my son at only 5. Then there was the fact that the ER was the last place we wanted to be in the midst of the current coronavirus outbreak.

The doctor reassured us that we would be ok. She said kids aren’t who are getting Covid-19. She said if we just kept at least 6 feet of distance between anyone we came into contact with, we would be ok. We could even wear a mask if we wanted to be extra careful.

She looked at my mom and said, “You shouldn’t go to the hospital though.”

The doctor then began to explain her frustrations about how our community is responding to social distancing. She said, “People aren’t listening and it’s making me angry!” She said that she wished our government could arrest people for not listening.

Someone Has To Take Care Of Us

I can only imagine how it must feel to work in healthcare right now. I’m so grateful for those brave souls that are on the front lines, exposing themselves to a disease we don’t really know everything about.

The threat is imminent that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. We know that based on what happened in China and what’s happening now in Italy.

Hands holding a world globe with a mask with the coronavirus written on it

The thing is, just a few weeks ago Italy was in our shoes. My mom was getting ready to go on a trip there with her 77-year-old sister.

They had to make a decision about whether or not the trip they’d been planning for months was worth getting quarantined in another country. One day my mom said Italy had 60 something cases of coronavirus, and two days later it was up to 600.

A Last-Minute Decision

Luckily, the night before they were supposed to leave, the risk level was increased to a 3. So they canceled their trip, just hours before their flight was supposed to leave. The agent with Delta laughed a little when my mom called to cancel her flight. She said, “But it’s beautiful here in Florence right now.”

Now, the entire country of Italy is quarantined and the death rate is over 1200. As devastated as they were, now my mom and aunt are so glad they didn’t go.

Spring Break is in a few weeks for us. We were so excited to take our boys to Jamaica to an all-inclusive resort. So now we’re in the same bind. Do we risk getting stuck in a country without adequate healthcare when this virus spreads?

I’m sure many of you have plans to go on trips and are thinking you can escape the boredom by just going anyway. But we have to reconsider.

We’re all in a situation we’ve never been in before. This is new to everyone, even all of our countries’ leaders. We have to give them a little grace when they are hesitant to react. And when they do tell us to stay home unless we have to go out, we need to listen.

The whole point of schools closing is to slow the spread. If we all just ignore the recommendation to social distance and keep having playdates we’re not going to be doing anything to help.

What We Can Do

We’re going to be like Italy in a few weeks if we don’t do something. Right now, doctors in Western Europe are having to decide between intubating a 40-year-old with kids and a 60-year-old with high blood pressure because hospitals don’t have enough beds.

I get it that people still want to support their local businesses. You can order Uber Eats or order take out. Purchase a gift card that you can use later on when all of this blows over. Or better yet, help out someone in need who can’t afford to eat out because their kids are out of school and they can’t work.

I know many of you who read this will still think that I’m overreacting and you’ll do what you want. That’s ok. I actually for once do hope that I’m wrong. The best thing that could happen is we all look back on this in a few months and laugh at how ridiculously we reacted.

But please just consider the possibility that this may not be an overreaction. Look at the facts of how fast this is spreading.

Do what you can to help slow it. Stay home. Do it for the elderly who are already sick, your parents, my kids’ grandparents, and all those who are immunocompromised.

If you agree, please help me spread the word and share this with your friends.

This Is Why My Family Is Sitting This One Out


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10 Tips for Surviving Road Trips With Kids

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Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about taking road trips with kids. I’ll never forget the first time we took my now 9-year-old to Chattanooga for the night.

He was probably 6-months-old at the time, or whatever age it is you start teething. My husband and I wanted to get away for the weekend and Chattanooga is only a few hours from where we live.

So we found a reasonable rate for a hotel, not far from all of the restaurants and shops in the downtown area. We packed all the supplies we thought we’d need- formula, extra outfits, diapers, even extra crib sheets. We thought we had everything. So we set out for Tennessee, full of hope and a sense of adventure.

Things Don’t Always Go As Planned

An hour and a half in and we were ready to turn around and go back home. The baby cried most of the way there! We somehow came to the conclusion that he must be teething. So we found an exit with a baby store where we thought we could find something that might help.

It just so happened that there were restaurants right next to the store. We decided a little snack and maybe an adult beverage would help our moods, and it did. I don’t remember much else about that trip except that we got some sort of natural remedy for teething, some baby toys and teethers, and a sleep sack because we realized we forgot to pack one.

Since our family loves to travel, there have been many more trips and forgotten baby supplies along the way.

I’d like to think that we’ve become better packers, but in reality I think I’ve just gotten better at planning. I’ve also lowered my standards for the perfect vacation. More importantly, I know now that most everywhere we go will have a Target or Walmart nearby.

I’m going to share with you my tips for surviving road trips with kids so that you don’t make the same mistakes that I have!


1. Start Planning Early:

I am a planner by nature, so my mind is at ease when I know where we’re going at least a few months in advance.  I also always like to make packing lists for what we’ll need to bring. When we go on road trips, we usually find a house to rent on VRBO. Most of them list any baby or kid items they already have in the house. Then I can try to borrow or buy what we might need that they don’t have.

If you’re renting a house, make sure to find out what appliances they have ahead of time. Then you can bring your own coffee if they have a coffee maker. If they have a washing machine, you can make sure to bring laundry detergent.

Toy Car on Road Trip With Kids going across a globe

2. Plan Stops Along The Way:

We usually go to the beach in Florida every summer, and it’s about an 8 hour drive (without kids). The past few times, we have stopped about an hour away from our destination at a grocery store to stock up on what we’ll need for the week. Not only does this break up the driving a little, but we can usually save a little money this way. The grocery stores near the beach usually jack their prices up. Plus, the stores at the beach are always so crowded you can barely walk, especially when it’s Spring Break or the middle of Summer.

This is where planning comes in handy and I have my trusty list of the essentials for a week of vacation with kids. We always bring a big cooler so we can buy the cold items we need. Since most places we stay at the beach have full kitchens, we tend to try to plan at least a few meals to cook there so we don’t have to fight the crowds at the restaurants every night. Eating in a few nights is another way we save a little money too.

3. Talk To Your Friends:

The beauty of technology is that you have instant access to your friends who live all over the world. More than likely, someone you know has taken their kids where you’re going before. We always like to be adventurous when we travel and try new places that we stumble upon, but it definitely helps to have a few ideas tucked away just in case you get stuck. Plus there are some restaurants or attractions you might really want to go to that might require a reservation ahead of time.

You never know, if it’s Spring Break, some of your friends might be traveling to the same area and you can plan to meet up. It can be great to meet up with other friends with kids when you’re in a different place and get a little taste of home. Plus, if your kids are like mine, they love having other kids to play with, so its instant entertainment for them.

4. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks: 

You can never have too many snacks. When my kids were babies, we had these Munchkin 2 Piece Snack Catchers. They are great because they have two handles that are easy for little hands to hold while they’re learning gross motor skills. They also have soft flexible flaps that keep snacks from dumping out, while still giving them access to get their snack without any help! They’re perfect for dry snacks like cereal or these Happy Baby Organic puffs or yogurt melts.  

Now that my boys are older, they can use a ziplock bag or these zipper reusable bags from Growing Up Green that are even better for the environment! 

I always try to pack at least a few healthy snacks since I know that it’s inevitable that we’ll give in to the plea for candy at one of our many pit stops. It makes me feel better to know that I’m at least trying to encourage some non-sugary foods. I usually let my kids help pick out some snacks to pack so that they can’t complain about their options. Although, I’ll admit this doesn’t guarantee a whine free trip.


  • Granola bars
  • Homemade trail mix- We like to do raisins, Cheerios, and M & Ms.
  • Applesauce pouches
  • Fruit- Apples and bananas are easy for traveling.
  • Lollipops- What kid doesn’t love candy? Lollipops tend to keep them quiet a little longer! If you want something a little healthier these Yum Earth sugar free lollipops are pretty good. My kids approve of them and they don’t even realize that they’re sugar free!
  • Try to stick with dry non sticky snacks to avoid more mess than necessary.

5. Check The Weather

Obviously the weather man isn’t always right, but it helps to know ahead of time whether or not you need to pack long sleeves and pants or shorts. Especially since kids grow so fast and you may need to get a few things ahead of the season if it will be warmer or colder where you’re going.

I always try to pack at least one jacket or pair of shorts for each person just in case there is unseasonable weather that wasn’t predicted when we get there. Again, most towns have a Walmart or Target if you get desperate. Heck you can even order Amazon and have it delivered to you at your destination!

I also recommend packing a small bag with a change of clothes and making sure it’s not buried at the bottom of your car in case of emergencies while you’re on the road. Nothing is worse than having to dig through suitcases at the rest stop when someone has a potty accident. If you’re anything like us, we pack our car to the brim. Sometimes moving one suitcase can cause everything to tumble out like dominos all over the parking lot!

6. Take A Field Trip To The Library:

I’m so blessed to have two kids who love to read and nothing is better on a long car ride than a new book. Our library allows us to check out an insane amount of books at once, which comes in handy now that my oldest is flying through chapter books.

Just make sure you keep up with them so you don’t end up having to pay the library for lost books! I also like to remind my kids that library books are only borrowed and we have to take good care of them, so that they’ll let us keep checking out more. This helps them learn how to treat books so that they last longer and teaches them responsibility.

two boys on a road trip playing with toys

7. Bring Travel Games and Accessories:

The possibilities are endless on this one. Melissa and Doug has some great books with activities for the car like Water Wow and Color Blast. My 6-year-old also loves to play with Wikki Sticks. They’re a little wax stick that your child can mold into whatever shape they want and they leave no mess. Plus they’re reusable and you can even get a book that your child can stick them to and practice their shapes, letters, or numbers. They’re great for motor skill development too!

My kids also love sticker books, coloring books, mazes, and word searches.

You can even get a little lap tray like this one that has a compartment for storing small toys like little cars or legos. Some have a pillow on the other side that makes them comfier to hold.

8. Pack A Travel Potty:

Even if your kids are past the stage of potty training, a travel potty can come in handy for those long stretches of road trips with kids where the exits are few and far between. Don’t forget to pack lots of wipes, napkins, and some sort of disposable bag to store your trash for those unavoidable messes along the way.

9. Download Movies:

Let’s face it, there are times when you’ll be desperate and you’ll have to turn on a movie for your kids. If you’re going on a long trip a 2 hour movie can go a long way. Netflix allows you to download movies to your device ahead of time so that you can just press play when you’re ready to watch.

If you have a built-in tv in your car, even better. Most libraries have DVDs that you can check out, but just pay attention to the due date. Ours only gives us a week for DVDs, but I can renew them online for another week if we’ll be gone longer than a week.

My kids usually get tired of movies after a while, so definitely don’t rely on this alone to entertain your kids.

10. Lower Your Expectations:

I know I mentioned this already, but you can’t expect road trips with kids to go as planned and for everything to be perfect. I’m not saying you can’t still have a good time, but don’t expect to come home feeling like you’ve been to the spa for a weekend.

Once I finally realized this, I was able to enjoy our vacations more- though most of the time I feel like I need a vacation after a vacation with my family. If you can, build in a little time to recharge the day after you get back from your trip before you have to go back to work. Even if it’s just a few hours to get caught up on laundry and listen to music on your headphones while you do it.

Let us know in the comments what you’ve learned from traveling with kids that you wish someone had shared with you. Happy Trails to you!

Our Favorite Things To Pack On Road Trips With Kids

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10 tips for surviving road trips with kids