Adventures with Four: How we survived an 8-Hour Roadtrip

We just survived an 8-Hour round-trip road trip with twin 9 month old babies, plus a 5 and almost 8 year old. 

Here’s my travel tips for a successful trip with that many kids in one vehicle:

  • Consider leaving at night or early in the morning so you can get as much of the drive done while all of the kids sleep. We left the house at 4 AM and that bought us a few hours of peaceful drive time. 
  • Dress everyone comfortably. The big kids slept in their athletic shorts and shirts so we didn’t have to worry in the morning. The babies were in their footie pjs for the first leg of the trip. 
  • Bring a blanket for each kid. Someone is bound to get cold. 
  • Be sure everyone has pottied before you leave anywhere. 
  • Try to arrange seating so that someone can sit between the babies so you can feed or play with them, as necessary. 
  • Bring a bag of toys that you can rotate out. 
  • Bring extra pacifiers and keep them handy. We tend to always be missing one. 
  • Have wipes within reach. You never know when you’re going to need to clean something up- whether big or small. 
  • We knew the girls were going to go through 3 bottles each on the trip, so we packed a bottle bag with that many bottles and three shakers, a gallon of water, plus the formula. Some people suggested packing the pre-measured formula but it seemed just as easy to pack the big tub of it when you’re making this many bottles at a time. Oh, and we don’t warm the bottles- they just drank them room temperature, which made it way easier. 
  • Build in plenty of time for stops. 
  • We changed diapers in the vehicle because it was easier and cleaner than many of the restrooms. 
  • Have a general idea of where you can stop and eat that is kid friendly. Our favorite road trip stop is Cracker Barrell. 
  • Pack plenty of things for the big kids to do. We let Will take his DS and Anna got to watch a movie in my iPad. I also stocked a bag of goodies from the Target dollar section including sticker books, coloring books, card games, etc.  
  • Bring some healthy snack choices. We brought grapes, crackers, squeezy fruit. It kept them from wanting the junk from the convenience stores. 
  • Have a change of clothes handy for the kids- big and little. You never know when you might need it and you don’t want to have to pull out suitcases to find something. 
  • Bring help, if possible. We were fortunate to have Garen’s mom and his 17-year-old cousin along. It made it much easier and more fun for everyone. 
  • Use a van, if possible. We are fortunate enough to have been loaned a 12-passenger Ford Transit to take. We would’ve had to take two cars otherwise. This gave us plenty of room for everyone AND our stuff. 

We not only survived, we had a great time. It was a fast and furious trip but we all had a blast in Branson with the family!

What road trip tips do you have for traveling with kids? I’d love to hear them!

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Road Tripping with a Real Map


We will soon be embarking on a road trip to Branson. Google maps tells us it will take 7 hours and 51 minutes. We will have a few stops with the kiddos, so we are estimating 10 hours. 

Ten hours in the car with a 7 and 5 year old, plus 9 month old twins. Sounds like we’re nuts. And, as nuts as it is, I’m actually really excited about it. 

As a child I remember many road trips with the whole family all loaded up in the family truckster (ours was a red suburban). One of the things I remember loving was looking at the road map and calculating how far we had come, how far it was to our next Dairy Queen, or how far it was to our final destination. As I thought about this, I realized that my kids probably haven’t even seen a real road map before. By real, I mean paper. Heck, I honestly can’t remember the last time I looked at a paper map. It has to have been during college, in the age of Google maps that you could print out (I realize you still can but I don’t). 

Amazing. I think using my iPhone’s navigation is wonderful. How great is it to know what traffic is going to be like and your ETA adjust accordingly?!? And no need for paper!

But…I also think there is some benefit to the kids learning to use a real map. Soooo, I’ll be getting a real paper roadmap for them to use on the trip for a fun learning opportunity. Maybe we will make a game out if it somehow…

Family road trip ideas welcome!