Typical Day in the Car

When planning for this trip the big unknown…well, one of them, was the car rides. How could we keep the kids from flipping out after being in the car for 8 -10 hours at a time? Well, it certainly has not been without incident..we had a shoe thrown up onto our dashboard yesterday…but for the most part it’s gone pretty well. 

It’s worth mentioning that for Gina and I we went from dreading these car rides to looking forward to them. This is the most time we’ve had to talk to each other without interruption in what feels like forever. We actually get to finish conversations again. It’s wonderful.

Once we have finished our conversations and planning we spend our time:

  • Working in the car (when we have service - and we don’t get too nauseous) 

  • Comparing gas prices

  • Looking for animals

  • Napping

This is what a typical day looks like in the car in general: 

  • Our schedule usually is to have breakfast, then get in the car and go. 

  • The car is packed to the gills with things at their feet and in the middle between their car seats. There is a food bag that is within reach for us from the front seat. 

  • The kids have blankets, pillows, and books within their reach. 

  • In the morning we try to go an hour or more talking, looking out the window, and listening to music before we put on a movie. 

  • After we’ve given in and shown them a morning movie we are usually ready for lunch. Depending on how much time we have for the drive that day this is either a stop or a picnic in the car. 

  • After lunch we try to get them to sleep. If that doesn’t work (which is more than half the time) then we start another movie. 

  • At the end of this, if they haven’t slept yet then they will. 

  • If they have slept then they are usually ready for a snack and a pit stop. So we do a potty break where we have them do some sprints to stretch their legs and get some energy out. 

  • At this point if we still have a chunk of driving to do then it’s dinner where we put on pj’s and then start winding things down to get them to fall asleep in the car.  They usually don’t stay awake too long after it gets dark. 

Lessons learned:

  • Go to the bathroom every time you stop. Ev.er.y.time. 

  • Even if you do this, there will still be side of the road emergencies. 

  • The kids will tell you when they need a break from being in the car. Usually a melt down can be remedied by a half hour outside the car. 

  • If we have to do two days of driving in a row, the second day has a shorter window before the children are done. 

  • Have lots of snacks in the car. 

  • Don’t be afraid of showing them movies. 

  • Have multiple movies available on multiple devices in case there are some technical difficulties. 

  • Pumping gas and washing the windows can be super exciting activities. Who knew?

May your car rides be even more smooth than ours. 

Us 5 ~ with love

Jonathan Gordon