7 Solo Road Trip Tips

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7 Solo Road Trip Tips

With family all over the Midwest, we tend to travel quite often. When my husband can’t join us, I take the two kids and hit the road solo. I think I would rather have a root canal than drive in the car for five hours with screaming children but sometimes you have to do it. Here are 7 solo road trip tips I have learned along the way.

Get your car checked

For obvious reasons, this is the first and most important thing to do. If you have automotive knowledge, check it out yourself, ask your significant other, or family member, or bring it to a shop to be evaluated. This will give you peace of mind.  

Plan stops ahead of time

Plan your stops before you hit the road. I use Google Maps to save a few places under “favorites”. I always like to find a coffee shop or cafe along the route to treat myself to something. There are some cute towns out there, take some time to check them out.  Our favorite on our way to Illinois is Dodge Street Coffeehouse. Stopping every 1.5-2 hours helps break up the drive into more manageable parts. (Unless children are sleeping, then do not stop!) 

Dress comfortably 

I am always uncomfortably hot in the car especially in the summer so I opt for a tank top and workout shorts. Dress your kids in similar loose clothing so that they are comfortable too.

Pack a lunchbox for each child

You won’t be able to hand your kids anything as you are driving so make sure you pack them each a lunchbox with little snacks that they can easily open themselves. Don’t forget one for yourself too!

Pack a few activities (and a tablet/iPad!)

Bring a few activities that are new or haven’t been played with in a while. Check out the Dollar Tree or Target’s Dollar Spot for other little activities. On our road trips, there are no screen limits, so although I encourage my 3.5-year-old to play with some of the activities first, I don’t feel guilty for letting him watch PAW Patrol too.

Find podcasts for yourself

Podcasts can make time go much faster. If your kids aren’t listening to it, then I suggest Park Predators or Something Was Wrong. But if you need something more “family-friendly” then check out Coffee + Crumbs or 99% Invisible.

Repack the car

At each stop, I do a quick once over of the car to clean up any garbage or toys. Then once you arrive at your destination, take ten minutes to clean out and reorganize the car for your return trip home.

BONUS: Breathe and remember you will get to your destination soon!

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Jackie Fioritto

Jackie Fioritto

Hi, I’m Jackie. I am a teacher who recently became a stay-at-home mother of two. My husband and I moved to Des Moines from Green Bay, Wisconsin a few years ago. Originally, I am from Chicago, Illinois. My family has loved exploring Des Moines and all that it has to offer!

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