We’ve been itching to go to the mountains for a trip so we asked some friends to join us and we booked a weekend cabin in Big Bear, California. It was our first road trip with both girls and so we made sure to pack everything we would need to keep them happy, fed and entertained. I think we over packed a little but it’s because it was our first trip and we weren’t sure how it would go. Better safe than sorry! We definitely learned from that weekend what we needed and what we ended up not needing as much. I thought it would be helpful to write some tips on how to prepare a road trip with kids!
Tip #1: Drive while it is nap time for the kids.
Casey cries easily in the car lately, so we scheduled our departure around the time she takes her morning nap. It helped that she slept most of the way there. Later on Joey got so excited when she saw the mountain view outside her window and accidentally woke Casey up but luckily we had only about 15 minutes left before we reached our cabin.
Tip #2: Bring lots of snacks. I mean LOTS.
For this road trip, we brought with us all of Joey’s favorite snacks and some candy that we planned to bust out for emergency situations. Her favorites are apple sauce, fruit crisps, fruit bars, blueberries and cookies. Basically anything fruit-related haha. If your kid is like Joey, he or she will ask for something to eat every 30 minutes. We have a mesh basket that goes between the driver and passenger seat in the front and we place her top 3 choices of snacks and drinks in it so that she can see what’s available and can tell us what she wants to eat or drink.
Tip #3: Take breaks to refuel—yourself and your car.
If it’s a long road trip, you’ll need to fill up the tank, and not just the gas tank. Getting out of the car and stretching helps keep the kids (and the driver) happy. And when it’s time to get gas, we like using Esurance’s gas pricing prediction tool, Fuelcaster because it tells us when and where to find the best price on gas. Sometimes gas prices are more expensive at resorts, especially in the mountains where it’s far from the city so be sure to check out Fuelcaster.com to get predictions on when gas prices will rise or fall and to get a list of gas stations that have the best prices in the area you are in.
Tip #4: Prepare road trip activities for the car and for your destination stay.
We made sure to prepare a playlist of Joey’s favorite songs to play in the car. Spotify has great playlists for kids including hit Disney songs. We also brought books that are more interactive like the kinds you have to look for an item in a photo. Reusable sticker pads are always something we bring with us on road trips, by car or by airplane. Melissa & Doug makes some toys that we like to get. As much as I don’t want to have Joey use the iPad for a long, it’s a GREAT thing to have especially on long trips. We downloaded educational apps for her like Endless Alphabet on the Apple App Store. Man, technology rocks!
So many of you asked about where we stayed in Big Bear, CA. We stayed here at this cabin. We loved it came with two refrigerators, a baby playpen and also baby jumper that Casey thoroughly enjoyed jumping in during the entire weekend. We were so blessed to have friends who came with us and also helped watched the girls. I’m sure if it was just the four of us, it would be a lot harder to relax during our trip so I guess another bonus tip would be: bring friends! We had the best time with our dear friends who with us, took turns cooking and cleaning. One of our friends is an expert coffee pour-over expert so he brought his kit to give us the best coffee the whole weekend. So amazing. I think we all gained a little weight from happy eating and relaxing from the weekend. Next week I’ll be going to Austin, Texas with Casey and we’re going to take another small road trip to Waco. I’ll be sure to post about some more tips on road tripping with an infant!
This post was sponsored by Esurance but all thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.