Welcome to the 3rd installment of the Ultimate Family Road Trip Series. I’m putting it up a day early because I honestly do not think I will have time to put it up tomorrow. We have a team of 13 people visiting Athens right now, and our schedule is a bit packed. But it’s always good to see friends and meet new people! Now onto the topic at hand.
If you are planning to be in the car for a long period of time you need to mentally prepare yourself for the fact that being in the car with your kids for hours on end can be challenging. Over the next few weeks we are going to talk about the different things you can do in order to keep everyone as happy and comfortable as humanly possible. Next week my friend, experienced blogger, and mother of three, Sharon Markey, will be posting about refereeing your kids in the car. I can’t wait to see what she writes.
But for now you’re stuck with me, and today I wanted to talk about rest stops and potty breaks. You might be looking at me sideways asking, “Well aren’t those two the same thing?” My short answer is, “no.” But in case you are curious, here is my long answer:
Rest stops are for stopping and getting out of the car. This may include a potty break or eating, but make sure you stop every two to three hours and have everyone get out of the car. Go on a short walk, or plan somewhere to stop and see every few hours along the way. This is especially important if you have younger children (under 4) because they are not as easily entertained in the car no matter how many cool gadgets or music times you employ. It may take you longer to get wherever you are going, but is it really worth saving an hour or two of time to have everyone get to your destination in a bad mood?
Potty breaks are for going potty. You get the idea. Think ahead of time and always have your little one go to the restroom before you get in the car, and also anytime you stop to fill up for gas (petrol, benzine, pick whatever name you want). This is an efficient way to utilize your fuel fill ups because you are stopping anyway. Sometimes we may find ourselves in situations where there might be some significant distance between bathrooms. Make sure you think about that in advance because it can be really hard on little bladders to hold it for a long time. And on a final note about potty breaks, make sure you always tell them to, “try anyway, even if you feel like you don’t have to.” Sometimes they really don’t have to go, and sometimes they do.