We did it! We managed to survive our trip from Tampa to Raleigh and had a blast too! Honestly, I was dreading the car ride with our 2 and 4 year old, but they did AMAZING! All thanks to a little planning and Pinterest searching we pulled off our very first successful summer family road trip! I recently shared some tips and tricks for traveling with kids and after putting them to the test can confirm they’re spot on.
We had planned to set out between 2-3 AM Saturday morning, but either I shut off my alarm in my sleep or it didn’t work (who knows) we got a little later start. We quickly packed up the last of our belongings, mostly the cooler items, and the kids still in their jammies and hit the road. Leaving early allowed us a little quiet time in the car since the kids fell back to sleep. Around 7-7:30 AM we stopped, longer than my husband wished, for breakfast and to let the kids work out some energy. After an hour, we hit the road again. Typically in the mornings my kids watch some cartoons before starting the day, so we set up a hotspot and handed them each an iPad with headphones. We don’t really allow much tablet time so I thought they would really get excited about it. Unfortunately it didn’t last very long before they were bored and ready for the next activity.
Two of the most important things to have on hand when traveling with kids is probably snacks and plenty of activities. Thanks to CleverMade for supplying us with the perfect organization baskets/coolers to assist in a successful trip. In our CleverCrate I packed all the items we would need during our ride; diapers, wipes, lap sized cookie sheets, blankets, iPads, and 2 gift bags (one for each child) full of age appropriate activities. Admittedly I am NOT a play-dough mom – AT ALL. It’s way too messy for me. However, my kids do love it and got a ton of play time with it in the car using their cookie sheets. (I grabbed a party favor pack from Target for $3.) What I loved the most about the CleverCrate was that we could store all their toys and activities in one crate that was easily able to transport into our final destination. Plus we had one collapsed crate stored in the back of the car to help minimize the amount of trips needed to unload the vehicle. My husband as already planned on taking one of the crates to use in the garage because of how sturdy they are. I actually used mine again for bringing all the groceries in at one time. All in all, I’d say its the best $15.99 you’ll ever spend.
The SnapBasket Cooler held all the drinks and snacks we needed for the long trip. I had never seen a cooler that collapsed for easy storage! I’m sure my husband loved this part the most versus me trying to store one more thing in our already packed garage. The cooler will be quite handy for our beach trips too. (Bonus – On the handle it has a bottle opener!)
So we survived the trip there YAY! One anxiety down…one more to go. (Hint: Sleeping arrangements) The kids were so excited to see their cousin and immediately got lost upstairs in her room playing with all her amazing toys. The rest of the trip was spent getting out of the house by 9 am with 3 kids (I typically can’t even do this with my own 2 kids.) before my sister started her work calls for the day. We lined up plenty of activities to do like Pullen Park, Marbles Kids Museum and lots of time spent at the neighborhood pool! Thankfully the kids were pretty exhausted by the end of the day and bedtime wasn’t too crazy. The three of them pulled out their Floor Bloom pillows for one show before heading off to bed. Isabella slept upstairs with her big cousin while Gabriel slept in his new Regalo toddler travel cot next to our bed. I was a little nervous about this because he’s still currently sleeping in a crib. I feared he would be up roaming around and trying to get in bed with us, but he did great! We threw on his favorite blanket and toddler sized pillow along with Mickey of course and right to sleep he went. Now since he is used to a crib the first night he fell off. Luckily the cot is super low to the ground so he didn’t notice a thing and continued sleeping LOL. So after that I placed some pillows around the cot and it worked like a charm. (Blue Travel Cot / Pink Travel Cot)
I think we spent a part of almost every day at the pool! The kids were like little fish! The pool had a great 6 inch section that was perfect for Gabriel although he had a blast hopping off the steps into the water too. The girls matching swimsuits were gifted from Rad Swim. The scallop detail is so stinkin cute!
If you’re heading to Raleigh be sure to check out our reviews (coming soon!) of Pullen Park and Marbles Kids Museum! I suggest planning a stop at Goodberry’s too 😉
Related: Beating those Post Vacation Blues
It’s Giveaway time! Head over to my Instagram page and enter to win 1 Cooler and a Set of CleverCrates!