travel tips with kids

Q&A: Your best family road trip survival tips

In a little over two weeks we will be packing everything from baby blankets to windbreakers, handing the keys to the house-sitter, and heading to the airport to fly East.

There we have a minivan reserved for our ultimate family Maritime road trip around Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, including the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island.

This is basically half of my entire lifelong bucket list getting packed into one trip. I can’t believe I’ve never been east of Montreal, but have always longed to visit the lighthouses, sandy shores and rolling hills of Canada’s Eastern seaboard.

I am fully prepared to taste all the lobster, scallops, oysters (from Tatamagouche itself) and clam chowder. Did you know there is an official chowder trail? I know. Talk about my kind of road trip.

food truck

We’re incredibly excited. I’m impossibly unprepared. I’m hoping you can help.

I’m so busy with what I need to do before we leave, that I haven’t hardy thought about the actual trip. I know things will work out – that’s what GPS and Urban Spoon are for – but is there an app for backseat squabbling? What about calming an overtired baby in a seafood restaurant? Sand in the minivan?

Today I’m asking you: What are your best family road trip survival tips? Lay them on me! If you’ve written about this subject? Please leave a link. Do you have a favorite car game to keep the kids smiling? Maybe you’ve developed the perfect car snacks for toddlers? Please share.

I’ve made a big batch of our favorite chocolate cereal bars, as homemade snacks are a must. They should, however, be suitable for little hands, easy to eat, not messy, smelly, crumbly, or sticky. Road-trip foods should not require utensils, cutting, assembling or much preparation.

We’re traveling with small children, let’s keep it simple. Trail mix, raw vegetables, muffins, firm fruit, and wraps with chicken and cheese are all good options for us. If you have any more ideas, leave a comment!

cereal bars

And then there is the coffee dilemma.  I can handle sketchy bathrooms, getting lost, and questionable diners, but what really makes me nervous about a 2-week road trip? Sourcing really great coffee. It’s essential for kicking this mama into gear, and this mama is what gets the family up and on the road.

Amber recommends a Keurig Mini Plus Coffee Maker that is entirely portable. A follower on Twitter suggested an AeroPress Coffee Maker, which we actually have and love. But I am thinking that a small cooler of cold-brewed coffee may be my best option for staying caffeinated while road-tripping through the Maritimes backcountry. What would you do? I won’t resort to gas station coffee or fast food brew.

Clara's tent

I picked up this handy little pop-up tent for Clara’s naps while we are away. The idea is that she can have her own little shaded, bug free space for resting when we are on the beach or picnicking at a lookout. It was a great deal at a garage sale, but the original version can be found on Amazon. It folds down quite small and comes with a carry case.

A few snacks, a coffee plan, and a portable sleeping area for Clara. That’s about all I’ve got planned to help us make this the best road trip ever. Now let’s hear your ideas.

What are your best family road trip survival tips?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. The coffee question is awesome! Whenever we went on trips growing up, my mom ALWAYS brought her coffee pot with her. Somehow she would find a place to plug it in and make it work, she needed her coffee. I would say bring a french press though. Great coffee, and portable.
    Heather’s last post: what i am eating

    • I do love my french press…but it feels like too much clean up. And where would I boil water? Not sure…but good back-up plan!

      • Lots of gas stations down here have a hot water dispenser. Maybe yours do too? I think it’s for people making cappucino/hot chocolate mix or hot tea. Anyway, it doesn’t help with camping situations, but it could work for your French press while you’re on the road. Or maybe an electric kettle to boil the water?

        Also, Jessica at Life as Mom just posted a great article about getting sand off feet after impromptu beach trips. (Just go to lifeasmom.com and it’s one of the more recent articles.) She recommends baby powder, and some commenters said cornstarch works too. Hope that helps, and it sounds like an incredible trip coming up! :)
        Diana’s last post: Bush Bean Comparison: Blue Lake 47 vs Blue Lake 274

    • I have gone caffeine free two weeks ahead of our trip in anticipation of this issue. I just decided to kick the habit. No, i’m not happy about it but it will be the easiest solution.

  2. We did a very similar trip last year, minus the flights. We drove from SW Ontario to PEI and other beautiful stops in the Maritimes. Our trip went so very well!

    After that trip we wrote a Family Road Trip Survival Guide – mostly tips re activities for the kiddos. Here’s the link:
    http://www.frugalfamilytimes.com/2012/08/family-road-trip-survival-guide.html

    Have a great trip, Aimee!
    Robin from Frugal Family Times’s last post: Host a Complete Backyard BBQ for under $60

  3. I just got one of these lovelies.

    http://www.mec.ca/product/5031-148/gsi-commuter-java-press/?f=10&q=rei%2Bcoffee%2Bpress

    Works incredibly well. I’m even using it at home to make a large cup for myself. Never surrender to poor coffee. Bring your own.

    Safe travels. Safe home. Have such fun!

    • Great idea, Ann! Thanks for linking that up. It really looks like a great solution, provided I can source boiling water.

      Thanks for the well wishes. We’re excited!

  4. Margaret says:

    Keys to survival – stopping at farmers markets for fresh fruits and veggies, books on CD and making sleep a priority, especially for Mom!

  5. Here’s a few things I’ve done to keep my kids busy in the car:

    sticker books and search and find books (Where’s Waldo has a portable version of the entire collection crammed into a paperback we use ALL THE TIME)

    I pack one small plastic bin of toys with a lid for each child. These are things that they will enjoy, but will not be a complete tradgedy if they get lost – little cars, plastic figures, etc. That way they have a few things to play with in the car, in resteraunts and hotel rooms but not a ton.

    Stories on cd (probably you can find downloadable ones, too). Winne the Pooh, Nate the Great, and Toad and Frog all have great audio versions, anything by Jim Weiss is good and I’ve also found a good series of books with cd’s published by Barefoot at Kidlink on Monkland.

    Stop a lot. Information centers or parks or school yards in small towns are great. Get out, blow bubbles, kick a ball around, play tag. When everyone’s energy is calm again drive as much as you can!
    jill’s last post: Sewing Bits and Bobs

  6. We have 3 kids: 7, 5, and almost 4, and I’m adamant about having screen-free car time — we try to save any TV/screen time for the end of the day, if at all, or for times when we need to pack the car and just need the kids corralled in one place for half an hour.
    - For my older 2, both girls, I bought big “Trapper Keeper” -type folders for art supplies and paper — you can really pack a wide variety of stuff inside.
    - For my youngest, I brought some matchbox cars and a couple of those fold-up mini boxes that were all the rage several years ago. They hold the cars, have a ramp or two, and fold up to about the size of a large sandwich.
    - other toys that work well and have few missing parts: the flip-up bingo travel games put out by Melissa & Doug. You can create your own cards to drop inside if you want! We also love map games. A book of “how to tie knots” and a few fat shoelaces, or similar fun learning games, are portable and fun and educational and useful!

    For general mom happiness:
    - pack snacks in individual bags, then tuck them into a larger bin near your seat. I was able to toss bags to the rear of the minivan when things got desperate. No need to stop, no mess!
    - make sure you have a change of clothes (including socks/underwear) for everyone that’s easily accessible: in a bag or bin up front, or on top of all the luggage in back. I put these in gallon ziplocs in case of accidents or general grotty dirt. I always make sure I have an extra shirt in my bag for me, no matter what.
    - Carseats are death on good behavior. Kids have to get their wiggles out! We tried to make a note of indoor playgrounds/museums in case of rain, and stopped every 2-3 hours at minimum so the kids can get at least an hour of serious running and playing. We live in the South, where every small town has a courthouse green, and found that universities and colleges usually have lots of greenspace. (Bring a ball to kick around!)
    - We brought bedding for the small kids (blankies & pillows) so that they’d find it easy to fall asleep at night with their own familiar-smelling stuff.
    - keep a stash of goodies for hotel nights after the kids are in bed. Chocolate and wine would have gone a long way to help my mood when we were evacuated from the Outer Banks 2 years in a row due to hurricanes!

    • Stashes of goodies for the parents are a must!! A glass of wine while overlooking the ocean can be the perfect way to decompress after a long day. Thanks for all the great tips!

  7. Car Bingo is really fun … I have a set of cards, but here is a site you can use to print some cards from..

    http://www.printactivities.com/Paper-Games/Car-Trip-Bingo.shtml

  8. When I do a road trip (albeit, much shorter than yours), I take a bag of little wrapped gifts for my kids. Nothing expensive… books, snacks, velcro strips (little ones love this!), activity books, dollar store crafts, stickers…).

    Also, I’d LOVE to send you some THRIVE freeze dried snacks for your trip! I love them because they’re nutritious and not crumbly! (Email me your address so I can get them in the mail PRONTO :)

  9. DVD players in the car are absolute lifesavers! Hope you have a wonderful trip! :)
    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective’s last post: Southern Comfort Dogs

  10. Candyce Clanton says:

    Try to leave some space between the kids seats so they can spread out a little, cramped kids equals crabby kids. Shower organizer totes such as college students use make excellent meal/snack holders. A few crayons and a mini notepad fit easily in plastic travel soap dishes from the dollar store. A portable dvd player with a few videos are a lifesaver to quiet everyone down for naps, especially if they are not usually allowed such a treat. I drove 6 children, four of them under 5 years old, 2300 miles to California and back again so I’ve been in your shoes. I also packed a special “car fun” backpack for each child; books (especially activity books) a few small open-ended toys, a blanket or snuggle friend for napping, and a few snacks they can help themselves to. Stopping every couple of hours for some physical activity is also a huge benefit in keeping everyone happy.

  11. My grandparents were the king and queen of road trips, taking my sister and me on the road every chance they got. We saw much of the US every summer off from school. Nan was awesome at keeping us entertained, and she never made it seem like effort.

    Must haves: crayons and coloring books, with some sort of stabilizer for the boys to color on. Road trip bingo. I’ve picked these up in Cracker Barrel stores before, but you can also get them on Amazon. Get different sets, and you’ll be set for an hour with the boys. Basically, they have to look outside the car windows, and find stuff on their cards to mark off. Road signs, bridges, certain colored cars – all are on the cards. Maybe let whoever wins the 3 games in a row pick a dessert for the family to share when you stop for lunch.

    Lots of cardboard books for Clara, and for everyone: imaginative play items. My sister and I racked up hours and hours and hours of Barbie play on those road trips. Maybe paper or cardboard dolls for both the boys and the girl would be better suited for travel? Action figures, or toy trucks would be good too.

    Singing silly songs is something we did a lot. Thinking back on it, my grandfather’s rendition of “Yank My Doodle, it’s a Dandy” might not have been appropriate, but even now it makes me giggle and think about what an awesome grandpa he was.

    For snacks, I’d totally be baking up a batch of Casey’s goldfish crackers if you have time. Goldfish are THE road trip food, man.

    And thanks for the shout out on the coffee. I mean, the thing is, even the best coffee is going to be affected by the water you have available, and by the temperature the brewer can get to. So… good luck with that, dude.

    • Best comment ever. That is so hilarious.

      And goldfish crackers! I’ll have the boys make them themselves.

      Thanks for commenting!

  12. Candyce Clanton says:

    One more suggestion I swear by is pack one complete outfit; including undies, socks, hairbows, etc. per kid, in individual ziploc bags. That way you just pull one for each of them every day. No searching through a whole suitcase for that tee-shirt or matching sock. Plus you have ziplocs on hand for containing messes (or the dreaded eepisode of car sickness)

    • Mirinda Schiele says:

      I do this- LIFE SAVER! And it prevents my diva from trying on the entire suitcase every morning.

  13. What a wonderful trip! Sounds like you’re going to have a great time. For coffee on the go, I love this collapsible pour-over coffee maker: http://www.rei.com/product/798277/gsi-outdoors-collapsible-javadrip-slim-drip-coffee-maker. The only trick might be finding a way to boil water on the road… Good luck!
    Margaret’s last post: Pull Up a Chair

  14. First of all, enjoy your trip. It sounds incredible.

    We just finished a road trip to the Midwest and back. I feel you on the coffee, but have yet to find a really good solution. I want decent coffee, but there is only so much extra stuff you can lug around and pack in and out of the car. This last time I just caved and bought some of the Starbucks Via sticks. Not ideal, but much less fuss, and better than gas station coffee by far. My oldest drinks it too, it was much easier to accommodate two of us this way.

    My husband came up with the idea of keeping one smaller bag as our overnight stop bag. Pjs, toiletries and a change if clothes go in a smaller duffel when we are only staying in a place for one night. That way the entire trunk doesn’t have to be unloaded.

    Packing kid outfits in zip top bags has been very helpful too. More so that they can get their own than any other reason. They won’t shuffle through and destroy the whole suitcase that way either.

    This last trip we tried something new. We used two footlockers in the back of our station wagon. One for clothes, one for shoes and gear. It fit stuff for the five if us very well, with just enough space left over for the overnight duffel and a small cooler for lunches.

  15. I travel with an electric kettle, because I can’t have caffeine, and must resort to herbal tea (I use loose leaf because it needs to be gluten/soy free and most bought bags have one of those). It’s pricey, but I have this one and I LOVE it. Actually, I have the previous version of this model (which was also $10 cheaper, and I think a wee bit smaller). http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/1/1/8541-breville-ikon-stainless-steel-electric-kettle.html
    Beth R.’s last post: I’ve Lost Myself or Most of Me

  16. Such great tips! My family does road trips all the time and I am also in charge of food and entertainment. I love packing granola bars!
    Tieghan’s last post: Oatmeal Cookie Banana Crisp with Chocolate Kahlua Sauce

  17. I made this trek with my parents about 10 years ago. It is amazing!

    If your boys are crafty, finger knitters are good at keeping and busy. We head out west tomorrow and I have craft books that come with materials for both kids (7 and 3), mosaic sticker type kits and things that require no glue (Klutz makes my fave books but they are $$$). I picked up my trip gifts at Winners. Magnetic sticker books for my little…

    Tatamagouche is where my grandmother and her family settled when they came over from Scotland! You will pass over Semple Creek and past what is left of the original home as you go into town. My Gram was a Semple! Stop by the museum! The town was build by FREAKISHLY large people! Your boys will be amazed!!!!

    The people are so friendly and family is so valued! I need to make this trip with my own family now!

  18. Have you tried a moka pot (stovetop expresso maker) for making coffee on the road? It’s good stuff. It’s a little more expresso-like, so I doctor it up like an amercano. One of our friends pre-ground his expresso beans, and brought his moka pot on a camping trip and used a blowtorch to make himself delicious coffee in the mornings!!
    There were 5 kids in my family, and my mom’s parents lived 13 hrs away, so road tripping was common for us at least once or twice a year. Mom used to buy small treats (toys, food, jewelery, stickers, etc) and put them in a gallon sized plastic container and every hour (if we behaved, no whining or fighting) we got to choose something from it to play with for the next hour. It kept us somewhat happy too, because nobody liked the idea of being without a new toy while watching all your siblings enjoy theirs!! I don’t know if this idea would have worked so well with fewer kids, but it worked like a charm for us!

  19. Aimee, your launching on one of our dream trips – although we’re hoping to do some of it or all on bike.

    My advice – we always bring a couple gallons of water. Good for anything but most of all to make sure you never lack for hydration and don’t have to pay $2 for a silly designer water.
    Sarah @ Fit Family Together’s last post: The Watermelon Advantage

  20. Plan on short days–don’t try to cover too much ground. We grew up with car trips, but my mother hated sitting in the car all day, so 400 miles was an exceptionally long day for us. Much more common was 250-300.

    That means that there was lots of opportunity for serendipity. My mother would research the route to make sure that we’d get to see and do a variety of things each day, but because we were never going all THAT far, we could add things to the itinerary on impulse–like the time we were driving through Arizona and came upon a hand-lettered sign that read, “Dinosaur tracks.” We pulled off the road and walked quite a ways with one of the local kids, who showed us the tracks and told us about what the local terrain had been like then, and which dinosaurs were known to live in the area.

    You can’t plan to find that, but you can leave room for it.

    Have a wonderful trip!
    Tragic Sandwich’s last post: Independence Day

  21. Car Sickness Prep:

    Keep a small bucket or large cup within easy reach of the passenger: kids will drop the bucket, but if you can pass it back to them at a moments notice…

    Educate kids: Rehearse in advance, “If you think you might throw up, or if you suddenly start to feel really hot or dizzy LET ME KNOW, I’ll pass you the bucket.” A lot of times kids just aren’t paying attention or if they don’t get car sick frequently they can miss the first signs. All they know is that they’re miserable.

    Keep a bag handy with lots of wipes, paper towels and a couple bags for soiled clothes and disposing of used wipes and towels. Keeping a change of clothes in there is nice, but not always doable… it could get to be a very big bag. Try large t-shirt that you can wrap the poor victim in.

    Take Dramamine: the over-the-counter version is great, watch for drowsy/non-drowsy. Seasickness bands, ginger tea/candy/soda can help but Dramamine lasts for hours.

    And finally stop and take a break: I can’t remember where I read it, but, according the this mystery article car sickness only lasts 12 minutes after you stop moving, so give it 10-15 minutes. If you still have nausea and vomiting after 20-30 minutes then start thinking food poisoning or flu instead.

    Happy travels, and I sincerely hope you won’t need any of this. =)
    ~Cynthia

  22. A small hand broom will help brush out the sand in the car. Take time to stretch & move around if you’ve been in the car a while. Play counting games when driving (number of animals, types of license plates, etc).

  23. Aimee: You’re getting so many great tips. I noted that you said something about sand so I’ll give you my bit. Take a large beach towel for each child to cover their seat in the van. A sheet would also work as it’s less bulky. Also have a small rug/hand towel to pull out onto the ground in front of the van door. Each kid stops to get rubbed down to get most of the sand off, and then climbs onto their sheet covered seat. This gives you a chance to control most of the sand going into the van, and by shaking out the sheets each night, they can start the day on a sand free, more comfortable seat. The rug/hand towel gets most of the sand and gets shaken out before it goes back into the van.

    The seat covers can also be handy if there is a car sick kiddo. It protects the seat and can be easily washed out so the odor doesn’t lead to someone else getting sick. Make sure to have “car sick bags” handy just in case.

    Lastly, if you carry a thermos, you could fill it with hot water at a service station and do a French Press using it when you need it.

    Have fun!

  24. Kimberly says:

    If young children are eating in the car, there should be an adult in the back supervising them. My little sister almost choked to death when she was 3 years old and my mom would never have known until it was too late had my older sister not noticed.

  25. Even though it does require a spoon, we love to bring greek yogurt. It is super filling and great for little ones in their carseat (with the help of mom or dad).

  26. I wish I could say I have ideas through experience but unfortunately we haven’t gone on a road trip in ages, yet alone with our child. Some day soon and I’ll take in everyone’s advice!

    Funny story and didn’t realize what my dad was doing until I became an adult, but he would give my sister and I some sort of candy (hard like jawbreaker or peppermints) and tell us to keep it in our cheeks. We couldn’t bite it or talk w/ it or we wouldn’t win the game but the person who kept the candy in their mouth the longest won. It was awesome to us because, #1 we were eating candy which was a rare occasion and #2 we were “eating” in the car which was totally not allowed.” It wasn’t until adulthood I figured out that my dad was just trying to find silence on the road. :)

    I saw this a long time ago and thought it would be fun.

    http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/2007Q2/ka0507_carbingo.pdf
    Melissa @ A Cozy Bee’s last post: Slow Summer (Recipe: Small Batch Blueberry Lime Jam)

  27. Hi Aimee!

    Growing up a lover of Anne of Green Gables, I am a bit envious of your trip to PEI!
    When my kids were little I would do my best to estimate the time we would be in the car and then I would put little goodies in individual bags that they could have every 15-30 minutes, ending when the trip is over. The hope being that it would be a visual for them to see when the trip would be over and would help occupy them!
    When they got to early elementary through where they are now we have loved audiobooks!
    For coffee, I think Starbucks Via packets are wonderful! Best instant coffee, hands down ever! Maybe a little bit pricey, but worth it?? And maybe you could get hot water from the gas station?

    Hope you all have a wonderful trip!!

  28. http://www.aintnomomjeans.com/2012/05/tips-for-flying-alone-with-kids.html

    These were the best travel tips I’ve found – with the first (it’s all about attitude) – being so important!

  29. jessica says:

    I honeymooned on PEI and spent a bit of time in New Brunswick. Definitely check out the Bay of Fundy, the Hopewell Rocks park is nice to explore, we took a short hike, checked out the rock formations, it was high tide at the time we went, but you can check the schedule on their site.
    We also enjoyed stopping at Cape Enrage lighthouse, the drive was beautiful.
    Enjoy your trip. Something we just did on our 8 hour drive was to put up a ribbon with note-cards listing the places we would pass along our way, about one every hour. We moved the cardboard car to each new card as we traveled and they knew it was time for a snack, stopped the whining about being hungry.
    We also did a ton of audiobooks, and I read aloud to them. Our summer reading program passport is getting very full!

  30. jessica says:

    here is site with lots of info on the Bay of Fundy area. http://www.bayoffundytourism.com/

  31. I’d go with books, crayons, sing a long DVD’s and I spy games for keeping the kids busy.
    On another note, given little Clara’s fever today I’d be sure to get travel medical insurance if you haven’t already. Québec is unique in that you must pay for services up front and get reimbursed later and not all services are covered when you are out of province.
    In addition, I’d check your car insurance policy at the same time for the reason that Québec has “no-fault” insurance and you’d have to add out of province driving to the policy to be sure. Though I’ve traveled extensively over the years without incident, I feel it’s in everyone’s best interest to ” be prepared”. Hope little Clare is back to her old self real soon! Bon voyage.

  32. Auntiepatch says:

    The only thing to interest my infant was a slice of lemon. He would bite it, make a face, bite it, make a face, and repeat. It was funny and he loved them. No crackers for him; just a lemon slice! Have a great trip!

  33. I love my small percolator. Often, yard sales and “antique” stores have them for very little money. With every K and drip wedding present, they are cast away. If you bring an empty coffee can, you can compost the used grounds, I don’t, but you could ;). The pot is hot, so dumping the leftovers and rinsing in cool water is necessary before packing for next stop, but it really is easy to rinse.
    I travel with beans, a grinder and my percolator. My extended family loves it.

  34. Iced coffee in cooler is my best friend whenever we are on a road-trip! Have fun Aimee :)
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com’s last post: Snow Chrysanthemums & Honey Suckle Iced “Tea”

  35. AlysonRR says:

    My husband and I took that trip (plus Newfoundland!) just after we were married 22 years ago, but we camped so we just made his essential coffee on the campstove… Then he transformed from a grumpy person into the man I married, LOL.

    I’ve found that many hotel rooms now have microwaves, so I bring a 1L Pyrex measuring cup and use it to heat water to boiling for my tea and hubby’s coffee. Don’t forget a hotpad! When there wasn’t a microwave in the room, I would ask the front desk – they usually have one in the office.

    One thing I did that prove very helpful was to annotate a map of the Maritime provinces (they sent one with our tourist packet) with the locations of every activity I thought sounded at all interesting, starring the ones I knew were essential. We were able to be somewhat spontaneous with out itinerary and saw more interesting sights along the way than we would have if we only had essential destinations in mind.

  36. Atlantic Superstores are commonly found around Nova Scotia and have decent take away coffee. Smaller cafes with good coffee are also abundant around NS and I highly recommend La Have Bakery in La Have, NS. Our family loves Nova Scotia, have fun! And don’t forget to eat some homemade pie down on the south shore.

  37. I didn’t have time to read all the comments so I apologize if this has already been mentioned. A portable potty for the littles! We have the Potette Plus and use it a lot for my 3 year old when traveling. It folds up pretty small for storage, can be a ring seat on an adult toilet and can be it’s own small stand alone potty. I’ve read of people using a grocery bag with an open diaper in it instead of the refill bags, but I haven’t tried it. Also, comfortable clothing for the children and yourself as well. And healthy snacks and water. I’ve also read about people looking up parks and playgrounds along the way for stops to get out the energy. A nice idea especially if you are doing a multi travel day trip.

  38. Great post!

  39. I LOVE road trips. (And separately, I can’t wait to make those homemade granola bars. Thanks!) I like dry cereal as a snack too. It can get messy, sure, if it’s thrown (and let’s be honest, it will be be thrown), but it’s pretty easy to clean up, so that’s good. I also like books on tape, and find that new books or toys (even very simple small ones) will go a long way, so I like to surprise my kiddos every now and then. That usually buys me a little more time. :) (On a separate note, we also have that tent and I love it, but I heard it was recalled recently, or maybe just that I need to order some kind of new part for it? Maybe it’s only for the older version.) Oh well. Have fun!

  40. TAN Coffee is a great coffee shop with several locations throughout the Valley. And for the backroads, I would go with Starbucks VIA, it’s simple and just requires the hot water and that’s pretty accessible at gas stations.

    Super excited for you guys!
    Breanne’s last post: Twitterature: July Edition

  41. I really like your idea of making a batch of chocolate cereal bars while traveling. It’s a great snack and will keep everyone energized. It’s a good way to save money too.
    Elena @ Sources of Omega-3′s last post: 5 Most Effective Plant Extracted Sources of Omega-3 for Vegetarians

  42. Post it notes go a long way to entertain little ones. the small bookmark size are really nice for the 1-2 year old age to stick all over their bodies and the bigger are great for 3-4 year olds to decorate the car seat in front of them or the window. They only take seconds to clean up and often you can reuse them a few times before they loose their stick.

  43. Make sure you have a spare tire. I made the mistake on my last roadtrip

  44. Hi Aimee,

    I don’t really have any road tripping tips but I am from Nova Scotia and live here in Halifax. If you are looking for good coffee there are some great places here to stop.. There’s TIBS (Two If By Sea) in Dartmouth that makes amazing coffee that they roast themselves and they have the best croissants as well. There’s also Java Blend in the city..great spot, good prices and they also roast their own beans.

    There are 3-4 Splash Pads in the Halifax area if your kids need to cool off and play on the playground for a bit.

    By far the best restaurants around are Fleur De Sel in Lunenburg and Brooklyn Warehouse in Halifax. Peggy’s Cove is gorgeous! and a great spot for family pictures and kiddos climbing around on rocks :)

    I hope you have a lovely time here enjoying the very best of what the East Coast has to offer :) Enjoy your family time :)
    Katie’s last post: Celebrating School

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