So I’m not gonna lie, when it came to planning RJs birthday trip I was super excited. As the days ticked down and it got closer??? Dread! I just knew I was plum crazy for planning a trip that would take us 12 hours to drive to with a 3 year old and an infant that hates the car seat! Wtf was I thinking?? Truthfully when road trip day (night) arrived anxiety almost made me cancel. I just knew it was going to be awful and it wouldn’t be worth it. I was sooooooooo wrong. Taking a long trip with two kids this young though did make me realize that the rules of the road are completely different when it comes to traveling with kids.
1. Be prepared to spend some time in the back seat.
Comfort played a big factor when we were thinking about the long drive. I knew I’d have to spend some time in the back seat between two car seats consoling one kid or the other and I was happy it wasn’t a SUPER struggle in the car we drove for our trip. The 2017 Mazda CX-5 had a decent amount of space in the backseat even with 2 car seats back there. I’m not gonna lie though I’m still SOMEWHAT small even after having two kids haha. I don’t think my boyfriend would have fit back there.
2. Speaking of time, don’t even watch it. It doesn’t matter when kids are involved.
I tried to plan our departure time perfectly. Both times according to their sleep schedule. I convinced myself that if we left during a time they were normally asleep that we’d have more time with them asleep in the car and it’d make the drive a little less painful. I think RJ woke up within 1 1/2 of us driving down with a cheerful “Good morning Daddy!” Ready to take on the day... at 5am.
3. Don’t put a limit on stopping. You will stop. 100 times or more.
When we road trip alone, my boyfriend makes it a habit to remind me 1000 times that he IS. NOT. STOPPING. He’s obsessive about getting to our destination and he always says “I’m stopping ONE TIME”. Ask to stop again and die. Except this trip. We stopped. I can’t even remember the amount of times but it was ALOT. Thankfully, we only had to stop twice for gas since the CX-5 averages 26 highway mpg. We got to stop at bigger rest stops and didn't have to worry about just getting gas and leaving. Kids need to stretch their legs and everyone was a lot more pleasant after taking a break from sitting for hours. We stopped at Chick fil a’s that had play places so RJ could run some energy off and I even let him run around a rest stop at 5am *shrugs*. Sorry not sorry. We had a long drive and he wasn’t hurting anyone. A couple 20/30 minute stops made a BIG difference in how the drive went.
4. The drive is still part of your trip, use it as an opportunity to make memories.
I quickly realized RJ was just excited to be on an adventure. He loved looking out of the sunroof at airplanes and pointing out different things in the sky, and he loved sticking his head out of the sunroof even more. He also loved sitting in the trunk which is super spacious in the CX-5. He called it his cave! This is definitely a time to relax and not be super crazy with the rules. Within reason and safety first of course! He wasn’t sticking his head out the sunroof while we were driving or anything LOL.
So basically, like anything with toddlers/infants involved, there are no rules on road trips! As long as everyone is comfortable, not screaming their. heads off and everyone makes it to their destination then I'd call it a #momwin!
What has your road trip experience been? Have you braved the road with small children? Interested in reading more about the Mazda CX-5? Leave your thoughts below!