Are your summers filled with quick weekend trips? My middle daughter enjoys playing travel softball but I do not enjoy super early mornings so we tend to stay overnight near the playing fields.
I believe if you work hard, you deserve to spoil yourself a little bit, and if you can afford to stay away a night to be just a tad less sleep deprived, I say go for it.
Traveling with two teenagers and a five-year-old in a mid-size SUV is a little challenging, to be honest. My teens are amazing but they have a lot of stuff. And my littlest needs to be entertained. Did I mention the teens have a lot of stuff?
Organize your vehicle before a quick weekend trip
When organizing my car I try to think of what all of the kids need on hand first: tissues, hand wipes, drinks, snacks, and, for the littlest, activities.
These back seat organizers hang from the back of the driver and passenger seats. There are compartments for anything you could imagine as well as a clear compartment to slide an iPad or Kindle for the kiddo to watch.
I also use something like this to organize the trunk. We take several folding chairs with us, my daughter’s ball bag, which is huge, a few backpacks, and a laptop or two whenever we go on our quick trips.
Entertainment for the drive on a quick weekend trip
There are a few activities that we love to use when we go on our quick weekend trips:
- The Kids Kindle Fire is always a winner. Cheaper than an iPad and you can control everything that happens on the device, which I love.
- Driving Bingo comes printed on heavy cards with windows that can open and close so you don’t have to worry about searching for chips.
- Scavenger Hunts are fun even for the older kiddos
Pack the favorite snacks – always
We pack all of the favorites such as fruit snacks for the little and fruit, chips, and water for the big girls. A cooler is an amazing asset while you drive. Placing it under the feet of my youngest works out well because she has all the leg room currently.
Once she gets a little longer the cooler will move to the trunk in easy reach for long-armed teens to reach. I throw everything in the cooler so that no bags of chips or anything else gets crushed.
Pick the perfect quick weekend trip hotel
When our weekends are full of softball field times I don’t worry so much about having a huge room, just enough beds, as we will be away from the room most of the day and sometimes evenings.
We’ve had amazing experiences at several low-cost hotels. Honestly, hotels now are even more equipped for families and are very transparent about their amenities. A pool is almost assumed these days but definitely check when reserving if the pool is functioning.
Drury Inn and Suites take my all-time favorite spot. The rooms are spacious and the one we stayed at in Evansville, Indiana had an amazing breakfast and dinner spread along with offering up to three drinks at their limited, but a still amazing, bar.
Pack your patience and prepare early
Traveling, even quick weekend trips can cause a lot of stress. This is why I start preparing as early as possible in the weeks prior.
- Make a list on a whiteboard or somewhere obvious on what you need to take with you including how many outfits each child, and you, need to take with you.
- Lay everything out before you start putting it in bags and coolers. Check your supplies off as you pack
- Clean out your car prior to loading up
- Know where everything is as you load – it’ll save from little fingers searching while you’re driving
What are your best tips for those quick trips?