We survived our first road trip with the kids and Cooper last week!
Most of the trip, Cooper had to be up front. Typical golden retriever.
Northwestern baseball was playing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, so we thought we’d make a trip of it since my family is in Omaha (45 minutes from Lincoln). I mean, how bad can traveling in a mini van with a toddler, a 4 month old, and a golden retriever be, right?
The drive is 7 hours by car, but definitely add an hour or two with kids. We planned to stop every 2-2.5 hours for a break.
Road Trip Tips and Preparation:
Entertainment. I purchased a portable DVD player and few new books for Jada.
In the last few months, Jada actually has the attention span for a short movie. It’s not fancy, but it got the job done!
Snacks. Lots of snacks.
I purchased plenty of Happy Tot pouches for Jada and munchies like pretzels and rice cakes. Fruit snacks too.
We hardly ever eat out. I think it’s a habit from my childhood. So, I made us sandwiches, packed baby carrots, sliced apples, and grabbed healthy snacks like jerky, protein bars, and trail mix. That way, we could stop at rest stops instead of fast food places.
Make a list. And check it twice.
I’m type A and pretty darn organized, but man there is A LOT of stuff to take with kids! Parents, you feel me?
I consolidated as much as I could and fit my things, Jada’s and Cole’s into one suitcase. I bought diapers and dog food once we arrived in Omaha to free up space, and we still fit Jada’s bike and the single BOB stroller in the back.
While traveling screws with kids’ sleep in general, we tried to prepare for it the best we could. We purchased this inflatable toddler bed for Jada to use at my parents’ house. Cannot recommend it enough for young kids!
Cole slept in the pack-n-play we’ve had since Jada was a baby.
He slept well for the most part, but he’s working on rolling, so he continually flopped his legs which made some pretty loud (annoying) sounds as I was sharing a room with him.
Overall, the kids were rock stars on the drive to Nebraska. Thank goodness, Spencer drove us there and met up with the team bus later in the day.
Fitness on the Road
Truthfully, I was looking forward to some solo runs while in Omaha, but other than that, my main goal was to enjoy family and friends.
Running hasn’t happened much lately with the kids, the weather in Chicago, and a husband on the road a ton. I was able to complete a few easy runs along with hill work which I really love!
Felt good to pound the pavement alone.
With longer trips, I tend to rely on a guest pass to a gym, but this trip was only a week long. Accordingly, I didn’t stress over not having access. I simply relied on running and body weight workouts like this 20 minute AMRAP.
And, I tried to stay active which is pretty easy to do with a toddler.
So, while Jada rode her bike, I ran or walked alongside her.
I admit, I’m guilty of getting caught up in feeling the need to complete regimented workout. However, on this trip, I tried to take advantage of simply moving and fueling with healthy eats.
The weather was gorgeous, so we took every opportunity to play outside.
How did I get back? There is no way I could make this trip alone. I’m so thankful that my parents rearranged their work schedules to join me on the way back.
It wasn’t as smooth as the trip out partly due to hitting Chicago traffic. And, also because this little guy is teething.
His teething seemed to progress more during our week in Nebraska, so I could tell he was uncomfortable during the drive and wanted to nurse more often.
We made it back with a few more stops in a little over 9 hours. Love you mom and dad.
Have you traveled with young kids? How far?
How does fitness fit into your travel plans?