How To Survive A Wyoming Road Trip With Your Family
Road trip season is upon us, and many of my fellow Wyoming families are taking my co-host Drew's advice and going on a "State-cation"
Family road trips in Wyoming can be the stuff of dreams (cue epic soaring instrumental music and video of gorgeous mountains, blue sky, and green prairies) or the stuff of nightmares (cue sad music and a video of a dusty two-lane road with a broken-down minivan and weeping children).
As a mom of 5 kids that has lived in this state for more than 20 years, I feel confident saying that I have a few helpful tips for those of you planning a Wyoming road trip.
I've covered hundreds of miles of Wyoming with every age child possible, from a two-month-old that needed to eat every 2 hours, to a potty training toddler and a teenager...I've done it...and survived to share the pictures on social media.
- Bring Your Own Snacks: It's a proven fact...fed kids are happy kids. Longtime Wyoming residents know you can drive hundreds of miles between towns and that means when someone says "I'm hungry" there may be a 30-minute wait. Keep the kids (and you) from getting hangry by packing a cooler with plenty of healthy snacks.
- Pack Some Towels: Towels are the most underrated mom tool ever. Trust me when I say that you NEED to pack three of them along with you on every road trip, and keep them close by the adults. Kid complaining the air conditioning is too cold? Use a towel as a blanket. Is your toddler getting car sick? Cover their lap with a towel and have them barf on it. Did Suzy spill her water? She can easily clean it up with a towel.
- Have Light Up Toys For Nightime: If you are traveling with a 9-month-old on up you need to make sure you have some toys that light up for those nighttime miles. They can't see their favorite stuffed animal in the dark, but they will be fascinated at how cool their light-up toys look.
- Pack Some Card Games For Older Kids: Would You Rather and Kids Against Maturity are two of our favorite family card games to play on road trips. It's a fun way to spend quality family time in the car.
- Limit Tech Time: I get it, having the kids watch a movie or play on tech can make the time go by quickly. But, anyone that has let their kids have hours of tech time knows that when you finally make them turn it off they're cranky and grouchy. Limit their tech breaks to 20 min or one movie, and then spend at least 30 minutes looking out the window, talking, listening to a book, or playing the aforementioned family card games.
- Schedule In Breaks: Take the time to plan your trip and schedule some breaks. Everyone will be happier with a 10-minute break where the kids run in place, do some pushups, and get the wiggles out. We take time to find a park near the gas station and EVERYONE runs and plays. Then we grab some food from the drive-in (or make sandwiches from supplies in the cooler) and eat in the car...because they're sitting down anyway and it's a great way to kill another 30 min of road time.
- Expect The Unexpected: Yes it was awful when my son puked all over the van after he inhaled a chocolate milkshake in 30 seconds (no towel could contain that mess). At the time it was NOT funny when my husband didn't make hotel reservations and we had to drive an entire state over because every room in Nebraska was booked by attendees to the annual Jehovah Witness Convention...but now...well these memories bring us to tears of laughter. So take a deep breath when everything falls apart (because it will at some point) and remember what is terrible now is funny later.