Friday Favorites:: Road Trip {With Kids} Edition


I recently embarked on a solo parent road trip with my two kids, ages 4 and 1, to visit my friend in Utah. I know some people really enjoy road trips, but I do not. Driving is not my jam, and driving for long hours with two small children, one of whom hasn’t traveled long distances because she is a Covid baby, sounds about as fun as getting a root canal. However, I love my friend, so I packed up my kids and my Pilot, and set out on the 22.5 journey to her house. 

Maybe some of you mommas are road trip rock stars, but if you’re a newbie like me, you’ll love some of my favorites that helped me maintain my sanity during the long hours through the desert!

Baby Entertainment

I’m generally pretty skeptical of toys marketed to babies. Whenever our son was a baby, he eschewed all brightly colored cars and keys for crinkling water bottles and ripping magazines. However, I was ready to try anything to entertain my daughter on this trip, so when I saw a friend on Instagram recommend this over the seat activity center, I purchased it. Well, consider me influenced because this toy entertained her for literally hours. I’d look back and wonder if she was asleep, but no, she was kicking her little feet and pulling on the animal toys. So, if you’re traveling a long distance with little ones, do yourself a favor and grab one of these.

Car Organization

I knew that I’d want to keep my car as organized as possible to make space for all the things I would need for the three of us for two weeks, including regular stops for picnic lunches and overnight hotels stays. This trunk organizer was perfect for containing loose odds and ends:: extra diapers and wipes, paper towels and toilet paper {for those roadside stops in the middles of nowhere with littles}, first aid kit, picnic blanket, and baby carrier. The compartments are sturdy, and the organizer itself is strong enough to hold items on top, even heavy suitcases!

Baby Bedtime

The trek took 3.5 days, as I didn’t want to push myself or the kids too long each day. That included three hotel stays, including a one room, solar-powered cabin in the mountains of Utah. So I needed something to help my daughter feel like she was in her own space to help her sleep, free from distractions. Well, I was influenced again to buy this black out cover for her pack-n-play, and it did not disappoint. It fit easily over her crib, had a zipper top to easily get her in and out, and a side zipper pocket to open for breathability. Now, it is not completely blackout, so if that’s something your kid needs, this won’t do it. But it did give her a quiet, dark space to fall asleep, and she wasn’t easily awakened by the rest of us moving about the room. 

Big Kid Entertainment

One of my favorite things about my son getting older is that we have been enjoying reading longer chapter books together. We started last summer during quarantine, and each time he snuggles up next to me or colors quietly while I read a chapter out loud, it makes my reader’s heart skip a beat. So I suggested to him that we listen to A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle on audiobook on our drive. It’s only around six hours, which is about the perfect length for him. The plot is engaging and not too complicated, and the narrator does a great job at voicing the different characters. 

Mama Entertainment

Those long hours through the afternoon put my kids to sleep, so I needed something to keep me awake as we drove through the mountains and deserts. Thanks to the lovely Sharon McMahon, I was able to binge her hilarious and witty new podcast, Sharon Says So. Sharon, a former government teacher and current Instagram sensation, possesses a veritable treasure trove of random facts, stories, and knowledge of the government, United States history, and all things politics. In her each episode, Sharon sits down with a friend and shares an interesting story about each state {in alphabetical order}. So far, my favorite is the episode about Alaska- The Sled Dogs Who Saved a Village. Be sure to check it out {and also to follow Sharon on Instagram @sharonsaysso}!

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Rebecca Slocum
Rebecca S. is a born and raised Houstonian; she grew up in Katy, graduated with a BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Houston {go Coogs!}, and made a home in West Houston with her native Houstonian husband. She quickly realized that the chaotic lifestyle of the hospitality industry was not for her and soon found her calling in education. She taught while earning her masters in Library Science from the University of North Texas. Currently, she is staying home with her son, Thomas {2016}, daughter Charlie {2020}, son Zack {2021}. In her free time, she loves to read, write, run, and roam the world. While her roots are firmly planted in H-town, she takes every available opportunity to go on an adventure and explore historic cities, hike and run new trails, and, of course, try beers from every country.


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