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What I've learned about traveling with kids (Dad's perspective)

Clay Coomer | Jun 23, 2016


If you've read any of my previous blogs on Seven Corners, you know I have kids. I have three and as of today, they're all still under the age of three. I know it's crazy — life is chaotic/busy/hectic/insane, whatever.

September of last year I wrote a blog when I only had two: Mastering Travel with Young Children. Everything in that blog still applies. So before you continue reading this one, read it first. I'll wait — should only take you about five minutes.

Ok, great! Glad to have you back. Now where were we? Oh right, what I've learned about traveling with three kids. Well, to be frank, it's not easy. In fact, nothing is easy. But within the next few paragraphs, I hope you can takeaway a few tips that might make you and your spouse's life a little easier.

I read mom's blogs all the time on this topic, but it's time (again) for a dad's perspective. A dad's perspective who was formerly type A and clean and neat and organized ...

Get a minivan

I know, fellas. None of you want to hear it, but do it. Traveling will get infinitely easier if you trade in that small SUV or sedan for a deluxe, state of the art minivan. My wife and I bought a new Hyundai Santa Fe Sport in October of 2014 and we loved it. Loved, past tense. My mother-in-law was gracious enough to take it off of hands and give us her Kia Sedona minivan. I was very reluctant at first, but now I don't think we could live without it.

The biggest benefit of a minivan is the ease of getting in and out of the car. With a press of a button, the two passenger side doors automatically open and eight times out of 10, my two older kids hop right in and assume their positions in the back. The other two times, well, they're toddlers, what do you expect?

Periodically clean (detail) your car

Kids are the messiest creatures on earth. Everywhere they go, within minutes, there's a mess.

  • Containers with toys and snacks.
  • Back packs with emergency clothes and shoes.
  • Extra diaper bag equipped with essentials in case we forget one on the way out.

Note: those snacks will end up on the floorboard, and the toys will end up underneath the seats.

Pare your phone with the car's Bluetooth

If your car is enabled with Bluetooth technology and you haven't already done so, connect your phone to the car to have on-demand music/entertainment for your kids. This has been a game changer for us. Kids get bored very easily, and when you don't want to hand them a phone, tablet or toy, flip on their favorite children's song or whatever music makes them happy from your phone. The radio can be unpredictable, and kids hate commercials.

JT's Can't Stop the Feeling is a family favorite. Also, Old McDonald works, too.

Don't stop the traveling

Traveling with kids will always have some level of difficulty. Obviously it's harder when they're young and unable to do things for themselves. No matter how hard it may be, don't stop traveling. Keep the adventure going and don't stop exploring and doing new things.

That's the best piece of advice I can give you.

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