Spring and summer give me a travel bug.  Specifically, I love road trips. With the cost and inconvenience of flying constantly on the rise, my husband and I choose our car for travel whenever possible...which means spring and summer! I'm even more willing to travel by car alone with my kids than I am to travel by air. (If that sounds insane, you might want to read about the last time I flew alone with the kids...).

I have been taking Bean on roadtrips fairly consistently since he was about 14 months old.  When he was 15 months old, we took a 2-week roadtrip to a few locations on the East Coast and had a blast!  In planning for that trip we used some credit card points to buy a GPS system, which ended up being the single best item we own for road trips.

traveling with kids

We like to break up a trip into 2-3 hour chunks using meal times for stops and finding parks near our route (thank you GPS!) when the kids are getting squirrelly.  The kids (and sometimes I) nap, or we play games (some classics, and some we make up as we go), or we all chat or sing.  During our latest trip over Memorial Day Weekend, Bean and my husband had a discussion about how our eyes work and whether grass is "really green."  It's a time for us all to be together, with nothing else to do besides enjoy the company.  We try to consider the drive as part of the vacation - the stops along the way are part of the fun, rather than something slowing us down as we make our way towards the good stuff.

There have, of course, been a few times when we had to push the kids' or our own patience -- stopping at a park when we're thirty minutes from home and we're racing bedtime isn't my idea of a good time!  And sometimes the nearest park is either a little sad or not very near.  And I can't say that I recommend a long trip with a six-week-old.  But in general, the memories of the car rides themselves are as fond as those from our destinations. 

Now, talk to me in a few months when we have potentially made a cross-country road trip with two kids and a moving van.  I may change my tune!

How about you?  Do you have summer travel plans?  Do you dread or look forward to the travel portion?  Do you have any favorite travel tips?