5 Tips for Taking a Road Trip That You (and Your Kids) Will Love

Updated 08/27/18

Morgan Hutchinson created Buru—a clothing brand curated, designed, and styled for the modern mother—out of necessity. With an understanding that versatility and washability are paramount, she has a mission to help every mama look and feel her best. The garments she stocks, from the Buru White Label to designer brands, are handpicked for their ability to withstand the demands of motherhood without sacrificing style. Hutchinson brings her talents as a former stylist by fashioning three looks for every item of clothing. From carpool to cocktails, boardroom to bake sale, Buru has you covered.

Family Vacation
Morgan Hutchinson

We have kids.
We love to travel.
We run our own business.
So—we decided to write our own rules.

As founders of a fashion e-com site, my husband (and business partner) and I learned early on that face-to-face time with our customers was vital to our grassroots growth strategy. With this revelation, we purchased our first Sprinter Van and converted it to a mom-style store on wheels, bringing fashion to moms’ fingertips! Although we now have a handful of amazing mom stylists operating multiple BURU Buses throughout the school year, during the summers—we take our crew (currently a 5-year old daughter and 18-month old son) on the road for 10-weeks, traveling coast to coast and back, with 30+ pop-ups and events along the way.

As one can imagine, a lot is learned over the course of a 10-week road trip across America with tots in tow. Specifically, we learned how to survive and thrive in close quarters with limited “things” (toys, games, stuffies, crafts) from our regular day-to-day life. It’s amazing how bonding it is to step out of your comfort zone as a family can be! And let’s face it, the challenges, stresses, and struggles of traveling with little ones are far outweighed by the joys of showing them new places!

1. Max It Out

Five to six hours is absolutely the MOST you will want to tackle in a single day (assuming you want to maintain a semblance of sanity). Don't look at the mileage. Focus on the estimated time on Waze. With kiddos, six hours of travel time becomes eight in a hurry. I also recommend planning drive time around naps to optimize happiness levels.

Family Road Trip
Morgan Hutchinson

2. Spring for Space

Good quality sleep is crucial for every family member on a trip in close quarters. When traveling with littles, take into consideration what they need to get good sleep. Our 20-month does much better in a dark, quiet room, so it makes more sense for us to pay for space over luxury. We consistently seek all-suite hotels that have a separate sitting area—seeing as our 5-year old would never consider going to bed before 8 p.m.!

Kids at a Hotel
Morgan Hutchinson

3. Size Matters

Assign each member of the family a carry-on size suitcase to take into the hotel every night with a five-day supply of outfits, jammies, and other needs. Use your large suitcases to hold overstock and replenish the carry-ons every five days or so. This will save you from having to lug in the big bags every night. Plus, it makes getting dressed much faster in the morning. Fewer choices = fewer fits thrown by the tiny humans.

Having outfits planned ahead of time will also cut down on overall packing and ensure that you have what you need for different climates and activities. Laundry is really tough on the road, so keep that in mind when filling the suitcases—especially for messy babies! (Speaking of—don't forget to pack large, durable laundry bags!)

Road Trip
Morgan Hutchinson

4. Smell the Roses

Don't be afraid to deviate from your plan if you discover a hidden gem off the beaten path. And when you get there—don't rush yourself. Unexpected adventures with your family tend to be the most memorable. When spending significant time getting from destination to destination via automobile, it's important to discover the whimsy attractions, unique experiences and beautiful places along the way. Unlike flying—a road trip is as much about the journey as the destination. But if that journey is miles away from civilization—pack a porta potty. I promise it will get used more than you think. Oh—and NEVER try to empty it from the window of a moving car. I'll spare you the details… but it's not pretty.

Traveling with Kids
Morgan Hutchinson

5. Loyalty Matters

When road tripping with kids, it's best to control as many variables as possible. Selecting one hotel group and booking one of its properties as often as you can (without sacrificing one-of-a-kind experiences of course—like sleeping in a luxury teepee) offers consistency and manages expectations. Hotels often provide services and assistance that an Airbnb cannot. When traveling with kids—you need all the help you can get! Added bonus: Loyalty pays in the form of upgrades and late check-outs.

In regards to hotels, make reservations that can be modified. Pre-paid rates are enticing, but on a road trip, I find you save more cash in the long run by booking rooms that have no penalty if you cancel or change dates.

Family
Morgan Hutchinson

At the end of the day, road trips are about going for it. Traveling with kids is challenging and tiring, but showing your children the world is a priceless gift—for them and you.

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