A lot of families travel by car during the holiday season. Especially over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Here are a few situations:
Vehicle maintenance - Make sure your vehicle is up to the task. On the drive home, we saw at least 25 RVs at the side of the road. Most were attempting the climb up the mountains. Most were hauling ATVs of various sizes. Make sure to check your fluids (radiator, oil, battery, brakes). It's a quick check at the beginning and at your destination that'll most likely prevent a breakdown. There was even one SUV that needed a jump-start when he stopped to fuel up! Additionally, check the towing capacity on your vehicle. You might have purchased an additional ATV that makes the total haul above your capacity (especially up tough terrain).
Vehicle entertainment - Make sure to bring enough entertaining items for your little ones. Based upon your children's age it might range from rattles and stuffed animals to video games. Be double sure to bring additional batteries or an AC adapter plug. I decided to bring our laptop on the trip. The stand-alone battery power is only 2 hours. So I decided to play it on the 2nd leg of our 6 hour trip. The kiddos could watch one movie. On the drive to my folks it was a HIT! Unfortunately, my son was mystified when we turned it off about 45 minutes before we got to our destination. We ended up buying an adapter at Best Buy for $80!!!! My hubby said it was an investment to make future trips more managable. On the drive home, the kids watched both movies that I brought.
Eating - Make sure to bring enough to eat and to drink. Yes, there are rest stops along the way. But WHO in their right mind wants to exit when you're doing a quick 80 mph down the freeway? A variety of munchies and drinks does the trick. Also, make sure to pack a couple sippies for those little ones who like to toss their drinks when bored or impatient. Fortunately, I did this and it prevented me from crawling behind to search for my son's sippy in the dark.
Clothing - This is always an issue. Make sure to check the weather forecast of your destination. With little ones it's always safe to pack 1 1/2 times the number of days you'll be at your destination. What makes it easier is if you can stay within some basic colors. I don't pack "outfits". I do a lot of mix-n-match. This gives me the flexibility to ust pull an additional shirt or bottom when needed. With my son, I did blue (denim), red, & white. With my daughter, I did blue, pink, & white. I even do the same with my own outfits. Brinign more clothes than you think you need for the kiddos saves a lot of aggrevation.
I hope that everyone had a wonderful trip out to see family. It's amazing how quickly the weekend passes when nothing goes wrong. Make sure you really THINK about your car trip for Hannukah or Christmas. Really planning it out (meals, bathroom breaks, refueling, etc) helps out, especially when you've got little ones!