We love a good road trip! Do you know what makes a road trip even better? An amazing playlist! We have a lot of Disney songs on our family road trip playlist. It’s fun for the whole family to have a sing-a-long. Does your playlist need a Disney update? We like to mix them in between other songs. Planning a trip to a Disney location and want to get in the mood? This is the list for you!
How Far I’ll Go – Moana
Let It Go – Frozen
Hakuna Matata – The Lion King
Under the Sea – The Little Mermaid
Be Our Guest – Beauty & The Beast
I’ve Got A Dream – Tangled
Prince Ali – Aladdin
On The Open Road – A Goofy Movie
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – Mary Poppins
The Bare Necessities – The Jungle Book
You’ve Got A Friend In Me – Toy Story
You’re Welcome – Moana
Do You Want To Build A Snowman – Frozen
I Just Can’t Wait To Be King – The Lion King
Kiss The Girl – The Little Mermaid
Colors Of The Wind – Pocahontas
A Girl Worth Fighting For – Mulan
Gaston – Beauty & The Beast
A Whole New World – Aladdin
Shiny – Moana
Everybody Wants To Be A Cat – The Aristocats
When Will My Life Begin – Tangled
After Today – A Goofy Movie
What’s This – Nightmare Before Christmas
Almost There – Princess and The Frog
I’ll Make A Man Out Of You – Mulan
Friend Like Me – Aladdin
Learn Me Right – Brave
I See The Light – Tangled
I-2-I (eye to eye) – A Goofy Movie
Be Prepared – The Lion King
I Wanna Be Like You – The Jungle Book
Zero To Hero – Hercules
Part Of Your World – The Little Mermaid
Fixer Upper – Frozen
Belle – Beauty & The Beast
Once Upon A Dream – Sleeping Beauty
Just Around The Riverbend – Pocahontas
Oogie Boogie’s Song – Nightmare Before Christmas
I am Moana – Moana
When We’re Human – Princess & The Frog
Nobody Else But You – A Goofy Movie
For The First Time in Forever – Frozen
Where You Are – Moana
Dig A Little Deeper – Princess & The Frog
You’ll Be In My Heart – Tarzan
Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride – Lilo & Stitch
In Summer – Frozen
Mother Knows Best – Tangled
A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes – Cinderella
There are many more that we enjoy but these are the ones on our road trip playlist. Our girls enjoy songs that they can sing along with. What is your favorite Disney Song? Would you add anything to our list?
We are currently preparing for long-term family travel. We plan to begin our trip in 2020. Many people have been asking for a list of exactly what we’re working on right now. I want to say upfront that not all of these things would be necessary for every family and most of it could be done much faster. There are parts of this that we could (and very well still may) completely do on the fly. There are parts of our plan that require time to complete and that is why we are able to take our time with other things that could be done quicker. Having ample time to research and prepare has made this whole endeavor much less stressful. Now on to our checklist.
1.) Paying off Debt – We had a lot of debt when we decided that we wanted to go on this adventure. We didn’t want to have all of that debt and crazy amounts of payments hanging over us when we left. Also, we felt like saving for a trip and spending excessive amounts of money while traveling would be irresponsible knowing we had loads of debt. We made out our “Hit List” for the first debts that we would tackle. We started by paying off one credit card and loan at a time. After we paid off a few things, we made out our priority list that we are still working our way through. It was like we needed to pay off a couple of things and know we were serious before we were willing to make out that whole list. If you are interested in our priority list, you can find it here.
2.) Education – Education and homeschool research has been a huge focus for me right now. We have three daughters, all in different age groups. The main reason for our timeframe is that our oldest daughter, Ivy, will graduate from high school in 2020. Since she was in high school, we decided it was best for her to finish. She plans to take a gap year to go with us and to think about what she wants to do. If she wants to take any college classes while we are gone there are many online options.
Our middle daughter, Isabella, will be starting fifth grade when we leave. I’ve been reading everything I can about homeschooling. I looked into the laws. I’m researching curriculum, reading lists, online programs, historical places we could visit, and homeschool record keeping. There is so much available that it can be a little overwhelming. I just wanted to get a good overview so I didn’t feel completely unprepared when the time came. We are trying to decide between her staying in her school for the fourth grade or doing a year of homeschooling before we leave. Our youngest, Octavia, will be four when we leave. Our state doesn’t require children to be officially enrolled as a homeschooler until age six. We plan to begin preschool at home before we leave and continue on the road.
I have found out from my research that we are “relaxed, eclectic” homeschoolers. This seems fitting because we are pretty relaxed people. Our middle daughter is very independent and self-directed. Having the time to fully research this has been very helpful. It has given me the opportunity to think about what I want to cover and how best to cover it. I feel much more comfortable than I did when I first started looking into it.
3.) Medical/Dental – We had a few things that we wanted and needed to get taken care of before we leave. Our oldest had oral surgery to have her wisdom teeth taken out. She needs to do a set of x-rays and a check-up on her back before we leave. Our middle daughter has food allergies to seafood and shellfish. She was diagnosed when she was three. She had a reaction to shrimp but the others were found on a scratch test and with blood work. We were told that most young kids grow out of their allergies. She has an appointment soon to find out if and what allergies remain. I’m very hopeful that she has outgrown it for multiple reasons. It would make traveling much easier. I’m terrified that we will be somewhere that we don’t understand the language and accidentally feed her shrimp.
We have to visit a travel clinic closer to when we leave so we can receive any needed vaccinations and medications for our trip. We have been getting anything we can from our regular doctors that our insurance will cover. I work in healthcare so there are some extra things that I have been lucky enough to have covered by employee health services. We have found a travel clinic and looked into the process.
4.) Preparing our Kids – We are talking about traveling, reading books, and watching videos. They are working on needed skills like swimming and hiking. We have been introducing them to new foods. We know this is going to be a huge transition and we are doing everything we can to make it easier for them.
5.) Our Belongings – We have been slowly decluttering and using up our belongings. We have been narrowing down what is truly important to us. We plan to rent a small storage bin for the sentimental items and to store off-season things while traveling. We have decided to find a place near my mom so that she can check on things for us and put stuff in if we ship anything home. I will be scanning all of our photos and taking pictures of sentimental items just in case anything is ruined in the storage bin. I plan to put everything on a portable hard drive. We will store this and a small number of valuable keepsakes in a safe deposit box.
6.) Packing/What are we taking – We have been researching suitcases/backpacks, suggested packing lists, reviews for various travel gear, and looking at the weather in areas that we want to go to. We have been looking at our current favorite items to see how best to accommodate our personal styles into our travel wardrobes. We will be spending part of our trip working and slow traveling in the United States. We will have a large vehicle during that time and be taking considerably more with us. We will have kitchen stuff and clothing for multiple seasons. We have been discussing how much stuff we will need to homeschool. We will have very little with us when we are flying. We plan to take a milk crate sized box with us for homeschooling items when we are in the US. We plan to allow one small bag for toys when flying and a bigger bag or box when driving.
7.) Blogging/Vlogging – I plan to continue blogging when we leave. I hope to inspire others to live their dreams, especially families. We are considering doing Vlogs on Youtube but we’re not sure if this is for us. We are going to make a few and see how it goes. We want to at least try filming and editing before we leave to see if it’s something that we would enjoy doing.
8.) Trip Planning/Travel Research – Where are we going? We don’t know exactly but we have been researching areas and getting together our bucket-lists. We looked at the best times of year to visit, must see places, and estimated daily budgets. This is really helping us to prioritize.
9.) Work – I plan to work as a travel nurse. I’m not sure if we will travel for a while before I do a travel nurse contract or if I will do a contract first to get a feel for it. I’ve been looking into different companies and talking to people who do this. My husband doesn’t know if he wants to continue with what he does now or if he’s going to try a new line of work. He has considered temporary work and online options too.
10.) Physical – We are working on being in good shape so that we don’t feel like we’re going to die when we leave. We still will not be used to walking all day, every day. I want to finish losing the weight I gained with Octavia. I am walking and hiking more with the kids so that they are better prepared for what’s coming. My husband, Michael, has a very sedentary job currently. He is working out and trying to eat better. He is considering taking a more active job again before we leave. Unfortunately, he is still smoking occasionally and really needs to quit. He has tried many times but he hasn’t had the willpower to make it stick.
11.) Spending Time with Family and Friends – We are spending as much time as possible with friends and family. Also, we are trying to help them understand why we are doing what we are doing, that we will miss them, and that we do plan to visit.
12.) Passports & Visas – We need to get all of our passports in order when we get closer to leaving. We have been looking into Visas and any rules that we need to know for visiting different countries.
13.) Banking and Credit Cards – We need to figure out which bank we want to use when we leave and which credit cards offer the best perks. We need to make sure that we are able to access our money regardless of where we are. We will likely have multiple different accounts including checking, savings, and credit cards.
14.) Insurance – We will need medical, travel, and car insurance.
15.) Cell Phone and Internet – We will want/need cell phones and internet access while on the road. These will both change based on where we are and where we plan to go.
16.) Post Office Box – We will likely set up a post office box before we leave so we know where our mail will go. I have been switching everything possible over to email.
17.) Kindle – We will need one of these for both homeschool and reading for enjoyment. Isabella (9) and I are avid readers. We both prefer paper books but we have to take weight and space into account. We have decided to purchase one Kindle to share and see if we need another later.
18.) Laptops, Chromebook, Tablet – We are trying to decide which options best fit our needs. We will be working a little online. I plan to continue with the blog. We will be homeschooling our youngest two girls. Our oldest does digital art. We will be taking our two current laptops (Ivy’s and mine) with us while we are in the United States. They are way too big to fly with so we may get a smaller laptop to take with us. Isabella has a fire tablet now that we’ll take because we already own it.
19.) Photography – I am continuing to improve my photography and videography skills. I am learning how to best use my cameras and equipment. I’m figuring out which items I will take with me and picking out the best tech/camera bag options for that equipment.
20.) Money/Budget – We are trying to decide on a daily budget and an app or way to track it. I’m a total nerd and enjoy doing this kind of stuff. It can make all the difference in keeping us on the road longer and allowing us to enjoy our trip without constantly worrying about money.
It’s quite a list! I’m very thankful that I have the time to do it all at my own pace and even more thankful that we will be able to take this trip. Do you have any suggestions about anything on this list? Did we miss anything that you think we need to consider? Please leave us a comment below.
We do a lot of road trips with our kids. Over the years, we have learned many ways to cope with spending hours in the car with children. It’s all about preparation before you leave. Our kids are often excited to start a road trip because they know that there are fun things ahead. Currently, our children are 17, 8, and 2 years old. This summer I took a trip with our kids and a family member who is 13 years old so I hit every age range. It was because of that trip that I decided I needed to write this post. I had so many questions and crazy looks when people found out that I was going on a road trip with four kids by myself.
Disclaimer: I am not a crafty person. I make most of the games and projects that we use while on the road. These are not beautiful games with perfect pictures. I don’t sweat the small stuff. If a line isn’t perfect, I don’t care. The point of these projects is to keep kids occupied and parents sane.
What You Need:
A Basic Clipboard for Each Kid (I bought ours at the Dollar Tree for $1 each)
Stickers (Dollar Tree & Leftovers from other projects)
The first project during our trip is to decorate our clipboards. Each kid gets their clipboard. If I have packs of stickers with multiple sheets, then each kid gets a sheet. (Side note: A parent or older child should hold onto a toddler’s stickers and only give them one sheet at a time.) They take a few minutes to look these over so that they can plan their overall design for their board. Then we pass around the books or single sheets of stickers that don’t have duplicates. I randomly pick a person to start each book or sheet with. They pick one sticker to add to their board and pass it on. The stickers travel around our car counter-clockwise until they are gone or everybody (or everybody except one) passes. If one person still wants that book or sheet, then they can keep it in their stack with their other sticker sheets. If nobody wants them anymore then they go into the box/bag in the front of activities for later. (Usually, these go to the toddler with plain paper or a coloring page to pass the time when she started getting bored.) We only have one going around the car at a time and I always pick another person to start each time. The kids work on putting their stickers from their personal stack on their board while they wait for the stickers to come around. When everybody is done with their boards, they pass them around one by one so we can all admire their work.
Est. time: 30 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the children and the stickers (Smaller stickers take more time to decorate with than large ones. My kids wanted them to be really pretty and spent an hour and a half.)
What You Need:
On our last trip, we used one pack of Hello Kitty window clings I bought at the Dollar Tree. The big kids all had a window seat. They passed the clings around and each picked out one to put on their window. They kept passing them until they were gone. Each kid ended up with 3 clings. Octavia, 2 years old, enjoyed watching them put them on the windows.
Est. time: 20 minutes
What You Need:
Plain Printer Paper
Ruler or Something with a Straight Edge
Use a ruler or flat edge to make 6 lines vertically and horizontally to create 25 boxes. Label the center with a free space and all the rest of the squares with license plates that you may see on your trip. On our trip to Florida, I chose places that we were likely to see and ones that were going to be harder to find to keep things interesting. Each board should be different but have some in common. They should have the same mix of easy and hard spaces. We have a rule that you have to shout out every new plate you see to keep things fair. They won a small prize for getting Bingo first and another prize for finding them all. My kids are competitive so they all really wanted to win.
Est. time: Side Game until somebody wins
What You Need:
Plain Printer Paper
Ruler or Something with a Straight Edge
Use the ruler or flat edge to make 6 lines vertically and horizontally to make 25 boxes. Label each box with something you may see from the window of the car. The kids cross off the box when they find the item. The first person to find all of them wins a small prize. You could draw pictures for smaller children or write a list to cross off if you prefer. We have done all three.
Est. time: Until somebody wins, Depends on how hard the items are to find
What You Need:
Plain White printer paper or Lined paper
A Black Pen or Marker
I prefer to do this on plain paper because I think it looks more like a game and less like school work. I made 26 lines and put a letter of the alphabet at the beginning of each of them. The kids have to find a sign that has a word that begins with each letter. They can be street signs, billboards, restaurants, or anything else as long as they read it on a sign. This is a lot of fun and it’s amusing to see the words they come up with. There is a small prize for whoever gets them all first.
Est. time: Until somebody wins
What You Need:
Small Paper Bags (I used a pack of brown paper lunch sacks)
Small Toys, Non-messy Crafts, Snacks, Games, etc.
I started by raiding our craft/toy closet. I picked out some toys for Octavia to play with that were fun but not her favorite toys. I took out any non-messy crafts that I had available. I picked out a couple books that Isabella hadn’t read yet because she is a big reader and doesn’t get carsick. Next, I went to the Dollar Tree to pick out goodies. Small art kits, crossword puzzles, snacks, and toys are perfect. These were the bulk of the items used. I bought a large dot-to-dot book at Michael’s and two Imagine Ink books from Amazon/Target.
Sadly, I didn’t take a picture of these. I laid out all the items I had and then separated them out into bags that made sense. I labeled the bags with numbers and a quick note about when to open them. Our oldest daughter was in charge of getting the bags out at the right times. This made the whole thing more exciting. They were like little gifts every hour or two. The first one was just labeled #1 and was to be opened after they decorated their clipboards and put up their window clings. The notes on the bags would be things like “Can be opened after lunch but not too close to dinner” because this bag contained a snack. One bag held a small toy for Octavia, a handheld pinball game, a dress-up doll, and a paddle board with a ball attached. The big girls took ten minute turns with the items. One bag had only a bag of Buggles in it. The girls had a blast playing with/eating them. The items in those bags would not have been near as exciting if I had just given them all to them in a bag at the beginning of the trip. They would have been bored by lunch on day 1. Instead, those items kept them occupied for the entire trip & the bags they didn’t finish were used on the way home.
A little advance preparation got us through this last road trip with minimal whining. These don’t cost a fortune and your kids will enjoy the trip more. They will spend more time having fun together and making memories which is what family travel is all about.
I wanted to take a few minutes to update all of you amazing readers on our goals so that everyone will understand our future plans. We always knew we wanted to travel more. We would like to see the world and experience it with our children. We dreamed of traveling the world, climbing mountains, swimming oceans, eating exotic foods, epic road trips, cultural experiences, living out of suitcases, and meeting people around the world. We crave that sense of awe and wonder that one feels when experiencing something for the first time.
Sounds like a great daydream, doesn’t it? The problem with this desire is that we are working stiffs with three kids, a mortgage, debt, and a crapload of stuff. People like us don’t do things like that. It felt like money was the main problem standing between us and our dream. After we decided that we were going to make our dream a reality, we had to break it down into steps. I am now dividing those big steps into small, very doable steps. That is why we started the monthly goals. What we figured out over the course of doing those monthly goals is priceless. We figured out that it was not money stopping us from living our dreams. It was us. We weren’t living in a way to ever make our dream a reality. When we sat down to see if there were any changes we could make that would allow us to travel with our kids, we were shocked to find that we could be living our dream in a few short years.
Our goal is to begin long-term travel as a family of five by the end of 2020. If everything goes as planned we hope to leave in fall. We plan to do a combo of traveling around the United States while I work as a travel nurse and world travel between contracts. We plan to continue the blog while we are preparing and during our travels. We are also flirting with the idea of vlogging but it’s not definite yet. We do plan to try making a couple vlogs before we leave so we can try to learn how to edit video. We have never attempted to edit video before but we are curious to try it. Short vlogs would be a great way to share our experiences with our friends and family at home. We plan to bring Jack with us in the US and only go overseas if we have somebody to take care of him. If it looks like housing is going to be too big of an issue while in the US because of the dog and kids, we may consider a camper/RV. There are still many unknowns but we are working on it one thing at a time.
I never in a million years thought that we would be planning to live our dreams of travel with our kids but here we are. I will write a post about the details of our plan soon so that you can understand everything we need to do over the next two years in order to be prepared for our adventure. Do you have any tips for us on planning travel with kids? Please leave them in the comments!
Packing for children can be quite tedious and leave you questioning every choice. You don’t want to be bogged down by heavy luggage but you also do not want to be stuck without a spare outfit when you need it most. The first step to deciding how many outfits your child needs is to figure out what their normal daily needs are at home. Do they get dirty a lot? Are they toilet trained? Then consider where you are going and what your activities will be. Will you be outside? Any special outings that require a nicer option? What will the weather be like? Do you need to layer to accommodate changes throughout the day?
My oldest child is 15 so her needs are similar to an adult. I tell her if there is weight/space limitations. She typically brings an outfit for each day of a short trip plus a couple extra options. She may wear jeans or shorts more than once if it’s a city or mostly indoor trip. She will bring one nicer outfit to change into before a nicer dinner or outing. She will bring an extra swimsuit and sundress. Teens are capable of packing their own bags with little to no guidance. Travel is a learning experience. Packing and planning ahead is part of that learning. Make sure to give your teen ample time. When a teen makes poor choices, fails to plan, or waits until the last-minute, you must decide if you are going to bail them out or use it as a learning experience.
Children between 5 and 12 need more guidance. They can and should help with planning and packing for their personal needs. I tell my 6-year-old where we will be going and what type of outfit that requires for each day. She lays out her choices and I check to see if they are appropriate. I pack the good choices. I explain why inappropriate choices will not work and give her a chance to try again. Set very clear limits on toys. This may include the number of items, the size/weight of the toy, if it’s an electronic toy, if it needs to be quiet, and the space within the bag that can be allocated to toys. You may need to offer guidance and supervision depending on your child’s personality, age, and level of experience with these sort of tasks.
Babies through preschool age children require more thought into what to pack. How much to take will really be child dependent. A baby with reflux or frequent diaper blowouts will take extra planning. Can extra bibs help offset some of the need? Do not forget to take this into consideration when packing for yourself. I carry an old shirt for myself in the diaper bag at all times since I had the pleasure of driving home in a sports bra after a diaper blowout in a baby carrier at a park. Assume that a toddler and preschooler will get dirty or wet if the opportunity presents itself. You can let toddlers and preschoolers help by choosing between two items or by handing you things. You can also give preschoolers the ability to pick out favorite clothing pieces to build an outfit around. The more involved they are at this age the more independently they can pack later.
We aim for a couple extra outfits per week/trip for school age children and 1-2 extra outfits per day for babies through preschoolers. There are ways to work these extra items in without feeling like you have majorly over-packed. I typically pack 1-2 extra sundresses for my girls when going someplace warm because they are lightweight options. A swimsuit top can be worn in a pinch. I pack comfortable clothing to use as pajamas that can double as regular clothing in case of emergency. This is my go to for short trips and camping. Do you need your kids to be clean for dinner but don’t want to pack a ton of extra clothing? Consider having them wear the next days clothing to dinner. This has worked for us for normal dining options many times. Casual dresses and button downs with khakis can work on a child at nicer restaurants and still be comfortably worn for sightseeing. A clean onesie is all that’s needed for a baby in warm areas and a sleeper is acceptable in cooler ones. Babies are cute no matter what they are wearing so no need to stress over the perfect outfit for everything.
Beware of buying new clothing for little kids for a trip. It’s a lot of extra pressure. They may not like the way it feels. It may get dirty or even ruined. It may get lost. Remember that this is supposed to be enjoyable. Relax your standards a little. A stained shirt is not the end of the world. Let the kids be kids. Let things go so that you can enjoy yourself.