Tips and tricks for getting out of the house faster when you’re travelling with kids!

Over the past couple of years, we’ve gotten a little better at getting out of the house at the time we planned to leave, but there’s still the scramble. The ‘we’re going on a road trip but we have to do these last minute fourteen things’ before we go scramble. There’s the last minute things to pack, the quick turn around because it was so chaotic that we can’t recall if we closed the garage door and the quick check to make sure the sleds/skis/pool floats/paddles were in the Thule.

Three kids and nearing fifty road trips later, we’ve got a bit of a system that we use to get out of the house a little faster than we did before – and you know when you’re travelling with kids, every minute counts.

Here’s how to get out of the house faster, when you’re traveling with kids:

Teach Your Kids to Pack 
That’s right. Skip packing for your kids and put them in charge. Though Violet is only four, we encourage her to pack her own things when we’re going away for the weekend. Each kid has a standard carry on size piece of luggage, with wheels, making it perfect sized for a weekend trip away, and small enough for them to be able to pack, bring to the car, and even up to the hotel room, on their own. Sure, there have been instances when all that’s been packed is a hockey jersey, five and a half swimsuits, and a load of toys – but the next time, they didn’t stray as far from the list we give them.

Combine the Road Trip Stops
Combine the pre road trip stops with one another. That’s right. Instead of stopping at the drive thru to grab coffee, team up and grab it while you’re fueling up the vehicle. Choose a Shell Canada location that offers Costa Coffee, and grab the coffee while you’re partner grabs the fuel. The state of the art coffee machines are just like a barista on the go, and the experience is fast, fun and have your go-to, pre road trip order. There are 250 drink combinations available, using the fresh milk and freshly ground coffee beans.

The touch screen that is used to customize your Costa Coffee is simple to use, and mimics the experience of being in a coffee shop, with both the quality of the coffee and the details surrounding it – like the fragrance of fresh beans, and ambient sounds.

We try to leave earlier than usual in the morning, so coffee is one of those must-have items while we’re on the road. For older kids, there’s also the option of hot chocolate. It is on of our kids favourite things about road trips, and it has become kind of a tradition to get them their own ‘coffee’.

Try it, the next time you’re fueling up the vehicle – guaranteed the experience (and the caffeine) is going to make you more equipped to deal with the seventy rounds of ‘Are we there yet?’ that you’re inevitably going to have to answer on the journey.

Make a List
Before you head out the door on your next road trip, make a list. Make a list for each season, the things that you need to bring with you on the trip. This gives you a baseline of what to pack, and lessens the amount of time that you’re scrambling to remember everything to bring with you.

Pack the Day Before 
Rather than packing the car, last minute, pack the night before. This means packing everything you need for the trip early, nearly eliminating the amount of prep required to get out of the house and into the vehicle. Packing the night before, while the kids are asleep, could almost be considered leisurely.

Preload the GPS
Unsure where you’re going? Preload the destination into the vehicle so you can save a couple of minutes on the morning you’re leaving.

Distract the Kids 
During the last step, while you’re readying the vehicle, and the family, to go – distract the kids. We put them in the car a few minutes early, in the garage, strapped into their carseats with something to occupy them – like a new book or iPad. They are distracted, strapped in, and they aren’t going to hinder us doing those last minute things while we try to get on the road.

What are some of the ways that you get out of the house faster, when you’re road tripping with the kids? 

This post has been brought to you by a collaboration between This Big Adventure and Shell Canada. All opinions are our own.