These past couple of weeks, we’ve been able to see some beautiful parts of Canada. Our family traveled to Nova Scotia to explore some of the amazing scenery. This wasn’t our first long road trip with our family. In 2015 we traveled to Florida with our kids who were 1, 3 and 6 at the time. Two years later our kids are older and still are great travellers!
For this road trip, I decided to incorporate a little more thoughtful planning, as I wanted to make sure that one- everything fit into our car and two- that nobody would get car crazy. This was also the first trip that as a family we stayed in a number of Airbnb’s. Two years ago Airbnb wasn’t around (at least I don’t think they were!) so this was a new thing for us and I have some thoughts to share on our experiences.
I hope these few tips will be helpful to you!
- GPS – Have one. As much as our phones are super helpful, our data plan is limited and there are areas that we ran into that had very little reception. Having this little GPS has helped a ton!
- Snack Boxes – I found this idea on Pinterest and it was ingenious! My friend Jen was also telling me about how she did this on her trip with her girls. I bought each of my kids a plastic basket from Dollarama. I then got two big boxes with lids and filled it with snacks. One for the journey to Nova Scotia and one for the way back. Now don’t judge me, I did fill it with lots of processed food— but it’s what worked best for our family! Cereal bars, Rice Krispie treats, granola bars, fruit sauce packets, mini chocolate bars, that kind of stuff! The handy thing is at Fresh Co they sell all these things in big packs so it was just a matter of splitting between the too boxes. It was more than enough for the trip. Each morning I filled the kids baskets with the days allotment of snacks and drinks. They could eat them whenever they felt hungry!
- Pack Light – I was determined to pack minimal for the kids for this trip. The last trip we took I overpacked. For the kids I only packed two sets of jammies, three shorts, three t-shirts, two pants, two bathing suits, one sweater, and one long sleeve shirt oh and plenty of underwear and only three pairs of socks. I brought along a small pack of laundry pods and did laundry whenever I could. Such a space saver not to have so many packed suitcases!
- Tablets + Netflix App – About a week before we were about to leave, our in car DVD player caught fire. We plugged it in and it started smoking! Our son had quickly noticed this and we got them out before they totally erupted in flames. That same week our cell provider had a special, get a free tablet if you add data to your plans. Being the Dutch person I am, I quickly got to a store and got our free tablet. The first App we added was Netflix and we downloaded a bunch of shows for the kids to watch in the car on our trip! Genius!
- Airbnb – We stayed for five nights in three different Airbnb’s. While Airbnb’s are amazing, they won’t be for everyone. The first Airbnb we stayed in was in Saint Jean Port Joli, Quebec. It was a shared accommodation Airbnb. We stayed in the home along with the homeowner and her children. Our kids loved it because they also had a farm with many animals- they had a blast! Our second Airbnb was amazing! A little cabin just the right size for our family of five. We received farm fresh eggs for breakfast and it was in the heart of the Annapolis Valley. Our last Airbnb was phenomenal! A upper loft apartment that was completely redone! If you are ever in the Quebec area you need to stay here. There are many pros to Airbnb’s and they totally have me convinced. You get to meet so many kind people along the way and get to experience something so much more personal than a cold hotel room. If you’ve never tried an Airbnb yet, I’d highly recommend it.
BONUS TIP: I’m only adding this here because of what happened on our very last day in Nova Scotia. Our youngest daughter pinched her thumb in a bathroom door at Peggy’s Cove pretty badly and we ended up at the Emergency. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TRAVELLERS Insurance! I always purchase mine through Manulife Financial. We’ve had great experiences with them and its not that expensive to get coverage for a family.
I hope these tips have been somewhat helpful, if you have any of your own travel tips, I’d love to hear them!