Getting hitched on the road with kids can be tough, but following this family’s advice could make things easier.
Will and Kristen Watson have lived and been traveling around the country in a refurbished bus with their 3-year-old daughter, Rom, since April 2019, making them experts at traveling on the road with kids.
“It’s important to be realistic,” Kristen told Fox News Digital about parenting while on the road. “Sometimes we cross the line. We’ll say, ‘Let’s go on this six-mile hike’ and expect the Roam to be an angel on that six-mile hike… Just know there’s probably going to be breakdowns in the process at some point.”
“If they need to slow down and go at their own pace, then you have to be realistic and slow down with them and just be compassionate,” Christine added. “Work with them and they will work with you. Kids are very adaptable…they want to do the things you do.”
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Another thing that can help those “meltdowns” is a recreational kit, which the Watsons always have on hand when they’re traveling.
Kristen told Fox News Digital that theirs includes toys that Roam can play with in her car seat, coloring books, and, as a last resort, an iPad when “nothing else works.”
“Usually before we do that, we’ll give her some snacks,” Christine said. “Snacks are a must.”
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They schedule their drives around rum nap time, Kristen said, “that way, the nap will take at least an hour out of your travel time.”
The family also limits driving time to a maximum of four hours.
“We stop a few times in those four hours to go outside and stretch our legs, have snacks and run, things like that.” Christine said.
She added, “You just have to go slow, enjoy the ride, and that’s what happens with kids. You’ll work around them.”
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Kristen said Roam is actually “very good” — though, of course, she’s used to traveling now.
“We moved onto the bus when she was six months old, so she really doesn’t know anything different,” Kristen said. “This is her whole life, and she is a very happy, very good and intelligent child. We have no complaints.”
“We always tell people we think it’s hard having a baby at home,” Christine added, saying that when they visit friends or family, they always look for Roam.
“You can’t keep out of our sight on the bus, so it’s easier to live in a small space with a kid,” Kristen said.
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If you want some advice on where to go on a road trip with your kids, here are some of the places Watsons recommended.
Casey, Illinois, is famous for being home to 12 of the world’s largest objects — including the world’s largest rocking chair — and other “big things,” according to the town website.
“Roam had a lot of fun there,” Christine said. “We had a lot of fun there, too. It was a really cool little town.”
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Cave City, Kentucky
Cave City, Kentucky, is known for its proximity to Mammoth Cave National Park, which has “53,000 acres of nature preserve and the world’s longest cave system with more than 4,000 miles of passages and 400 miles of marked passages,” according to the city’s website.
Kristen said she also has “a lot of really cool outdoor activities,” like horseback riding, kayaking, and a zipline park.
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National parks out west
Will said that when they’re out west, the family will go to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and Glacier National Park in Montana, where they spend a lot of time outdoors.
“The nice thing about it is that there are designated swimming areas and places where we can all hang out in the water as a family,” Will said. “These are a lot of our favorite little things we can do that don’t really cost money.”
In the end, Christine said the destination didn’t matter.
“We make anywhere work,” she said. “We went to Chicago…with Roam, and we walked all over and did all the Chicago stuff and I loved it. Most places have parks, so we always zip in a park or something for it.”
The mother added, “This way we can do the things we want to do, and she has to do the things she wants to do.”
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