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How one can road trip with kids, from parents who live in a bus year-round

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Road tripping with children might be difficult, but following this family’s advice could make things easier.

Will and Kristin Watson have been living and traveling across the country in a renovated bus with their 3-year-old daughter Roam since April 2019, making them experts at traveling on the road with kids.

“It’s essential to be realistic,” Kristin told Fox News Digital about parenting while road tripping. “Sometimes we overshoot. We’ll be like, ‘Let’s go on this six-mile hike’ and expect Roam to be an angel for a six-mile hike… Just know that there are probably going to be meltdowns in the method sooner or later.”

Will and Kristin Watson have been living and traveling across the country in a renovated bus with their almost-3-year-old daughter Roam since April 2019, making them experts at traveling on the road with kids.
(Courtesy of Will and Kristin Watson)

“In the event that they have to decelerate and go at their pace, then you want to be realistic and decelerate with them and just be compassionate,” Kristin added. “Work with them and so they’ll work with you. Children are very adaptable.… They need to do the things that you just’re doing.” 

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One other thing that may also help those “meltdowns” is an entertainment kit, which the Watsons at all times have available while they travel. 

Kristin told Fox News Digital that theirs has toys Roam can play with in her automobile seat, coloring books and, as a final resort, an iPad for when “nothing else works.” 

“Normally before we try this, we’ll give her some snacks,” Kristin said. “Snacks are a must have.”

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Kristin said they schedule their driving around Roam’s nap time, “in order that way, no less than an hour of travel time might be her taking a nap.”

The family also limits their driving time to 4 hours max. 

The Watsons also travel with their pitbull Rush.

The Watsons also travel with their pitbull Rush.
(Courtesy of Will and Kristin Watson)

“We stop multiple times in that 4 hours to get out and stretch our legs, and eat snacks and run around, and things like that.” Kristin said. 

She added: “You’ve just got to go slow, benefit from the journey, and it’s what it’s with kids. You’re going to be working around them.”

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Kristin said Roam is definitely “pretty good” – though, after all, she’s accustomed to traveling by now. 

“We moved into the bus when she was 6 months old, so she doesn’t really know anything different,” Kristin said. “That is her whole life, and she or he is a really comfortable, excellent, smart child. We’ve zero complaints.”

The Watsons' renovated bus – which they named Juan.

The Watsons’ renovated bus – which they named Juan.
(Courtesy of Will and Kristin Watson)

“We actually at all times tell people we expect it’s harder to have a child in a house,” Kristin added, saying that at any time when they visit friends or family, they’re at all times in search of Roam.

“She will’t get out of our sight within the bus, so it’s actually easier to live in a tiny space with a baby,” Kristin said.

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Should you want some advice for where to road trip along with your kids, listed below are just a few spots really helpful by the Watsons.

Casey, Illinois

Casey, Illinois, is known for being the house of 12 of the World’s Largest Things – including the world’s largest rocking chair –  and other “Big Things,” in response to the town website.

“Roam had quite a lot of fun there,” Kristin said. “We had quite a lot of fun there, too. It was a extremely cool, small town.”

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Cave City, Kentucky 

Cave City, Kentucky, is best known for being near Mammoth Cave National Park, which has “53,000 acres of natural preserve and the longest cave system on the planet with over 4,000 mile of passages and 400 miles of mapped passageways,” in response to the town website.

Kristin said it also has “plenty of really cool outdoor activities,” like horseback riding, kayaking and a zipline park.

Kristin told Fox News Digital that the important thing to know about traveling with kids is that you have to be realistic about your plans and children sometimes have to go at a slower pace.

Kristin told Fox News Digital that the essential thing to find out about traveling with kids is that you have got to be realistic about your plans and youngsters sometimes should go at a slower pace.
(Courtesy of Will and Kristin Watson)

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National parks out West

Will said after they’re out West, the family will go to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and Glacier National Park in Montana, where they spend plenty of time outdoors.

“The great thing with that’s that there’s dedicated swimming areas and places where we will all hand around in the water as a family,” Will said. “Those are quite a lot of our favourite little things that we will try this don’t really cost money.”

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Ultimately, Kristin said the destination doesn’t matter.

“We make anywhere work,” she said. “We went to Chicago… with Roam, and we walked throughout and did all of the things in Chicago and she or he loved it. Most places have parks, so we at all times just squeeze in a park or something for her.”

“That way we get to do the things we wish to do, and she or he gets to do the things she wants do to,” the mother added.

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