With the Thanksgiving holiday next week, I thought, what better time than now to share a few tips for making a road trip with a toddler a little less painful. I can still recall my family’s first major road trip to Atlanta last Thanksgiving. What an adventure it was, although I will admit that my son was an awesome car traveler!
That was last year! Fast-forward to now and I have a busy two-year-old on my hands!
I am a mommy that is quick to admit that just like with everything else, you have to have a game plan when it comes to making the decision to load up your vehicle and your most precious cargo and head out on the road. For those traveling by plane, check out a post that we did that highlights our “Tips For Traveling On A Plane With A Toddler.”
So, here we go! Grab a mimosa or a glass of wine (depending on what time of day it is) and jump right in to read our five tips for surviving a road trip with a toddler.
Get An Early Morning Start
This has always worked for my family and I. We’ve simply bathed and lotioned up my son at night and then dressed him in some super warm pajamas. This makes it a little easier to wake him up in the middle of the night and place him in his car seat, especially when he sees that it’s still dark outside. As this would be the time that kids are normally sleeping, it can probably give you seven to eight hours on the road without having to tend to your toddler. It’s what a like to call, your headstart.
Load Up Your Diaper Bag
This tip is one of my favorites! Unlike when traveling by air, when in the vehicle you can go overboard with the packing of your diaper bag. I have been known to throw in handfuls of my son’s favorite Elmo juices, fruit, cheese puffs, you name it, and I am packing it! It is so important to try to pack as much as you can so you won’t have to worry about stopping off unnecessarily to pick up something that you could have already had inside of the car with you.
Bring On The In-Car Entertainment
If you happen to already be driving a vehicle that comes equipped with in-car electronics, then you are one step ahead of the game. For those moms who don’t drive vehicles with the TV’s and headphones already included, no worries! Simply grab your iPad or another tablet and be sure that the little baby is charged up for the road. You will want to make sure that you have lots of games and movies loaded up and ready to entertain your little one.
Understand That Fussiness Does Not Equate to a #MommyFail
There will be fits and there will be tears. That’s just the reality of it. Depending on where you are traveling to, you are asking this little person to sit in the same seat for hours on end. Tears and fussiness just goes along with the territory. The key is to understand the reality of it and not let it get the best of you.
Don’t Rush It
There will be stops, and possibly plenty of them. Just like we often need to take breaks to stop and stretch our legs, we can’t expect our little ones to be any different can we? You must account for multiple stops as part of gauging your arrival time.
Traveling in the car with your toddler doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It can actually be a great bonding experience for the entire family as you are spending hours in the same location together. With that said, remember to have fun!
So Glams, do you have any additional tips that want to share? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below.
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