Have you ever taken a long road trip with a toddler before? Well just a few weeks ago, my husband and I drove 11+ hours with 2. The closer the trip got, the more anxious I became. Going anywhere with little people can be taxing on your health and emotions….no exaggerations.
Here a few a things I learned to make a long trip a little easier…..
Live by a List
I’m a planner by nature, so the moment I knew we were going on this trip, I started making lists. Lists for each family member, lists for the hotel stay, and list for the food I needed to bring.
I don’t know about you, but lists help me stay organized. And, I feel more accomplished as I can check things off my list.
Start Packing Weeks in Advance
If you aren’t a planner like me, this first tip seems absolutely insane. But if you have small kids, there is so much to consider when you leave the house every day, let alone a long trip!
Packing weeks in advance, especially if you work outside the home minimizes your stress the closer it gets time to leave. Start packing things that you aren’t using-like extra outfits & shoes.
Buy an extra set of toothbrushes, toothpaste, diapers & pull-ups so that you ensure you don’t forget those important items.
Overpack the Essentials
It was our first time taking a long road trip (traveling 11+ hours), so I wanted to be sure I packed everything but the kitchen sink. Sounds crazy? No! When you have little ones, it’s inevitable that if you don’t pack it, you will need it.
What do I mean by essentials? Clothes, underwear, hygiene supplies, and medicine.
Bring a New Toy/Coloring Book/Dvd that They’ve Never Seen Before
I’m telling you, this piece of advice is worth more than it’s weight in gold. My girls have been intrigued by superhero’s lately, so imagine my happiness when I spotted a Supergirls DVD (Yeah girl power!!)
Since our road trip happened close to Christmas, I also picked up a copy of The Grinch that Stole Christmas. Can I tell you that the Mr. Grinch song is still stuck in my head??
Whenever the kids seemed to get antsy, I just popped another DVD in. I promise this tip works for flights too!!
Keep an Endless Supply of Snacks on Hand
For some reason, being trapped in a car for endless hours tricks your body into thinking that you are hungry 24/7. Before the trip, I packed several snack bags full of snacks like goldfish, chocolate chip cookies, Chex mix, pistachios and tons more.
When you pre-pack snacks, it keeps your kids from overindulging and overeating because they aren’t reaching directly into the box. It also minimizes the mess.
In Case of Emergencies, Stop at Target (or any other local store)
You can plan and even over plan, but things happen. Sometimes you forget to pack something.
In the event that there is an emergency, stop at a store and pick up what you need. It’s not the end of the world.
Your family will probably be happy that they get an opportunity to stretch their legs.
Enjoy the Road Trip
This is a piece of advice my mom gave me. She knows that as moms, we worry so much about packing and getting to the destination, that we often forget to enjoy the journey.
Enjoy the games that your kids make up in the car. Enjoy the time you spend with your family.
You may learn some new things about them. This is a time that your kids will grow to treasure as they get older. Slow down and take it all in. Take pictures and document your family vacation.
Have you ever taken a long road trip with toddlers? What worked for you? Comment below and share your tips and tricks with me!