As our travel plans evolved we decided to do a Saturday-Monday road trip instead of our traditional Friday-Sunday plans. This worked out great for us because Tavish was sick on Friday and this also meant we could leave early Saturday morning and not have to worry about any rush hour traffic. We left around six and with only one stop for breakfast and pee break we arrived at our destination at 9:30. Here are a few of my tips for an easy road trip without a DVD player (I'm not against these but I only plan on using ours for an extreme emergency)
Toddler and Older
- snacks - pack all of your kids favorite snacks and keep them close by. You don't want your snacks packed in a hard to reach spot. Also you want easy to clean snacks, I'm a fan of raisins, fruit leather, granola bars, and animal crackers. I try not to get anything messy or sticky.
- toys and books - pack lots of different toys and books and have them either accessible to you or your child. Again you don't want to be digging around for new toys when they get bored of what they have.
- have a special road trip toy or game - something that you only use when on long road trip. We have a tag/tag jr. (review to come later) which Tavish can use when he's in the car for more than an hour. This way it's a special treat and won't get bored of it after 5 minutes
- bring great music - have a variety of music that you and your kids both like. To me there is nothing worse than having to listen to the same terrible CD over and over again
- books on tape or pod casts - these are great for older children and even adults. Listening to a good story/book can make a trip go by much faster. My husband and I are huge fans of the Vinyl Cafe pod cast and it's kid friendly too
- tell stories - my 3 year old love stories and he love ones that I tell. I tell my own version of choose your own story and he love it. I really need to record one as they get pretty silly.
Babies - Traveling with your baby can be really easy or really tricky depending on the age of your baby and their temperament. I have a very easy baby when it comes to traveling so my tips may or may not work for you
- start off happy - make sure all the immediate needs are met: food, clean diaper, comfortable. I try to make sure that I top up any feeding and have a fresh diaper before I start, this way I know if my baby is crying it's not because he needs a basic need met.
- entertainment - babies usually like something to look at besides the back of the car seat. Mirrors work great as it allows you to look at your baby and they can also be entertained by themselves. I also put in a few soft toys to keep him entertained
- be prepared - be prepared for anything and have extra's of everything. Make sure you have a second or third soother on hand and with easy access if you need one. Bring extra clothes, diapers, and wipes just in case you need a change of clothes.
- plastic bags - bring some, you never know if you'll have a blow out that requires a clean up
- stop when you need to - you'll need to stop more often with a baby then you would on your own so plan for these stops
- sing - when you can't stop and your baby is cranky just sing. I don't think it matters how terrible or good your voice is, the sound of your voice can be soothing or at least it makes you feel like your doing something until you can pull over.
Keeping these things in mind we had an easy trip to Philly and we were ready to being sight seeing. First stop was the Please Touch Museum...