August 2, 2018

Tips For Traveling With Toddlers


As moms of little ones, I believe we would all agree that when traveling with a kid, our main goal is to end up at the destination safe, and sane, although, sanity often takes a backseat : )

In the begginning, I had a couple terrible travel experiences with Abby. So, I get it: mixing together a kid, a car and miles of pavement in front of you is no piece of cake. This is why I’m really excited to share with you today a few tips on traveling with a toddler.

Traveling with kids as a first time mom feels like studying for a college exam. You take notes, research, and fill your head with as much information as possible. Then, when the big day arrives, you do what you think is best. 

However, there are certainly a few things we’ve done on repeat and it’s important I mention, it took us 10 trips in two years to feel like taking our then baby and now toddler on a road trip to be “stress free.” We only feel comfortable because we have systems and parenting tricks in place every time we go now. 

So here are our favorite tips for taking a toddler on a road trip.  

Please know before reading below that there are a ton of great tips and ideas to keep everyone in the car happy. These are just a few I proudly stand by since they have worked great for us! 


Planning:


//  Routine  //
Travel around their usual schedule. If possible, keep your little one(s) on their daily routine. We’ve found that the best time to start a road trips is right after Abby wakes up.

// Packing//
Pack as much as you can the night before. I always make a check list of what we need to do and bring. And I make a second check list for what we need to pack the morning of. It may sound silly and very (Monica from Friends like), although it really helps us get out the door and remember to bring everything we need.

//  Snacks  //
This is the most popular tip I’ve heard about traveling with kids and I agree. As a toddler, Abby likes varity. So I always let her choose which snack she wants, especially if we’re driving and it’s close to lunch time. You can find a more in depth approach to this idea here.

//  Sunscreen & Sunshield  //
The sunlight falls right over our little ones faces because of their low postion in the back seat (facing front or back) and unfortionately, I didn’t think of this during our first road trip. Although ever since that trip, which resulted in pink cheeks for Abby, we’ve doubled up on sun protection with sunscreen on Abby and a sunsheild. Abby has been pink-cheek free ever since!

//  Cooler  //
Instead of stopping for more milk or juice, I instead fill a cooler bag with ice and milk. That way, I can easily refill a sippy cup as needed. This is great if your little one just finished breast-feeding or still drinks a lot of milk! I wish I would have started doing this one sooner. Which brings me to my next tip.


During:


//  Expectations  //
We always add on more time than we would expect. It took me a long time to really accept and grasp the idea of slowing down. Especially when we started to travel with our little one. It’s impossible to go as long or as fast as we used to when it was just us. Although that's ok! It’s important to stop and change the diaper, let them run around, or get more snacks. This phase is short when compared to the 18 years they’ll be with us. 

//  Variety  //
We have found it best to hold off on playing music until the last hour or two of our trip. 80’s or 90’s music is our go-to for keeping Abby awake and happy. Although we have found that the hum of the road helps her focus on other things like, reading books, playing with stuffed animals, eating, or listening to Steve and I talk (which is total entertainment for her!). Varitety is king with our toddler-music or no music. 

// Backseat Entertainment  //
If your little ones are one or under, try sitting next to them in the back seat. We used to do this quite a bit when Abby was younger, since she didn’t have the fine motor skills she so desperately wanted. You can also read books, swap out different toys, feed them a bottle, etc. They will be so happy to have mom or dad next to them in the back. 


I hope this post helps inspire you to bring to life all those books we read to our children, as I love how travel is an opportunity to do just that.

We are always grateful for each trip (even the first few rough ones) and look forward to the our next grand adventure every time we return. 

God speed. 

Warmly, Steph


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