Last week we took our first family road trip to spend Thanksgiving with my family in New York City. My expectations for this trip were extremely high that I stressed my own self out and my anxiousness was out of this world. I expected my daughter to have tantrums throughout the trip because she wanted to get out of her seat. Being that she is potty trained I expected us to stop 5-8 times because she needed to “use” the bathroom when all she wanted to do was to get out. I expected her to always want something to eat while we were on the road because she constantly snacks while she’s at home. I went as far reaching out to support groups to get advice I may have been missing just to make sure I was overly prepare, and indeed I was.
During our travels to and from New York City my daughter was exceptionally well. She was well behaved, she never complained, and was quite excited to see the different areas throughout our travel. We made sure she was well entertained and was able to self serve herself when ever she wanted a snack. During our travels we stopped about 3 times going there and the same amount of times coming back. I was indeed impressed at how well my daughter did because the last time we did a long road trip with her was back in 2015 when she just turned a year old. Now many of you may wonder why I chose to car pool instead of catch a flight or take a train. Traveling with a toddler is no easy task no matter what type of transportation you use. Flights and trains are expensive during the holidays. The amount of stuff you need to make sure you have for your child alone is a lot within itself. Depending on the location I would choose to do a road trips because we don’t have to worry about checking stuff in, picking and choosing what we want to bring and what we would have to leave behind. With a road trip you can pack what you want in your car to ensure a smooth, easy going, and entertaining ride not only for yourself but for your little one as well. Here are some of my tips and tricks that allowed my little one to have a smooth and fun road trip:
- Make sure you have entertainment!
– For our road trip we had a portable DVD Player with all of her favorite movies and TV series (Doc McStuffins is her favorite). We also included a coloring book if she wanted to switch it up. She has her own tablet, so we had that charged and ready to go just in case she got bored with her movies which she never did. We did not take any of her toys with us because of the possibility of loosing them or forgetting them.
2. Make sure you have plenty of snacks.
– The day before our travels I went to Walmart and picked out some of her favorite snacks. When packing her snack box I used an old baby wipes case (Check my Instagram for my #MommyTipThursday on wipe cases) and packed her snacks in there. Using the wipes case made it easy for her to get her snacks and to close it so none of her snacks fell out. With us doing that made it easier for her to self serve herself and allowed us to focus on the road more. With her remaining snacks we placed them in a clear little tote bag and brought it along with us.
3. Have sanitary items everywhere!
– It’s flu season, germs are everywhere and you’re about to be in a car for over 4 hours, you want to make sure you have sanitary items to disinfect your hands, wipe your face, and keep yourself clean. In our car we had baby wipes, hand sanitizer, hand sanitary wipes, napkins, and Kleenex tissue just in case anyone needed to wipe their nose. To keep the car clean we kept grocery store bags in the car to discard any food, snacks and used sanitary items.
4. Make sure you have throw blankets
– If you’re about to be in the car for a while you want to make sure your little one is comfortable. I packed a throw blanket for her, myself, and my significant other to ensure that we were all comfortable during our ride.
5. Be mindful of the time you leave
– Being that I was driving the first half of our trip I decided to leave early in the morning. I decided to leave early because it would align with the schedule her school has her on and made it easier to travel. With me leaving early in the morning I knew she wasn’t going to be hungry (gave her a good dinner the night before), and once we got good on the road she would go back to sleep. When planning your trip keep in mind the schedule you have your little one on, when its best for you to travel and is he/she more fussy in the morning time or the evening.
I hope you found my tips and tricks helpful and that you will try them during your future travels. Our children are different little individuals so make sure you accommodate according to your child and the things they need. I was scared to do this road trip but I am happy I did. My daughter was able to experience new culture, new surroundings and most importantly spend time with more family. I look forward to us traveling to New York City again and who knows we might travel on train next time. Happy Holiday Redeemers.