I remember taking my first road trip with my daughter, just three months old. I was absolutely terrified. And I had one of my best friends with me!
I think of how nervous I was when I made that first road trip and now looking back it was easy compared to what it’s like traveling with a toddler. Especially a toddler as busy as mine!
I was determined to keep her busy and happy. And we all know how hard that is even when we they are not in the car!
I started with gathering up my sensory stuff. She loves her sensory table and I thought using some of those items would be good for the trip. But, I also gathered up some of our smaller activities I had laying around. I also brought out some new toys that I had in the basement from Christmas’ and Birthdays past.
The next thing I did was head to the Dollar Tree and purchased about 15 pencil pouches. I needed something to store all of the different activities in and I needed them to be easy for me to grab and hand back to her.
All in all I had roughly 25 different activities for her to do. One for every half an hour we were driving. The trip to Indiana is about 12 hours.
I think my favorite was the “after dark” bag. Once daylight is gone you have to get creative. Even with a DVD player in our car a kid can only watch so much TV. This one kept her occupied for quite some time! This is the world’s worst picture, but basically what I did was pack some her glow sticks, a few strands of battery operated lights and I let her go to town playing with them. She loves “after dark” activities when we are at home so I knew this would be a hit!
Another favorite was this snack box. I used a simple bead organizer and filled it was various snacks that were her favorite. This also kept her occupied for a good amount of time. My kid loves to eat!
One thing I made sure to do was let her out of her car seat every time we stopped. When it was just my husband and I we would always keep moving. But, with a kid you aren’t that lucky. I let her out at gas stations to run and climb and I also made it a point to sit down for meals. I used McDonald’s play land like it was nobody’s business too!
Traveling with a toddler can be daunting, but being prepared for just about everything helps make it less daunting.
I would love to hear your tips for traveling with toddlers!