Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

Survival Tips of Traveling with Toddlers

I hate titling posts like these. For starters, survival indicates that you won't live or make it without these things. False. And secondly, anything that involves the words "tips" or similar terminology would make you assume that I am an expert in the topic. That {an expert}, I assure you, I am not. In any topic. Parenting, blogging, or even traveling with toddlers.

I can only tell you what helped in our situation. There are always extenuating circumstances that can change any scenario, but that goes without saying.

So for us? This is what helped make our trip go a little smoother.

1. Yes To Baby Carrots Face and Nose Wipes, I did not remember to do this last year, but mainly because I did not have a potty trained toddler then. But this year? I remember the importance of getting some hand/mouth wipes. For one, you never know where you are going to stop for a potty break. Which means you never know the condition of the bathroom. And toilet covers? Yeah, those don't exist while traveling. So wipes it is. They come in handy for other things. Like what they were intended to be used for in the first place. You know, wiping down the hands and mouths of those sticky little humans. Also wiping down any messes made in the car or while out on vacation. 

2. BabyGanics Alchohol Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer On-the-Go . I just discovered these awesome things, and they are great. You never get too much and of course they help for all those germophobes out there.

That I am not…. {contrary to numbers 1 and 2}

3. Freezing water the night before. This is perfect for the beach and for the long car ride, because I, for one, love my water very very {exaggeration on very} cold. And ice packs can only go so far. So the frozen bottles did the trick. Just make sure to take them out eventually, as they really will stay frozen for a long long time. 

4. Apps/Ipad. Not saying you need an ipad to travel, or any other kind of technology device with apps. But if you have one? It sure doesn't hurt. What I found to work best for our toddler is to download new episodes of her favorite shows through the itunes {Caillou for us, go figure}, and new apps that she had not tried before. The "newness" of it all really kept her busy when she started to get stir crazy. Which reminds me, we saved the ipad deal for when she really needed it. And surprisingly? It was out maybe an hour out of the 12.5 hour trip.

5. Flashcards/books. Grab some of their favorite books. For us, Elliana had some recent library favorites that we had checked out, so I took 6 of them and read them to her in the car. She loved it. Flashcards are great as well and I did this last year and forgot to grab them again this year. I won't beat myself up too much over it… but I would be lying if I said I wasn't bummed about it. 

6. Snacks. Lots of them. And although there were more of the "cracker" based snacks… it's what made her happiest and the least messiest. Not to mention easy. Easy is always nice.

7. Pack a lunch. Honestly, I think stopping at the fast-food restaurants always made us feel crummy, and who wants to feel crummy while traveling such a long distance? I decided to pack our lunches for this last trip, including lots of fruits and healthy snacks, and we felt so much better. I also did not feel bad about shoving grease down my child's throat. 

8. Metal board. Grab a small metal cookie sheet, put magnets on the back of images {or grab magnets you have} and have the toddler play around. We had a little "outside" scene with a house, tree, bushes, clouds, sun, and more. She could arrange the items to make her own little scene. Pretty time consuming, fun, and great conversation with the toddler.

And once you get to your destination.....

9. Let loose. You know how when you are on vacation and you cheat? You eat worse. You sleep in longer. You lounge around. You don't pick up after yourself {as much as you should}, and you get to just do whatever you want on vacation. Why? Because it is vacation. So guess what? We did the same with the kids. Or Elliana, since G man is still too young to just "do whatever." But TV? At night, go for it. No limitation. Want to eat the pizza? Absolutely. Vegetables? What are those. 

I remember growing up and dreaming about vacation. Counting down the days. For many reasons, obviously. But one of those {especially when I got older} was being able to just relax and have no responsibilities. I want my kids to have the same experience. To look forward to this week as a week full of fun, letting loosing, and forgetting any kind of expectations at the door. 

Until next year. 


  1. Great tips, thanks for sharing!!

  2. Great tips as always! We have a 15 hour drive coming up in a few weeks, so I'll have to remember some of these!


  3. These are great tips, thanks for sharing!

  4. Good ideas, thanks for posting! :)

  5. Great tips! I especially love the frozen water bottles and cookie sheets with magnets. Wonderful ideas!



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