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Long Road Trips with Toddlers
We just recently went on a long 12-hour car ride down to Florida to visit family and go to Disney. I was dreading it because it is tough to entertain a two and three-year-old for that long while we are stuck in a car. However, they still take naps and for some reason, their longest ones are when we are driving. WIN-WIN!
I mentioned our trip to friends and family most recommended Benadryl. I know this is just a joke and most of you can agree that traveling with toddlers can be a bear. However, Luke would say roar like a dinosaur, but there has to be away and I was determined to do it, without Benadryl.
I can honestly say YouTube kid’s songs helped for a short period of the long drive by playing B-I-N-G-O and Olde McDonald had a Farm but that gets old quick. I have even made a song up about Milk. Don’t Ask. When your two-year-old is freaking out and there is no way to solve his problem on the road you try just about anything when you can’t block out the whining.
So here is my long drive with toddler’s milk song: Milkie, milkie, oh how I wish I had a cup of milkie. I love milkie… It goes on and on as I just made it up as we kept going along.
My recommendations for entertaining toddlers on long car rides:
- Get your child use to 1-hour drives being board.
- Amazon Kids Fire Tablet as this has saved me so much so they can play an educational game on their tablet and I can get a little bit of work done while my husband drives.
- DVD player since it may give you an hour of silence to rest, as well as, possibly help them doze off.
- Make a rest area pit stop every 2 to 3-hours while they are awake. This allows them to go to the bathroom and let off a little bit of energy.
- FlashCards to learn letters, numbers, addition, subtraction, and words.
- Interactive books were great during our most recent trip. I picked up some interactive ones where you must find certain things on pages, like I-Spy books. If you trust your kids with markers or crayons in the car you could do coloring books, but I do not trust my boys.
- Healthy snacks and water (limit to much water though or you will have a ton of bathroom breaks).
- Blankets as not everyone is always comfortable at the same temperatures.
- Maybe this is just me and my boys, but those blankets also work for pillows.
- Make sure your child is in comfortable clothes as well as yourself. Often times I let the boys travel in there pajamas to ensure this.
- Extra clothes as you never know when someone will have an accident. Possibly even a meltdown and sit on a nasty bathroom floor with pee on it. Remember my Irish Twin boys are only 2 and 3 so accidents do happen occasionally, as well as, meltdowns.
- Wipes for sticky hands and more. As well as paper towels and/or napkins because you never get enough when you go through the drive-thru. You can thank me later for this as then you won’t be touching sticky buckles and door handles.
- Travel potty in the case of an emergency and you are over an hour from a rest area. You can pull over to the side of the road and put a plastic bag on it. I have found that if you put a paper towel or some napkins inside it helps absorb some of the urine till you get to the next rest area.
- Sunglasses as my kids absolutely hate when the sun gets in their eyes.
- Lastly, be prepared to sit in the back as they will need help more than likely reaching snacks, new books, and hitting the button’s on the DVD player.
My recommendations for the parents during long trips:
- Coffee, tea, or energy drinks.
- Patience and lots of it.
- Nuts as they are a great snack and they provide your body with protein to keep you fuller longer.
- A good book or journal – if you can write/read while someone is driving. I can, but I know most can not.
Do you have tips for traveling long distances with kids? I would love to hear them.