Saturday, November 29, 2014

Road Trips with Toddlers: Tips & Tricks

I'm getting ready to go on a road trip with my twin toddlers to visit family before Christmas. Traveling with kids can be tough! I've picked up a few tricks over the past few holidays and I wanted to share them with you. Happy travels!

1.  Plan your trip around your toddler's schedule as much as possible. Toddlers are creatures of habit and keeping them in a routine makes life so much easier.  My kids are good car sleepers, so I always plan to leave right before nap time. They usually fall asleep pretty quickly and then I have a good 2-3 hours of quiet driving time.

2.  Stock up on good audio books and music. I love audio books for the car and there are tons of great choices for even the smallest listener. My kids adore the Eric Carle/Bill Martin bear books and we listen to them on CD all the time.  You can find the CD on Amazon (affiliate link) or check your local library for even more choices.

I'm also a big fan of Amazon Prime Music (affiliate link) for kid's songs in the car - there are thousands of songs to choose from and you can also add in your own music to create your perfect playlist. Plus you can try it free for 30 days!

3.  Find green space along the way. If you're taking a longer trip, plan ahead and map out parks or playgrounds on your route. Allow extra time to stop and let the kids stretch their legs. Yes, it will take longer to get to your destination but everyone will be much happier.

4. Pack snacks.  Skip the fast food and convenience stores and pack some healthy, fresh options. Applesauce pouches, yogurt tubes, fruit slices, cheese sticks, and granola bars are all much better choices to keep your little ones full for the ride. I love to pack my Thirty One Picnic thermal (affiliate link) for long trips - it holds plenty of drinks and food and keeps everything nice and cool.
5. Be flexible. The first rule of traveling with toddlers is that things will not go as planned. They will decide not to nap, or insist on only eating the one snack that you didn't bring. In the words of Elsa, let it go. Take a deep breath and do your best to stay sane and drive safely. It might mean a break for mom at the Starbucks drive through. Or an extra stop at a park. Take your time, you'll get there!

I also have to share one of my FAVORITE road trip helpers - my Timeless Beauty Bag! (affiliate link) Yes, it's normally a cosmetic bag but it can do so much more. You can fill it with crayons, pencils, books, games, even a tablet. Hang it on the back of the front seat for easy video viewing, and when you arrive, fold it up and use it as a busy bag. I never leave home without it.

Looking for more ideas for surviving a road trip with little ones? Try these:

Road Trip Snacks - Kids Activities Blog

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