Ahhh, the dreaded hours long road trip with tiny people in your car. We’ve all heard a story or two about traveling with small children, and how much harder it is the longer the ride. We have experienced this many times because we LOVE traveling as a family! With weddings, with conferences, with almost all of mama’s business adventures! We’ve made the best memory checking into hotels together and exploring another city and world…but GETTING there without going completely mad…that’s the hard part. Let’s talk about that today since I’m heading to two states North for our FOURTH Creative at Heart this weekend! 🙂
First things first…as a parent, packing last minute doesn’t work anymore. Well, maybe you can work it, but our kids are super young and it would be a huge ball of stress to wait until the late hours of the night before! We would be a mess, SUPER sleep deprived and with that additional stress comes forgetting important items. No one wants to get to the town they’re staying in and have to spend $50 at Walmart on all the baby and life necessities you forget!
So you know what we do? YES YES if you have read any of my life, business or mama blogs before..you got it! We make a list, baby! Of course! This woman’s lists have lists, haha! But really, why not?! They’re total lifesavers! So the list is detailed, of course, and it’s broken down into categories…but what are some other things we do that are not typically thought of or remembered for trips? Let’s talk about that today!
Check the weather! You do NOT wanna buy another child’s jacket, hats, etc…or overpack on big warm clothes if you don’t have to! Kids clothes may be small, but the price doesn’t reflect the size– so why spend more money? Same for yourself, of course!
Bring a toilet….wait what?! Just a thought…if you have a potty training child OR a child that’s at the newly trained age where they can’t wait for you to get off at an exit to use the bathroom..you may want to consider throwing a trash bag around a tiny child’s toilet and bringing it with you so you can pull over and avoid an accident you do NOT WANT to happen!! Wouldn’t that be way worse than having that little potty? Yes..it would! Non-parents may read this horrified but you’ll get used to it all, trust me 🙂
Do not forget the medicine! Whether it’s prescription that you definitely need and are on for a current ailment or condition (for me it’s Zantac for reflux! I need it!!)…OR just the Tylenol, Motrin or allergy medicine, BRING it! For the kids, too! And especially those last three for the kids! We attended a conference last Fall and Cammy broke out with a fever one of the nights we were there…and all of a sudden there we were spending $40-$50 on last minute medicine and a thermometer not to mention having to run out at midnight for it! It’s just not convenient, your goal on these trips after so much time in the car is to RELAX in a hotel room with your loved ones!
Electronic distractions on the road! This is gonna shock a lot of people…but our kids don’t get iPad time, hardly EVER! There are two reasons for this. The first is that on the very first day Cammy ever played with one, she was INSTANTLY addicted. She became irritable with us, not wanting to pay attention or listen and she woke up the next morning with one question and one only “WHERE is the iPad?” — whoa, addicted! Since then, we use it as an emergency “go distract yourself” last attempt at saving our sanity…and she probably plays one every 3-4 months for just a couple hours. Secondly…NOT giving her this that often makes the use of it more special to her (like when Nana visits, it’s like a treat to her and she really appreciates it!) and it’s also perfect for a road trip because it’s something she doesn’t get that often and she gets really into it and it keeps her from getting super bored! We ALSO have a little DVD player in the car and that has been a huge saving grace for us! We’ll put on a 1 1/2-2 hour movie on the drive (like the new Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Nemo etc) and we’ll take breaks in between for food, bathroom, stretch, etc!
Extras, extras everywhere! You better pack those tissues, napkins, wet ones, spare wipes and diapers and snacks randomly somewhere in the car! When you run out in the diaper bag of one of these items, it’s awesome to have a “stash” in the car!
Like I do for weddings, print those directions. GPS is amazing…right? And guess what…technology fails or we lose signals sometimes! The last thing we want is to go back to the 90’s and pull out a real map while having our kids get totally irritable and impatient, haha!
I think I could actually share 20 more things, but that’s probably going to get saved for the upcoming Boss Ladies and Babies Newsletter! And eventually it’ll become a resource on the NEW website, Salt Air Mama! I can’t wait to share so many exciting things with you soon…make sure you sign up for the newsletter to get info about the new site rolling out this Spring!!! 🙂