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Our first ever road trip happened when my little baby was just 5 days old…We took a 14 hour drive up the east coast. Not ideal according to our planned schedule but she graced us with her presence a bit earlier than expected, so we NEEDED to hit the road soon after she was born! Talk about being thrown into mommy hood! Our most recent road trip fast forwards seven years later, to this past weekend. Yet again we have taken an impromptu road trip! (I think we have a pattern here)
We had an amazing time for such a short and jam-packed trip! We drove down to spend some quality time with family. We watched an Easter production in church, that our cousin has starred in…a phenomenal depiction of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Praise God!
Check out and follow our Instagram Page, for a few of our Road Trip Highlights from our Instagram story…
Now, I am not going to lie to you. Road tripping with small children can be tough. Between “are we there yet?”, the “I’m Hungry”ies, and the cries from the front seat you may not want to embark on a long family journey at all. BUT I am here to tell you it is doable momma! There are a few essentials that can help you survive hours in a confined, moving vehicle without losing your…
Here’s how we survived our most recent and EVERY road trip!
What to Pack
Aside from your essentials needed once you reach your destination, there are a few items you will find necessary to have with you and easily accessible in the car! Don’t make the mistake of packing it away and having to exit the interstate just to dig through a suitcase in the trunk. When on a road trip, it is ideal to keep things close. Make things easier on yourself mom. Have a dedicated bag (or two) that you will keep inside the vehicle within arms reach to you or any other adult passenger who can assist.
The contents of your travel bag/organizer depend on the age of your child(ren)…however some are commonly necessary for ALL ages, while other items can fall within the same ‘categories’ stated below. You should have the following:
- Travel First Aid Kit: This one is fairly easy. Target has small first aid kits in the travel section, that can even fit in your purse. Kids come with scrapes and boo boo’s, unpredictable fevers, coughs & runny noises…anything can happen so it’s better to be prepared. While I’m in that same section mommies, I usually grab a travel sized motrin (for myself in case-I deal with migraines)…head over to the pharmacy side and a smaller children’s tylenol/motrin just to have on hand. Kids can be unpredictable. If this is a longer trip…just in case a cold or fever decides to emerge out of nowhere, I bring with me cold/flu meds from home or pick one up, so I am not frantically looking for something in an unfamiliar area (and probably costs 3x more than normal price) if we need it!
- Food/Snacks: Before a road trip I stock up on our travel food. I personally prefer, now that my daughter is 7, INDIVIDUAL prepackaged snacks, tiny water bottles, and juice boxes/pouches. At home I will usually make sandwiches the night before travel (without mayo if I fear keeping them cool will be a problem) This is perfect! She can open her individual bag of chips, goldfish etc…and enjoy a sandwich all by herself. Also organic lunch/snack boxes do the trick as well! This is an economical approach to meals & we didn’t lose time by stopping every 10 minutes for a snack. Car rides tend to get “snacky” very fast.
If your baby is primarily feeding on breast milk or formula, prep yourself by storing your frozen breast milk/milk in a cooler or thermal regulated/insulated bag…plenty of ice packs to keep it fresh! To heat the milk, there are several travel options on amazon like this one:
If that is unavailable to you momma, no worries. Sometimes you just gotta old school it and be resourceful! Warm your baby’s milk when you come to the next rest stop. Ask for, or purchase a cup of hot water…fill it about half way (as not to overflow it), place your baby’s bottle inside the cup of water and bring it to temperature. Mom hack! Trust me, this was the trick on our very first road trip….
Traveling with children WILL require potty breaks but may require them OFTEN. Tiny bladders can’t hold it…
Again, depending on the age of your child, please modify your approach to suit your child’s needs.
Before my daughter was potty trained and completely in diapers, it wasn’t terrible to change her diaper in the car at the next convenient rest area. Our travel changing station was perfect to use right in the back seat…AND perfect to use in our hotel or home, where we resided as guests on our trip.
If you’re fancy, you can purchase a back seat organizer. This one comes with the changing pad. This makes everything easy to get to…not to mention prevents your car from looking like a hot mess!
They even have a few compatible for the front and back seat!
If your child is in the potty training stage, there are different types of portable potties like this one by Summer Infant, available on amazon. How it works is fairly simple…child goes potty…and the contents are completely disposable. Trust me mommies you will appreciate this one! Sometimes there isn’t another rest stop for MILES around. Avoid having any “whoopsies” in the car…not to mention, it keeps you out of the germy public restrooms!
Hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes or the old school soap and water (bottle) to wash your hands when there’s nothing else around, and you’re good to get back on the road!
So now comes the hard part…keeping the little one occupied and keeping your sanity!
Bring every travel friendly activity imaginable. Pack some toys…perhaps a few of your child’s favorites, travel activity packs…Target’s dollar section is good for that!
For the toddlers and school age children, it’s a good idea to have a Travel Tray. This tray will allow your child to easily color, place their snacks, race their cars…stores everything they need within their little reach, while mommy keeps her hands at 10 and 2.
If you can, have plenty of audio books, Disney soundtracks, and cute road trip games on hand!
Don’t pressure yourself mommy. If everyone is frustrated and needs a break…STOP. Rest, stretch your legs…get some fresh air. Even research before you go, which areas along your route are kid friendly and good places to stop and visit. Parks, shopping malls…maybe a quick visit to a museum en route. Just getting from the car will do everyone GOOD! Running off some of the little one’s energy isn’t such a bad idea. It may be needed and crucial to your road trip survival!
Share some of your road trip stories and must haves for a family road trip! Let us know in the comments! Share your #MomStory!
Check out our ‘Hello Spring’ series here, with tips for the new season!