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On Saturday, we hit the road for a two and a half hour trip to be with my parents for Christmas. This year it is extra special because my husband’s mother will be joining us. Caleb gets to spend time with both grandparents this Christmas.
When we lived in Florida, we dreaded this drive. It was an eight hour drive to South Carolina and we had a small child. We had to find things to entertain him on the road. I’m so glad the drive is much shorter and he enjoys it a little more.
But there are certainly some necessary items we MUST have to survive any drive longer than 30 minutes. Here are my top ten “mostly” tried-and-true must-haves for any road trip with toddlers. 😉
1. Snacks: I think my son goes to the refrigerator every 30 minutes! No kidding. You would think he is a pre-teen. If he’s not flinging open that door, it’s the pantry doors. Cookie? GoGurt? Banana? Apple? Fruit Cup? Cereal? It literally never ends.
So of course, his request for snacks is constant on the road. We live about seven minutes away from my son’s school and having a snack is a necessity. On longer trips, snacks are a must have treat or we will experience the toddler meltdown.
2. Baby wipes: With snacks comes messes. Huge messes. Sticky hands, runny noses, milk/juice spills, you name it! No more to say about this one…
3. iPhone and/or iPad: Caleb knew how to use a phone before he said his first words. What strikes me more is that the kid finds all of these educational videos to watch. YouTube taught him his alphabets, numbers and shapes. So obviously, it would be like committing a crime if we didn’t have this important item with us on the road trip.
4. A metal cookie sheet: Confused? I was too when I found out about it but a cookie sheet makes a fabulous tabletop for coloring, spelling with magnetic fridge letters or playing with little toys.
5. Multiple outfits: I typically pack way too many clothes but I also try to have two to three items in the car. Let’s face it…blow-outs happen and at the worst times.
6. Window shades: We really need to get our windows tinted as we haven’t found a shade that covers the window enough to not irritate Caleb. When the sun peaks around those shades, Caleb screams, “Mommeeeee! My eye! My eye!”
7. A folding travel potty: I think I need to get my child completely potty train before we try this one but I do take the potty so we can continue to reinforce this wherever we go.
8. Favorite Toys: Mickey, Goofy and Donald are Caleb’s travel buddies. He also loves his Mickey Roadster Racer figurines. I get nervous when he wants to take them to church or school with him. I know there will be a tantrum if he/we leave these toys behind. They definitely keep our little guy busy and his imagination going.
9. Books: My mother purchased this case of mini books for Caleb. He loves pulling them out and bringing it to us to read. He is now reading them to us…well at least picture reading. 🙂
10. DVD Player: Along with the iPad/iPhone, this is the next favorite form of entertainment for Caleb. We watch movies and Mickey Roadster Racer DVDs and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. This is also the best way to put them to sleep.
What items did I miss? I want to hear from you! What’s on your list?