Sunday, June 14, 2015

Road Trips with Littles!

I love a good road trip! There's just something about summer weather that makes me want to pack up my car and head somewhere fun. The beach? The Mountains? A National Park? Or, what about one of my favorite places, Disney?  But, with 3 littles 3 and under, things can get a bit chaotic.  And, what in the world do I pack? How do I keep them entertained??? We've taken lots of road trips with our littles, starting with our cross-country move when our twins, Connor and Grayson, where 4 weeks old! So I feel as though I've had some practice and, I have some tips I'd love to share!

{The top picture - Connor and Grayson on their 1st road trip, our family move to Florida.  
The bottom, is about 18 months later when we moved back to Omaha. Cue the tears!}

1.  Small Toy Bags.  I pack individual toy bags for each boy to keep near their car seats.  I also have a bag of extra toys and actives I can pull out and pass back as needed.  I filled the boys small toy bags with a couple construction vehicles (great for when we passed one!), binoculars (you can find a cute pair here), a few duplo legos (they looove legos and the duplos are harder to loose due to their size), wikki sticks (they are wax sticks, you can find them on Amazon here), a few matchbox size cars, two small board books, vtech phone (not only is it a pretend phone but it offers a few basic interactive games, you can find one on Amazon here) and a small magna doodle (I found ours with the birthday favors at Target).  The actual bags are travel bags I found at Target on super duper clearance, there are some similar ones on Amazon, you can find here.  I liked that the bags had a handle and could zip open so much that the boys could easily see inside and pull out their toys.

{October of 2014 trip to Florida}

2.  Activities.  Melissa & Doug Water Wow painting books, these no-mess painting books are one of my fav activities for the car and at home.  If you haven't tried them, I highly recommend them.

Available on Amazon

Color Wonder Travel Tote by Crayola.  Another activity I love at home and in the car! Mess-free markers are the best!
Available on Amazon here

Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad, these are a HUGE hit! 

Available on Amazon here

Imagine Ink books.  My boys are huge Mickey Mouse fans and I was lucky enough to picked some up at Target's Dollar Spot.

You can find some here, but you may want to check out your Dollar Spot too.

3. In-car entertainment.  We have a DVD player in our car and I make sure I have my dvd case filled with their fav Mickey Mouse Clubhouse shows, and a few movies.  We don't do many movies because they just don't hold the boys attention, but a 20ish minute show and we are golden!  We also bring their Kindle Fires loaded with their favorite songs and some kid-friendly apps that do not require wifi...these are a last resort item.  Just like at home, I prefer as little screen time as possible.  Our boys love music so we like to tune into Disney radio and sing along.

{during a stop on our Summer 2014 road trip to Colorado}

4.  Snacks! One of my fav parts of road tripping! We keep our cooler pack with granola bars, Lara bars, trail mix, gold fish, graham crackers, boxed raisins, sliced and/or peeled fruit (frozen grapes are a family fav), cut veggies, pb&j's, bread (for more sandwiches later), string cheese, milk (did you know that lower fat content milk lasts longer??? Who knew? Not me!), a large refillable water bottle (to refill their sippy cups) and our fav caffeinated beverages (which is diet coke for me!) because buying them at the gas station is so much more expensive. I use snack cups to contain most of boys snacks. These are the snack cups we use.
{Snack Time!}

5. Diaper changing station & travel potty.  As I previously mentioned, our first road trip with the boys was when they were 4 weeks old (it was a cross-country move not exactly a vacay road trip) and a diaper changing station was essential. We set up our station in the back of our SUV, changing pad, diapers, aquaphor and diaper cream.  Now that the boys are older, I have a travel potty that I just love. Not only does it take away the need for my boys to go into random gas station restroom (yuck) but it folds down flat, making it very easy to transport, you can find one on Amazon here. Another reason I love that little potty, is because our boys can tell us when they need to go and they can, "Stop, and go right away..." just like our friend Daniel Tiger recommends. ;)

{Spring 2013 Disney Day Trip...missing the days Disney was a short drive away}

6. Making stops. Even with alllll the toys and entertainment I just mentioned, we make sure to stop often. It makes the trip longer and I know not everyone will agree with this tip - you have to find what works best for your family.  With stops, we make the most of whatever we can...we once stopped at a Starbucks for coffee and were very fortunate to have the (fenced-in) patio to ourselves, so we just let the boys run around and climb all over the patio's table and chairs.  It was the perfect stop - coffee and bathroom break for us and a great play stop for the boys.
{CFA milkshake stop is always a road trip hit}

So those are my tips, what would you recommend? I'm always looking for more travel tips!

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