The hotels booked, bags are packed and you’re ready to embark on the best family vacation ever, or so you hope! These top ten tips to traveling with a toddler was written to help prepare for common obstacles so that traveling with your kiddo will be a breeze.
1) Safety first! Take time to make sure the car seat is in the right position, right size and properly installed.
2) Be ready to keep your toddler busy by preparing snacks and packing toys, books and music or videos for your little one that can keep them entertained.
3) One of my biggest suggestions is to travel when your cutie pie can catch some shut eye. We typically leave for trips an hour before a bedtime or nap so that they can rest while we gain some miles.
4) Break your trip up into segments. When traveling with young kids, toddlers and babies try not to drive more than three hours stretched without breaks. Expecting littles to sit still too long isn’t realistic. Sometimes I like breaking the trip in intervals because it offers a great chance to do something fun and explore a new place.
5) Pack strategically. Packing is like playing a game of Tetris when it comes to fitting everything you need into the vehicle. Make sure things you will need are readily available and easy to reach. Have snacks and toys in a spot easy for your tot to access ano having diapers you can grab and go when stoping at rest stops is always a good idea.
6) Switch roles. If you are traveling with your spouse or other adult take turns with travel tasks. For one part of the trip one can focus on driving while the other is on entertainment committee and navigation. If either need a break switch.
7) Prevent backseat meltdowns. If your children experience sibling rivalry on a nuclear level be sure to give them some space or consider how you arrange seats. If you own a van sometimes separate aisles is a good idea. Consider packing similar toys or duplicates to limit fighting over a toy.
8) Pack a potty chair. Just in case your little one just can’t make it to the next rest stop. The Cool Gear Travel Potty is inexpensive, easy to clean and fold up nicely. You can use it on the side of the road or at rest stops to make public seats turn into toddler sized seats.
9) Desperate times call for desperate measures. Have a tablet with downloaded apps or DVDs or a portable player as a back plan for entertainment.
10) Make sure you get some shut eye the night before your trip. With all the excitement and list of things to do, it can be hard to check this item off the list. That being said, its one of the most important things to do in your preparations. Sleep study after sleep study shows shocking evidence of the physical and mental effects of even minor levels of sleep deprivation. So to stay safe on the road you need your beauty rest.