If you're planning a road trip for the first time or are trying to get some new ideas you've come to the right place. No matter the distance of your travels all of these tips can come in handy. Coming from experience of a 13 hour ride with an under one year old, planning ahead is key.
- Pack smart - Packing separate bags for what you will need easy access to will save you a lot of headaches. Pack a bag just for toys and entertainment, a food bag, diapering essentials, and a small travel cooler.
- Snack sack - To help keep your little one happy leave prepared with snacks and food for your trip. If you're traveling by car you have the luxury of stopping if needed, but to save the most on time you can get away with feeding baby in the car. Bring their favorite (non-messy) snacks in baggies or small containers and bring food that doesn't need heated up. For less mess and stress consider an easy squeeze spoon or spoon boon for food pouches. A small cooler will keep milk, drinks, and food cool on your trip. If you are not going to stop to nurse be sure to bring pumped milk or if you use formula be sure to bring enough mix and water for the ride. Ready to feed formulas are also helpful to just pour into a bottle. Pack napkins or hand wipes for back up.
- Entertainment - If your baby is awake they are likely to get bored and need some entertainment. Pack a bag of their favorite toys such as books and musical or light up toys. To prevent the constant picking up of toys consider ones that can be strapped onto the car seat. It can also be fun to start a tradition of a new toy surprise for one or both legs of the trip. Alternative options are their favorite music CDs, youtube videos, or a DVD player.
- Accept help - When traveling with just your partner expect one of you to be the chauffeur and the other the entertainer in the back seat. If you are traveling in a group of cars or someone offers to help by riding with you, take it! It will be a nice break to sit co-pilot and relax for part of the trip.
- Travel around their sleep time - If you can time it right plan your car trip when your baby is most likely to sleep. That may be nap times or bed time.
And you're off! Good luck with your road trip and feel free to add tips below in the comments section.