We are a family that travels quite often. When we travel, we usually have a loaded SUV which includes my husband, myself, our family pug (along with everything that goes along with traveling with a pet), and our toddler which in itself is very gear intensive as well! If you have ever traveled with a toddler for more than an hour, you know these little humans don’t like long road trips. The car meltdowns an average toddler has is one that many parents know. So since we travel a lot, we have compiled a list of our necessities we take on every trip to save our sanity. These ten items have saved our sanity many, many times!
Top 10 Toddler Road Trip Items
1. DVD player -Yes, we are the parents that succumb to technology when we are traveling on long road trips! After hour 3 of driving anywhere with toddlers, songs and tickles just don’t cut it anymore. Pull this DVD player out and this becomes a lifesaver. You don’t have to feel guilty either, there are plenty of educational videos you can pop in and your kid can learn about numbers, letters, watch Sesame Street, etc. A simple Google search can provide a plethora of options for your little one. We have this one, and we plug it in to the adapter and it has saved us many travel meltdowns. What I like about this one is it isn’t stuck in the car. We have used it when we go to restaurants or other places where our toddler’s patience is wearing thin or he has missed his naptime and is all around cranky. It helps a lot.
2. Set of dvds minimum of 3– Talking about dvd players, yes the playlist of what you are actually going to play is pretty important too. Make sure before you embark on the long road trip that you have your arsenal of dvds loaded in the car! Sometimes, kids simply are not in the mood for one video, but another works perfectly. We have a rotation of different cartoon series and movies in our vehicle. Here is an example of a set that I recommend, but there are hundreds of others to choose from.
3. Storage Bin for books and toys. You have got to have not only an arsenal when you travel, but a handy place to store it in your vehicle too! We love these collapsible boxes because they are super lightweight, can be somewhat bent and shoved into crevices like between car seats or even between people, lol! You can get these at your local store or online. We have found that ours squeeze pretty nicely between seats and are pretty bendable. We have put books, noise makers, and just about any small favorite toy from home in these, they work great.
4. Sit me up– This is so essential for both babies and small toddlers! We have been using this since he was 3 months, and our son is about to turn two and he (very snugly) still fits in it. It packs thin, so you can put this on top of the suitcase easily. You use this to sit them up at times when there is no where else to sit them up to feed them, or any other reason you need them to just sit. Our son has played with the little hanging toys, been fed in this, and has sat in it and watched tv while mommy and daddy were busy doing something. It’s been a traveling staple for us for a long time.
5. Loaded diaper bag– A must! Fill that bag up with diapers, wipes, a ziplock bag of snacks, booger suckers, bandaids, change of clothes, sippy cups, bottles, portable fans, you name it, put it in there.
6. Food/drink snack bag– Another must. This is essential for long trips so that you don’t stop every half hour when someone is hungry or thirsty. Fill it up with the big can of formula, a bag of fruit, large bottles of apple juice, extra sippy cups, more bags of snacks, bottled water, pretty much anything food related. You will thank yourself later when you are not feeding your family gas station food, lol.
7. Travel crib– This is so important to have! We forgot our travel crib once and it was almost midnight when we arrived at our destination. We had to buy a storage bin and put foam padding and blankets in there. Trust me, that was not the same. A travel crib is so important because not only is it a designated space to put your child to sleep at night or naptime, but it is also a place to put them in while you need to wrangle them in for a second in a place that isn’t exactly toddler proofed, like a hotel or a relative’s house.
8. Change of outfit– Yes! Another must. Diaper leaks, spills in the car, messy food, throw up, need I say more?
9. Good stroller– This one is a must because sometimes it’s easier to push them around instead of carrying them or looking for a shopping cart or even one of those rent a carts. When you are traveling, don’t take for granted that there will be stroller rental availability. Festivals, large shopping centers, museums, etc. you need a good stroller that packs well. This is our exact stroller, it has a storage area at the bottom and folds completely in half.
10. Sippy cups– Can’t forget these. Bring several, some will get lost in the car.