Traveling with small children is really intimidating. Cassidy always hated her car seat so she would scream and scream if she wasn’t asleep. This stopped us from going very far with her. We would schedule everything around her naps.
During the pandemic we decided that a road trip would be safest rather than taking a plane to North Carolina. I was really nervous what it would be like with Cassidy on an 8-9 hour drive.
I am going to tell you each thing I brought and whether or not it was an essential.
Packing for a Road Trip
We decided to take along a bag of snacks to limit the amount of stops we would need to make for food. Cassidy likes to snack rather than eat full meals. We let her choose snacks to bring: goldfish, white cheddar cheetos and short bread cookies.
Water was a necessity. Coffee was really important too. I didn’t get much sleep the night before. We also got her a few juices from the convenience store.
3. Infection Control supplies
We made sure to bring lots of hand sanitizer, masks, alcohol wipes and napkins. You never know when you might need to clean up a mess, especially when kids are eating in the car. Also – when we needed to stop we had our masks and stuff to sanitize.
4. Throw blanket
I wanted to encourage Cassidy to sleep and relax while we were driving. Traveling from Florida to North Carolina the weather was getting colder, so it was good to have a blanket to put on rather than taking coats on and off. Also, the blanket was helpful for bedtime during our stay. I find that the more familiar you make the sleeping situation, the easier it is to keep routine.
5. Favorite Toys
Screen time was an essential. It really kept Cassidy busy. I know everyone won’t agree but having games and learning apps that she could play with really helped pass the time. We also let her bring two toys with her. She decided on two stuffed animals and played make believe.
On the way up to North Carolina, when Cassidy got sick of screen time, I decided that I would have her look for certain item while we were driving. Sort of like a scavenger hunt but I would ask her to tell me what she sees. I also taught her how to ask a semi truck driver to honk their horn. It took 3 trucks, but finally the driver gave in!
I have made a few Road Trip Printable’s that you absolutely need: A Scavenger Hunt, Road Trip Map & an I-Spy. Such a good option if you are making the trip. I recommend either placing the sheets in clear plastic sleeves or printing a few copies.
For the scavenger hunt, you can either circle or place and X on the items that you find along the way. The road trip page is fun because you can color the vehicles and cars as you get closer to your destination. It helps the kids visualize where you are going and the famous “Are we there yet?”. I spy is probably my favorite. Color each vehicle a different color and see if you can find the correct amount.
7. A Great Playlist
I don’t know about you, but my daughter loves music. Singing and dancing is so much fun. It’s so important to have a good playlist for the kids to enjoy. Cassidy loves to sing along. Let me know if you all want a link to her playlist, it’s been carefully curated in the last 4 years with all of her favorites.
8. Bathroom Essentials
Now, last but absolutely not least, bathroom essentials. Cassidy has been potty trained for over a year but she still has accidents occasionally. I decided that it would be a good idea to bring her small potty training toilet with us, along with some toilet paper and wipes. We also packed extra clothes where they could be easily accessed. We were very and I mean very close to having to use it on the drive home but we found a gas station before it got to rural.
I want to hear from y’all…
Have you ever had to make a long road trip with little ones? I spoke to some of you all on IG and you are troopers. I can’t believe it.
What are things you can’t go without on a road trip?