This summer, we’ve gone on quite a few road trips. The first one was miserable, as I learned that a newly potty trained toddler just can’t handle long stretches of highway with not a rest area in sight. Since then, though, we’ve gotten into a pretty good travel routine. Here’s what works for us:

  1. Put the toddler in a Pull-Up. (Acknowledge that this will set you back a few weeks in the whole potty training ordeal, but recognize that accidents and extra laundry beat pee on a car seat any day.)
  2. Pack a sippy cup and at least two bottles of water. (You might think she can handle a little jug of milk from McDonald’s, but you will be wrong. And she will be wet. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.)
  3. Keep a basket full of rarely seen toys on hand. We have a set of toys that we keep in the car, and with the exception of a few tantrum avoidance incidences, that’s the only place Annalyn can play with them.
  4. Make sure you have a box of Kleenex and a glove box full of napkins. And don’t forget the wipes. I’m just saying. Messes happen, and usually when a rest stop is just a memory but your destination is still a good hour away.
  5. Music is your friend. And obnoxious children’s music is, unfortunately, your best friend. About a month ago, Annalyn requested “Bob music,” so we’ve been jamming to Veggie Tales for a few weeks. I swear, Junior is tone deaf, but it sure beats listening to Rubber Ducky – again.
  6. Snacks make the road trip! Our snacks of choice (look away, all my healthy friends) are fruit snacks, Cheerios, Goldfish and yogurt-covered raisins. I prefer the fruit because they don’t create crumbs. But any snack that involves small pieces will probably work.
  7. If your child is attached to a pair of sunglasses (or headband or necklace or jacket or purse – or all of the above), don’t forget them. But don’t hand them over all at once, either. Dole them out throughout the trip, so he always has something new to whine about fawn over.
  8. Always take an extra outfit. For both of you. Trust me on this one.
  9. If you have room in the trunk, pack the stroller, the pack and play, or whatever equipment is appropriate for your child’s age.
  10. Blankets can serve a host of purposes. Keeping your kiddo warm, giving her something to hold onto as she (fingers crossed!) naps, and in extreme cases, keeping your seatbelt strap from digging into your shoulder if you happen to wear a shirt with a wide neckline.

Did you take any road trips this summer? Do you have any tips for traveling with children?

This post will be linked to Works for Me Wednesday and next week’s Top Ten Tuesday. And unfortunately, the photo is from last year, because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the completely adorable road trip photos of Annalyn off my camera and onto my laptop. (Technology does NOT work for me.)

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