There were just a few bumps in the road, (see what I did there?) so now you get to learn from our mistakes. Hooray for some really helpful road trip ideas!
10 Ways to Prep for a Peaceful Road Trip
…with one toddler and one (almost) kindergartner
1. Pack a sick kid kit.
I already shared my vomit bag supplies, and it’s saved our hides on more than one occasion. Did we use it on this trip? You’ll have to read on to find out!
2. Clean out your car before the trip.
I know it’s another thing to add to your list, but trust me, it’ll be worth it. Two days before the trip, I shook rugs and vacuumed, cleaned out cup holders, wiped the entire interior down, threw away trash, and filled the car with essential oils. It was like a spa-car! (That should be a thing.)
3. Grab an organizer for each kiddo.
It was so helpful for us to have a bin for Sylvie (2) and a back seat car organizer for Kai (5). Sylvie’s bin was actually a cheap little paint tray, and it was out of her sight and reach so I could rotate her toys.
Kai just transitioned to a shoulder belt with his booster seat, and now he can reach his books and toys himself. It’s awesome!
4. Go ahead and buy a few cheap toys for your kids.
I grabbed silly putty (a big hit with both, but it did leave a spot on Sylvie’s car seat), sticker books, tangles, and little new toy of their choice for each child. All of those were great, but their favorite thing was Magna Doodles, hands down.
5. Keep entertainment simple.
We sang their favorite songs, played a game of “who can find a BLUE car?” and at one point we told the story of an entire Sophia the First episode. That’s how we roll.
6. Make your own snack for the car.
Kai and I made our own trail mix the day before, and he LOVED being involved. We filled a gallon Ziploc with Cheerios, chocolate chips, peanuts, raisins, craisins, and a few M&Ms. I put that bag in the center console up front, and scooped some up in sandwich bags when the kids needed it. The adults used it too!
7. Prepare for messes.
I threw an entire roll of paper towels in the glove box, and a package of wipes as well. We used all the wipes. Maybe the paper towels were overkill.
8. Use Sea-Bands if needed.
Because our son gets car sick, we put a Sea-Band in his cupholder for him to grab right away. Tip: MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD PUTS ON THEIR SEA-BAND. We (okay, I) forgot this on the first hour of our return trip, and my son threw up as a result. We got him cleaned up and all was well, but let my mom fail be your warning!
9. Bring trash bags.
Of course, you’ll need a place to throw all kinds of trash in between rest stops. I know you wouldn’t forget this, but some people might. Not me. Just some people.
10. Bring emergency crankiness supplies.
For us, that means a stash of lollipops, their favorite lullabies, and toys they haven’t seen in awhile from home. Hide them up front with you, and only bring them out if things are getting tense.
Toys that have several pieces (like a purse with toy credit card, lipstick, and cell phone) are great to rediscover! You can also lean on electronics when times are less-than-stellar. No judgement here.
I truly hope your road trip is a glittering success! Have fun out there and stay sane.
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