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Old 06-14-2010, 12:13 PM   #1
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Traveling by car w/toddler.

The in-laws, DH, DS, and I are traveling by car the first weeks of July (haven't set a date yet). We are going to Six Flags, Sea World, the zoo, and downtown/mall. DH and I have never traveled with our 17 month old son, and we have questions about it, so here goes:

1.What kind of snack and drinks to take with us for our toddler while traveling by car to our destination?

2. Travel System Stroller (Graco) or Umbrella Stroller (Chicco Capri)?

3. What kinds of toys or what do you use to entertain your toddler (17 month old) while going on a road trip?

4. What are your must have travel items?

5. Do I have all the medicine/first aid I need to take, just in case (list for adults and my toddler):

Tylenol (we use store brand since the recall)
Pepto Bismol
Imodium
Hand Sanitizer
Band Aids
Benadryl
Cortisone
Sunblock

Am I missing anything?

That's all I can think of right now. If you have anything else that we need to know or take with us on this road trip, feel free to add it. Thanks!

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Old 06-14-2010, 12:54 PM   #2
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Re: Traveling by car w/toddler.

1. We try to keep dry snacks like cheerios or goldfish for the car...that way they're easier to sweep out/vacuum out. I try to keep drinks down to water in sippy cups, but the kids will occasionally get juice in there.

2. Type of stroller depends on how much gear you'll be hauling into the place with you. If you'll have a ginormous diaper bag, purses, cooler, etc take the travel system. If you've got it all down to one small bag or backpack, then I'd go with the umbrella stroller. Also depends on the timing & how likely the LO is going to be napping...if its an almost guaranteed naptime, the travel system can be nice because they usually recline & have a bigger shade on them

3. For longer drives, we get the kids those little magna-doodle boards with the "pen" that's attached to the board so they can draw but not lose crayons or worry about running out of paper or needing something hard to write on. Each of them also has a soft I Spy bag that I got off of Hyenacart that they love. If its going to be a super-long drive, I try to schedule as much driving as possible for when the LOs will be sleeping

4. Diapers, spare change of clothes for everyone involved (especially when traveling with a much younger kiddo), an extra empty bottle/sippy cup (my kids have thrown them & broken them...amusement parks charge insane prices for them). I try to pack as light as possible so I'm not carrying/pushing around a 50-pound diaper bag or purse

5. Medicine seems good...more than I usually think of taking. I usually just have sunblock & tylenol for adults & kiddos.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:54 PM   #3
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Re: Traveling by car w/toddler.

I take single serving snacks when we travel. Either sippy cups with the drink selection, or something similar to a juice box (my kids are now older, so we do water bottles). I pack a backpack full of toys for each child on the road trip - serves 2 purposes - one entertainment in the car, and two toys when we get where we are going. Magna doodles were a big hit when the kids were little, also crayola wonder, or some sort of a lapdesk with crayons and paper. You didn't say girl or boy. When DD was 18 or so months old we took a road trip. I found a sparkly mickey mouse purse on clearance at Walmart, and filled it with random toys that she already had - little people, that sort of thing. She spent more time pulling the toys out, and putting them back in again. It kept her busy for the longest time!! Also, if you have favorite toys that are sized for the car - pull them out of circulation a couple weeks before leaving. Then they will be like new to your child on the trip. I usually pick up something small that is new, and hide in the kids backpacks. They find it on the trip (my older ones) and get excited!

Make sure you factor in lots of stops. When we stop, we do road side excersizing (at rest areas... the kids race between trees, hop like a bunny, gallop, etc to stretch muscles and get some energy out. In the past we might stop at a play area type place, and let the kids play while the adults eat - then we order for the kids, who eat in the car. Gets energy out while the adults are out of the car. We don't do that very often, though - only when we are desperate. Also, sad to say, but a portable DVD player is a life saver.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:58 PM   #4
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Re: Traveling by car w/toddler.

Thanks for all the suggestions, ladies! I have a son (just in case others need to know.) I love the suggestion of the purse/toys...maybe I can take a little backpack with toys instead of purse. Please keep the suggestions coming!
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:58 PM   #5
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Re: Traveling by car w/toddler.

Thanks for all the suggestions, ladies! I have a son (just in case others need to know.) I love the suggestion of the purse/toys...maybe I can take a little backpack with toys instead of purse. Please keep the suggestions coming!
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:11 PM   #6
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Re: Traveling by car w/toddler.

I don't really have anymore suggestions of what to take. You got some good ideas, all things I like to take. I just wanted to say, I don't know if your baby is forward facing or rear facing in his car seat, but my youngest is rear facing and hardly ever drops his sippy cup, toys, food, or any of that kind of stuff. The couple of times he's been forward facing he's dropped his stuff a lot. It was really annoying. Also if there is someone in the back seat with him, like it sounds like there will be, they will be able to interact better. Plus it's 5 times safer at that age!! Have fun.
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:40 PM   #7
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Re: Traveling by car w/toddler.

Plan to sit in the back. Bring lots of wipes and paper towels. Have easy access to multiple changes of clothing (just in case he gets carsick; we learned the hard way!)
Dry snacks are easiest; if he'll do water in a straw sippy cup, that'd be easiest, because it won't squish accidentally and spill all over.

Plan to stop every two hours or so. Stop meaning actually get out and run around for 15+ minutes. It makes the trip drag that much longer, but is pretty necessary.

Toys: Maybe get some flashcards and attach them with one of those silver rings? That way he can look at the pictures and easily flip them himself. Kind of depends on the kid, but bring lots of little stuff; put in plastic eggs, little bags, etc. for more fun.

Good luck! We drove Chicago to FL when the boys were 22 months. The drive there was fantastic, home was a nightmare. But my kids hate the car, so we expected it to be rough.
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