We travelled a bit when she was a baby but now that she’s an active three ear old I suspect things will be a little different. Things like potty breaks and dealing with the ‘’I’m bored’s’’ and ‘’are we there yet’s?’’. Maybe I’m wrong but I’m certainly expecting our trip to take slightly longer with her in tow.
Potty Break Planning
Dealing with the potty breaks shouldn’t been too bad if I make sure she goes before we leave and limit her drinking in the car. I have a pretty good idea of what she can consume before she really has to go. We’re heading to an island that you can get to via bridge or ferry and we’re opting to take the ferry to break the trip up a bit. Take the ferry is also a guaranteed way to break the trip up. We’ll be able to get out of our vehicle and walk around a bit.
Taking a ferry isn’t possible for most road trips, I understand that. I have a friend who, when travelling with her (very active) son breaks up their trips by stopping at WalMart. She jokes that they’re easy to find off any major highway and a guarantee to be able to use the washroom and walk around for a few minutes. It also works with (sometimes necessary) bribes by enticing them with something small if they behave (for her son it’s usually a pack of superman stickers or bandaids). Whatever you need to do to break up your trip, planning your route ahead of time and plotting out all potential stops for emergency bathroom breaks may save your sanity!
Dealing with the boredom isn’t such an issue in 2015 with the technology that is available. It’s not unheard of for vehicles to have televisions built right in them! Since we don’t have that luxury, my husband is preloading the family tablet with child appropriate games and videos. Since she doesn’t play on the tablet often it’s usually well received when she does get time with it.
Before we break out the tablet (which is guaranteed to suck her attention) I packed a ‘’car bag’’ full of activities for her to play with. This includes a few books, a notebook for her to color in (along with markers), stickers and a coloring book that’s in a car case for her to be able to color on her lap easily. I suspect this will keep her busy off and on for a while, or until the stickers run out.
We also have snacks for the car which I’m sure will be a hit. Snack choice will vary depending on age, for us my biggest thought is mess control. At three, we’ll stick to easy finger food like blueberries, popcorn, cheese strings and crackers. Things like granola bars and yogurt are too messy in the car (at least for my kid) and I’m not interested in dealing with it quite honestly!
With a little extra planning a family road trip with a toddler can be a lot of fun but if you forget to plan for things like potty breaks it can quickly turn into a nightmare!
Any tips for planning a stress free road trip with a toddler?