Years ago when my husband and I started dating we road tripped to Baltimore for a few days. We stayed in Felt’s Point after much research at the most beautiful Victorian Inn . We took the water taxi, visited the science center in Inner Harbor, walked downtown and enjoyed many touristy activities. We loved it so much that after we got married and became pregnant with our first child we took another trip, to the same vintage hotel.
Needless to say when the opportunity came this year to visit Baltimore again, now as a family of four, we were excited.
We have road tripped and flown many times with the kids before. Our daughter who is two has flown domestic many times and international once. Our longest road trip was less than 2 years ago to Quebec Canada which took about 7 hours. Also worth mentioning are the many trips to New York. At this point I feel like I have learned a few points to share.
I’ll focus only on Road Tripping in this post. Here are a few pointers to make the trip easier.
1: CENTER YOUR COMMUTE AROUND NAP TIME.
Depending on the length of your trip, it might be worth it to get on the road a couple hours before nap time. The kids can actually sleep during the drive so by the time they wake up you will be closer to your destination and they wont get weary from sitting in a car for hours. A caveat to this is, if you are traveling to an area with high road traffic, then this would not be the best option, in that case, it would make more sense to get an early start to beat the traffic, either way the kids might still take a nap.
2: PACK ALL THE SNACKS AND THEN MORE.
We literally emptied the snack cupboard, the fruit basket, the pouches and cereal baskets. We packed every food that was nonperishable, because everyone knows the tiny humans like to have options. If yours are anything like ours, they like to take a bite of something and be done with it. Slice your veggies and put them in a freezer bag, they make the perfect snack for your veggie lovers like my son. He was eating cucumbers and peppers on the ride.
3: CONSIDER THE WEATHER.
No one wants to be hot or cold! With the new car seat laws, where children are not supposed to be buckled into the car seat with winter coats, you may want to pack a few blankets so that the little people are cozy. We actually have a basket between the car seats with blankets and other necessities.
4: HAVE A CHANGE OF CLOTHES AVAILABLE.
Kids are messy! Toddlers have accidents at times. Avoid having to dig into your luggage. We have a basket between the cars seats that holds diapers, wipes and toys. It is also useful to have the change of clothes in bags, just in case an accident happens there is a bag to place the soiled clothes in.
5: FACTOR IN REST STOPS.
Time is usually a factor for most when traveling, most people just want to get to the destination as quickly as possible. I will say that’s my opinion when I’m traveling to NY alone with the little people. However, when the trips are longer and you have both parents, schedule those rest stops. Get the kids out of the car for a stretch and a breath of fresh air. Take a snack break. They will thank you.
6: ENTERTAINMENT! ENTERTAINMENT!
Do the leg work before the trip. Upload the “Paw Patrol” episodes, make that disk with all the nursery rhymes. Pack all the books and loose paper. Don’t forget that special doll/toy. Figure out what games you will play with your toddler during the drive. We tend to play a color game, spot something with such color. These are pertinent to a long trip since we all know that the tiny humans have the attention span of 3 seconds.
HAPPY ROAD TRIPPING!