Traveling with a toddler is a learning experience! Back in April we were craving a beach trip, so we planned a quick weekend getaway to the shores of Galveston. We planned on about 5 hours of travel time and did our best to miss the Houston Friday afternoon traffic.
What we did not plan for was the extra pit stops that come with a potty-training toddler and a pregnant mama! Why didn’t we see that one coming? The car trip went surprisingly well but I did learn a few key tips:
- Bring the Potty: I brought it for use at the condo, but boy did it come in handy during the car ride! On more than one occasion we stopped and let her use it right in the car because there was not a suitable restroom nearby. Do they make one for preggo moms? I digress. Also bring-
- Toilet Paper
- Baggies (the roll of bags for dog cleanup works well)
- Paper Towels
- Wet bag for dirty clothes
- Britax Seat Saver for the car seat
- Plan a few stops: If you know you will be driving through and area where you can’t or don’t want to stop (um like on the highway through Downtown Houston) plan to make a pit stop beforehand. That’s sometimes easier said than done though.
- Make an Activity Bin: I found an unused basket and filled it with all the necessities and then put it in the floorboard by her carseat
- Small crayon pack
- Coloring book
- Bluetooth headphones (and charger)
- Squeeze Pouches
- Cheese Puffs
- Bunny Grahams
- Fruit Snacks
- Water Wow Color Set
- A few small, new toys
- Ipad & Charger
- You get the idea – bring some favorites, something new and exciting and then prepare the iPad with favorite shows and apps for backup!
- Comfort Items:
- Small pillow
- Safety: Our biggest mistake was failing to bring the baby gate. I seriously considered trying to Amazon one to the condo, but we stuck it out. Our little one discovered that she was free range and oh boy, did that make bedtime fun! Not to mention that I couldn’t go to sleep for fear that she would leave her room, figure out the front door lock and venture out to the beach herself. In case you’re wondering, I woke my husband up and made him move the large, wooden coffee table to block the front door.
- Baby Gate
- Get a room/condo with a high lock (like most hotels have)
- Baby Monitor
- Plastic Outlet Covers
- Removable cabinet locks
- Washer/Dryer: if you’re potty training, this is soooo nice to have
- Slip On Shoes for pit stops
- Bedtime Essentials: Bring a few familiar books, favorite jammies or stuffed animal to make it more familiar. We tried to keep our normal routine as best we could!
Bottom Line: Plan ahead a bit and suffer through the sleep challenges. It definitely required us to practice a little extra patience and flexibility. At midnight each night we contemplated driving home but I’m glad we hung in there. We realized the time spent together at the beach and the smile on her face was so worth it! So go forth and road trip! You got this!
What are your favorite travel tips? Let me know below!