Being a mom is a difficult job, let me tell you that. If you have a child, then you know what it’s like. However, having a toddler is as challenging as it’s rewarding, especially if you’re traveling with him. To make matters even more challenging, I’m a mom of two twin boys, toddlers, and due to the fact that I have to do 2 jobs to make my home up and running, I have little time to connect with them. A couple of months ago I managed to take days off from both jobs, as I wanted to take my little ones on a road trip and have some quality family time. After seeing how difficult it is to travel alone with a toddler, let alone two, it dawned on me that there are probably mothers that are in the same situation. And that’s when I decided to write this preparation guide, just to help you get the best out of your trip with your toddler(s):
Be prepared with snacks
The first thing I did was to go to the supermarket with both of my boys and get all the snacks that they wanted. This is not the time to nag them about eating healthily, as your road trip should be as careless as it can be. However, don’t forget to bring a lot of water to keep your child or children well-hydrated, especially after eating a lot of snacks. It doesn’t matter that you don’t let your children eat snacks during the whole day; the trip to your destination should make it easier for you to get there, and if snacks are going to keep them calm, let them eat. A quick tip: Unfortunately, buying many boxes of chocolate was not such a good plan due to the sugar rush that they got, but you can always find salty snacks that they will enjoy eating.
Bring extra clothing and diapers
When you finish packing, it’s very important that you pack some extra clothing, as you never know what will happen on your road trip, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure to dress them in layers, so they can take something off if it’s too hot or dress up if it’s cold. Also, have diapers somewhere close to you as road trips can be quite messy regardless of the means of transport you’re using.
Be ready for everything
Speaking of means of transport, you really need to be ready for everything. If you’re traveling by car, make sure to check everything beforehand. Even if you do that, it might happen that your car breaks down somewhere in the middle of nowhere, which is never a pleasant thing. I always have the phone number of the best mobile mechanic in Sydney in my phone, so if something happens, I just give him a call and he comes to my house to fix the problem (it’s easier to find your way home and get someone come and check it then return home and then again find a way to get your car to a mechanic). If you’re traveling by plane, on the other hand, make sure to book the seats that would be best for you – preferably somewhere close to the toilets.
Keep your children entertained
If you’re driving across the country, it’s always better to keep your children invested in something so that you can drive carelessly. The best way to do this is to bring whatever they like best – either toys, tablets or anything else that will keep them quiet and calm. Don’t forget to have music in your car to make the road trip more fun (and if you’re up for it, you can always sing along with them and make a small car-party that your children will enjoy).
Bring portable chargers
This is something that I learned the hard way. We started our journey, but somewhere in the middle of the road trip, my younger twin started complaining because his tablet shut off. That’s when I realized that I forgot my portable charger at home, so I had to find something else to keep him calm (hint: it was the ’’Find something red’’ game, and I was super proud that I managed to remember that game that I used to play with my father as a child, but there are other road trip games that you can play with your children).
Don’t take trips longer than 6 hours
Toddlers are high-maintenance, and they will get bored in the car after 6 hours (if they manage to travel those 6 hours). You can always make certain pit stops – to a restaurant that has a playground for children or stop by for an ice-cream or go to the toilet. It would be best to have all the pit stops figured out before you start off.
Toddlers – challenging but rewarding. Traveling with toddlers – even more challenging, nerve-wrecking at times, but the time you spend there together cannot measure with anything. Now that I made this preparation guide for myself, I can’t wait for the next road trip, as I will be fully prepared!