Lindsay Gill: Road trip travel with a toddler

Monday, August 10, 2015

Road trip travel with a toddler

Our six hour car ride between Buffalo and MA used to feel long when we were dating.  We would stop at Starbucks and get a special drink.  We would take turns taking naps.

We thought our six our car ride between Buffalo and MA used to feel like when Luke was an infant.  We stopped at Starbucks for steamed milk to put in his bottle.  He would get antsy.  I had to nurse in the rest stop parking lot a few times.

Now, we listen to Luke scream "I'm stuck!" for six hours.  This past trip, we were determined to make the trip more bearable yet stay on our budget.  Here's how we managed our road trip with our toddler:

1.  Bring a potty in the trunk.  I was concerned about continuing out potty training throughout this trip but now keep a potty in the trunk.   Luke told us when we had to "stop the car!" in order to use the potty.  We had tried bringing the potty into the rest stop but for now, it's easier to set it up in the trunk or in the parking lot.

2.  Buy snacks ahead of time.  I can't believe how much the rest stop snacks add up.  This is more cost efficient and convenient and probably healthier in most cases.

3.  Leave at nap time or bedtime.  It doesn't make sense to me to leave right when Luke gets up in the morning.  He's fresh and ready to run, not ready to be strapped into his car seat.

4.  Have the Kindle Fire charged.  Or any tablet with downloaded shows or games.  We made the mistake of using Netflix on our phones one trip and used all of our data for the month very quickly!  The Kindle Fire car chargers are about $6 at Best Buy.

5.  Research activities along the way.  We found a pool at our half way mark that was completely perfect.  It was an entire pool that was 2 ft-2.5 ft and Luke could play on the playground and reset.  It was the perfect break we all needed.  If you are on your way from MA to Buffalo, the pool is the town pool in Sherrill, NY behind the Plymouth Alliance Church.  It was $2 to get in and had a great playground as well.    

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