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Life is a Highway: 5 must haves when Road Trippin’ with little ones

March is here and that means Spring Break is upon us! Whether or not you have school aged kids, I think most families are ready to take trips around this time because we’re all coming out of hibernation! Spring is right around the corner and a road trip is just what the doctor ordered.

We just got back from our second road trip within the last 2 months! Most people would consider us crazy, and I would have to agree with them, we are Crazy! But we’re also well-traveled.

This past Christmas, Lou and the boys and I did something that most would call crazy. We [over]loaded up my father-in-law’s SUV and set out on an 18+ hour road trip to Florida. If you’re still reading and haven’t dismissed me as a lunatic who shouldn’t be giving advice, you’ll learn that the trip was not only necessary but successful!

See last January, my lovely parents made the move from CT (where I currently live) to FL where they joined my two younger brothers. To say that it’s been an adjustment is an understatement. I miss them and their presence on a daily basis. They were very much a big part of raising Noah and their absence is apparent now with Ryan. I knew that it would mean a lot to them to spend their first Christmas as Floridians, well, in Florida! So, our only option was to load up our 2.5 month old, our 4 year old, and all of our Christmas traditions and make our way down to Florida for a sunny 80° Christmas. Like the saying goes, “If you can’t beat em’ join em’.”

Don’t get me wrong, the decision to go wasn’t an easy one. The months leading up to the trip were both exciting and frightening! Did we really know what we were in for? Noah didn’t like car rides that took more than 30 minutes, how would he do with being in the car for two whole days?! Not to mention that we had no clue how Ryan would do. But if we were going to spend the holidays with my family this was our only option. I didn’t feel comfortable traveling on a plane with Ryan being so young.

And after all is said and done, I was extremely impressed with how well Noah and Ryan did on our trip. Ryan mostly slept and ate, as any newborn would do, but Noah did phenomenal! He didn’t complain, he didn’t whine, and he only asked “are we there yet?” a couple of [hundred] times. 😉 He did such a good job that there were times I turned around to check on him fully expecting to see him sleeping only to find him watching a movie or coloring.

The idea of a road trip with two kids under 5 [or kids of any age for that matter] can sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. I truly believe the secret to our successful road trips is that we are prepared. The goal here is to try and keep your kids as entertained and comfortable as possible.

In addition to the obvious, here are 5 things you should never leave home without when going on a road trip with your little ones.

1. Toddler Car Seat Travel Tray by DMoose

This tray allows for hours and hours of entertainment! I honestly don’t know how Noah would have survived without it. It’s basically his command center. He eats on it, plays on it, draws on it, props up the iPad on it, etc. Honestly, our road trips wouldn’t have gone as smoothly had we not had this amazing invention.

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2. A Variety of Snacks

I find that a variety of snacks helped to keep Noah from getting bored. Maintaining as much of your child’s normal day to day routine is important and allows for a smoother car ride. Obviously you’ll be in a car all day and won’t be able to keep 100% of his routine up, but being able to offer him options helps. In other words, this is not the place where you want to skimp out on in order to save room.

3. iPad pre-loaded with movies on the Movies Anywhere App

The Movies Anywhere App (which used to be the Disney Anywhere App) is the absolute best app out there when it comes to storing your movies. Most of the movies we have came with digital copies that we’ve downloaded on to the Movies Anywhere App on our iPad. It allows for Noah to have his movie library with him wherever we go. For a long trip he’s able to watch a different movie each leg of the trip and not get tired of repetition. Plus, you won’t have to lug around a portable DVD player or multiple DVDs. [*TIP: The app usually has a promotion where you receive FREE movies when you link other accounts {iTunes, Google play, Amazon} to your Movies Anywhere app. We just scored five movies for linking our Amazon account!]

4. Power Inverter

If you bring nothing else on this list, make sure you bring this!

Power Inverter

You may not know it yet, but you NEED this! For us, it charged Noah’s Nintendo DS, the iPad and allowed me to pump while in the car. It’s super convenient because rather than spending a fortune on numerous “car” chargers for all of your gadgets, you can use the chargers you already have at home and just plug them in to this beauty! And seriously, for just under $17 on Amazon you can’t go wrong.

5. Soft Cooler

This is especially necessary if you are breastfeeding and have a stash of milk you are bringing with you and/or need a place to put the fresh milk you just pumped in the car. In addition to storing breast milk, you can obviously store juice boxes, waters, and other refrigerated snacks. A soft cooler should do the trick and is compact enough to fit in between the front seats for easy access.

We’re no experts just yet, but I truly believe that these items helped us have the successful trips we had! Don’t let the idea of a long trip overwhelm you and stop you from traveling. It can be done if you are prepared! And honestly, the memories we took away from this trip will last a lifetime.

Leave additional must have items you can think of below!

-Yesenia

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Comments

  1. Omggggg you always to it to me Yessie, you made me cry!!! But they are happy tears!!! Cause you make me sooo proud of you!!! Im sooooo happy you took that rode trip cause it wouldn’t of been Christmas without the Faiella’s!!! I love you and your handsome boys, Lou is included lol I just get so excited reading your blogs they are always sooo great!!! You can see how happy Noah was by the pictures, he looks so happy and so comfortable you gave some great advice I hope people take it!! Love you sooo much keep up the great job can’t wait for your next blog!!!❤️😊😘

  2. my daughter swears by these trays and has one for each kid. They can help them do all kinds of things they normally wouldn’t be able to do. Meals in the car are much easier as well.

  3. We used to travel with our twins AND my disabled mother, so my list was bit more extensive, however this is a GREAT starting off point for staying ahead of the car trip game.

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