Traveling with Little Ones--Finn style

Posted by  | Sunday, June 6, 2010  at 8:37 PM  
This week on Prayer of Hannah we are talking about traveling with little ones. All of us moms have done it at some point, even if the travel is just a few minutes away! The contributors for Prayer of Hannah include more than a few world travelers, and I look forward to hearing their tips for traveling cross country and overseas with little ones.

My husband’s and my family both live about 7 hours away from us (though in slightly different directions), so the longest car trip we have taken to date is a 7 hour one. I have flown with my daughter once, when she was about 9 months old, but this post will focus on car travel. Later this month Nathan, the kids and I will head out on a big car trip to see family in south Florida (13-15 hours by car), so these ideas are fresh on my mind!

Things I love while traveling:
*DVD player—I know it is a ‘cop out’, but a movie entertains the kids easily when the road miles grow long
*music that the kids enjoy—This is not always “kid music”! My children enjoy a variety of music, so we take our IPod and a car converter with us to listen to music.
*sippy cups for both kids—my oldest no longer drinks from a sippy cup, and my youngest is learning to drink from a ‘real cup’, but in the car, sippy cups are a must!!
*water bottles or a canteen to refill said sippy cups
*snacks—I used to use little snack cups (Glad makes a ‘toss and go’ snack cup with lids) that I would fill with goldfish, raisins, pretzels, or cheerios, but Baxter tends to upturn his cup into his lap and make a mess. I have now switched to snack size Ziploc bags that I can refill, because Baxter seems to handle them better
*Color Wonder markers and pad (or colored pencils and book—no crayons, they melt!) for Georgia
*car/tractor for Baxter—I never would have thought this, but my little guy played with a matchbox car for 30-40 minutes uninterrupted on one recent car trip. Perfect!
*portable potty—not as necessary now that G is fully potty trained, but still helpful
*rest areas—these have built in areas to run and play, and after being cooped up in the car that is a wonderful thing
*diversions—This sounds silly, but it is amazing how “look at that car!” “see the truck!” “hey, do you see a cow?” can distract children for a little while
*plastic grocery bags (for trash, kids toys, organizing snacks, etc)—as an aside, I don’t have this yet, but I hope to make a car organizer like this before our trip

None of these ideas are unique or original, but I hope that they might serve as a starting point for more suggestions from our wonderful readers. What are your tips for traveling with littles? What works for your family?

3 comments:

Amy said...

My parents live 10 hours away and I have traveled there several times with my two children (now ages 12 mos and 2.5 years). It is really hard doing it alone (hubby has to work), but I have a few strategies: Kid-friendly music is a plus, quick and easy snack foods (I splurge on juice boxes, pre-packaged applesauce, dried fruits, crackers, etc), and games (like peek-a-boo, make up songs, look at cows, etc.).

When I travel alone, I leave in the EARLY am, usually before 5 am so that my kids will sleep until we get out of Florida (we live in Orlando; my parents live in Birmingham, AL). I have a full cup of coffee and a full tank of gas. Getting this large portion of the trip done early in the morning makes the rest of the trip much more bearable. I load up my ipod with sermons and other things I want to listen to, so that when they sleep, the time will pass quickly.

I also only travel interstate when I am alone. This may be a bit farther for us (have to time it to where I don't hit Atlanta at traffic hour!) but it is worth it for me to know that I will always be near a gas station should I have car trouble or a sick child!

My friends think I'm crazy for driving 10 hours with my kids in the car, but it's worth it to me to see my family. My husband can't always get off work and so we just make the best of it. I think it will get easier as they are older, but for now, we just make it work for us!

Looking forward to hearing more traveling tips this week!

Amy said...

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Hugh & Hollie Carson said...

Great job Leah! I loved the car organizer. I just might have to consider some of those for gifts.

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