This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #Tips4Trips #CollectiveBias
Living in metro Detroit there are many, many things within driving distance for us. We really enjoy weekend getaways and are lucky to live within driving distance of Niagara Falls, Chicago, Cincinnati, Traverse City, Mackinac Island and more! We also have family that lives in Ohio and we often make weekend trips to visit them. Our kids are now 5, 3 and 1 and it took a while for us to get down a routine of how to handle traveling with toddlers. Since we do it often, I want to share our most important tips with you to help you get through your trips when traveling with toddlers!
1) Start Early. Preparing for a trip usually starts a few days in advance in our house and it really helps to reduce the amount of stress I feel at the last minute. When you are responsible for getting yourself ready for a trip and multiple little ones, starting early is a saving grace, trust me! I am a list person so I am forever making lists of things we need so I don’t forget them.
I typically make the list in the Notes section on my phone so it’s easily accessible wherever I am so I can add things at any given moment when something crosses my mind and so I can keep it handy as I’m gathering the things we’ll need.
Depending on when you decide to leave for the road trip, activities beforehand can be important, too. If we are planning to leave early to mid day, the day before we plan a busy day for the kids. In the summer it typically involves lots of outside play (water, bikes, etc). If we are planning to leave later in the day or early evening we plan busy time for that morning. I’ve found that if the kids are able to run off some energy they travel much better!
If you don’t already have a Walmart Family Mobile plan, get started! Having a phone on a trip is a must – make sure you have it ahead of time! Visit your local Walmart and get an awesome Walmart Family Mobile plan and phone to take with you!
Side note: We are able to save money year-round on our phone service with Walmart Family Mobile service and the amount we save goes into our vacation fund for our fun weekend getaways! Little savings DO add up and allow for more fun! 😉 The plan is only $29.88/month (for the first line) and you get an unlimited talk, text & data service plan which includes up to 1G of 4G LTE data!
- Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/frw8 or your local Walmart for current pricing.
2) Bring Snacks. If your toddlers are anything like mine, they eat. A lot. Eat a good meal before leaving on the trip and then bring snacks because an hour or two into the trip they will want something and chances are you won’t want to stop every time you hear “I’m hungry!”. I’ve found that fruit (bananas especially), cheese (in a cooler) and small crackers like Annie’s Organic Bunnies are car friendly.
3) Chose to travel during nap time or near bed time. You will thank me for this one. If the kids can sleep at least 2 hours of the trip, that’s two hours less you need to worry about entertaining them and keeping them happy. It really helps! Also, if you do the activities I mentioned earlier the day before or morning of to run out some of their energy it helps them fall asleep easier when traveling!
4) Be prepared with entertainment. We recently picked up the Alcatel One Touch Pop Astro to use with Walmart Family Mobile’s 4G LTE service. We installed a few apps the kids would love and know it will come in handy on our next road trip! Our kids LOVE music so we often look up videos (yes, kid songs) on You Tube and play them as we sing along. They love doing this on road trips!
Yo Gabba Gabba is a favorite! I just hold the phone up so they can see it from their seats as we sing and they clap along! It’s an easy way to pass time in the car that creates smiles on little faces!!
Other forms of entertainment that are easy in the car are movies on your Netflix app, or books that can be read by the parent not driving. The kids love these things and they are special “treats” in the car as we normally don’t do them when we go to local places.
5) Schedule stops. Look at your route ahead of time and find places to stop, as you will need restroom breaks. If your toddler is anything like my 3 year old, you might want to schedule these every 2-3 hours. It will also be good for the kids to get out, stretch their legs and run a bit. You’ll be thankful for the break, too.