The Traveling Toddler

11:04 AM

We just recently did a car trip that was 14 hours round trip. Yes, 14 hours. In a car. With a very active toddler. To say I was terrified is an understatement. All I pictured was 14 hours of constant screaming, crying, and tantrums....and that's just my husband. Dont even get me started on the toddler...

BUT....I can happily report that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. And in the process of trying to mentally prepare myself for this journey I came up with a helpful way to plan your next long travel day with your little one.

Step 1 /// Throw your schedule out the window really, your driving...just roll down the window and throw that shit out. Ok, no dont litter. Just metaphorically throw it out.

It's helpful to prepare yourself from the get go that your normal day to day schedule will not go as planned. Instead of stressing over why your kid still hasn't fallen asleep for his second nap, be thankful that he napped at all. If you dont get held up on the disappointment from your schedule falling apart it makes the trip easier for everyone.

Step 2 /// Create an Hour by Hour Plan
I came up with this method on our way home from our trip and it seriously saved me and made the trip seem so much faster. I'll use it any time we travel a long distance from here on out. Here's whatcha do...

Dont look at your trip as a whole. Look at it hour by hour and create activities for each hour. I'll use our trip as an example.

I broke up our 7 hour car ride into 7 different hours of things to do. I followed this plan precisely (but you dont have to) It's really just a guideline, but sticking to the times as closely as possible helps. This is how ours looked:

Hour 1- Sit in backseat and use all energy my mind and body has to offer to entertain child in car using songs, books, hand gestures etc.
Hour 2- Nap (insert this hour where you expect your babe to fall asleep)
Hour 3- Nap
Hour 4- Snacks on Snacks on Snacks (yes, he literally ate snacks for an hour)
(After 4-5 hours I suggest stopping along your route if you are traveling by car. Find a playground or a shopping center with a courtyard and let your kid get a little energy out. You can also grab lunch etc.)
Hour 5- Movies on the iPad
Hour 6- Repeat Hour 1. (you should have some entertaining energy built up by now)
Hour 7- Candy. Lots of it. Lollipops, chocolate, cookies!! GIVE HIM ALL THE CANDY YOU'RE ALMOST THERE!!

And there it is...our 7 hour journey. Doesn't it seem shorter when you only have to focus on each hour one at a time? I think so. And you can create your own schedule. You know your child best. Yours may nap less or more, watch the iPad longer etc.

Step 3/// Dont worry about other people!
You cannot help the way your kid acts when traveling. They are a person with a mind of their own. (it's what you love about them) If the people surrounding you cant handle them it is their problem not yours.

(repeat this over and over in your head!)

And lastly, if you are flying, please dont waste your time making those stupid baggies with earplugs, and drink tickets, and apology notes. That is bullshit. No one has a right to be on an airplane any more than you and your child does. You do not owe them an apology baggy. But if you do, it should totally be like this guys. Click here!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Oh, and ps...

This is how you think you look when you travel:

This is how you actually look when you travel:


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