Tips and Tricks for Ridiculously long car rides

I drove down to SC with both kids last week to visit family.  The hubby had to work so he stayed behind and I braved the nearly 500 mile trip solo.  It is not easy, but cheaper than buying two flights.   I also like having the flexibility to head back home whenever I am ready!  I WAS visiting family if ya know what I mean?! ­čśë

These are a few things that I have learned since traveling in the car for extended periods of time solo, with kids!
1.  Wear stretchy pants with an elastic waistband!  Trust me!  Ain't nobody got time to be looking cute while riding in the car for 7/8/9/10 hours!  Stretchy pants are easier to pull up and down during quick bathroom visits holding a kid....or 2.
2.  Arm the passenger seat with snacks!  Kids love snacks! I try to have all of Charlotte's favorite fish, yogurt covered raisins, applesauce, and even bought the mini containers of Pringles out of desperation.  I later had to vacuum out a smashed container of Pringles too but no harm no foul.  We all made it there, dirty car and all!
3. Arm the passenger seat with throwable toys. SOFT toys!  The last thing that you want to do is whack your kid in the head with some hard dinosaur and having them scream bloody murder with 5 hours to go.  We love these Water Wow books....Char loved the princess one a little too roughly and the safari pen is probably under a dirty carseat somewhere.

4.  If your kid(s) fall asleep, drive like hell!  Not reckless, just fast.  I mean, don't go breaking any laws but definitely don't even consider stopping.  Just pee your pants!  Kidding, you just better hold it or see number 18!
5.  Be sure that you have kid music easily accessible.  My CD player doesn't even work so I now have a kid station on Spotify and Pandora.  I don't know what it is about "Wheels on the Bus" and that dern spider song but it seems to calm them down......temporarily.
6.  Toddler Sunglasses!  I have tinted windows and the sun shades for the kids but somehow the tiniest bit of sun gets through and shines directly into said Toddler's eyes.  She loses it.  Better yet, have 2 pair.  One with toddler, and another in front seat for when Toddler drops first pair. These Babiators are awesome and have a great warranty.  I also love that they were invented by a MARINE!   Babiators Original Navigator Sunglasses (0-2 Years) Think Pink
7.  Have sticker books.  I don't know what it is about new stickers either but kids love them.  I pick up the 1$ packs at Target, Micheals, Hobby Lobby, and Dollar Tree anytime that I see them.  Charlotte will play with them for at least 30 minutes.  She sticks them on herself, Claire, her carseat, Claire's carseat, etc.  Again, I'm usually desperate and I'll just clean them up later.

8. Change diapers in car at the END of your stop.  For instance, get lunch, snack , dinner, gas, whatever.....THEN change diapers.  It's less time for them to have a blowout or risk having to spend more time changing them a second time.  Does that make sense?  I also change them in the car because it's less germy and easier to me.  You know, toddler touching/licking everything in a public bathroom while you're trying to change wiggly baby in small poop smelling place....YUCK

9.  Have doggie bags (disposable scented diaper bags) handy.  These are great to tie up poo diapers, for puke, trash, and to collect all of the stickers that are now all over your seats.
10.   If you're nursing or have a bottle fed baby, feed them while you eat.  This will save you time.
I have to plan our trips around nap time, bedtime, and traffic so we have to stick to a strict schedule which is why I like to keep stops as short as possible!
11.  Take toys that they love or haven't played with in awhile.  If I know that we will be traveling, I sometimes will go ahead and pack up some of their favorites the week before so it's almost like they're getting new toys!  I also pack books that read themselves like below.

12.  Know your route!  Well at least try to familiarize yourself with it before you leave!  I know where every Chick-Fil-A is along 95/85 from here to me, I do!  The last thing that you want is to have two hungry screaming kids and nowhere to eat lunch for 50 more miles!
13.  Both of my kids are still rear facing so it is imperative to make sure their mirrors are properly angled and secured so that we can see each other before we take off!
14.  Take a special treat that you know your kid will love and hold on to it until you're absolutely about to lose your mind.  Our treats are suckers and I make sure that they are hidden in the center console up front.
15. Always have EXTRA wipes, diapers, and napkins.  Hell, you might want to have a towel and a roll of paper towels because you never know!
16. I have raved over this travel potty before but it is a game changer!  It is so easy to pull out and way cleaner than dragging toddler to a gross public restroom!
OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty for Travel - Navy

17.  My kids don't have an Ipad.....yet.  We actually don't even own one.  With that being said, I make sure to have downloaded some sort of kid's movie from Netflix on my phone before we leave.  I use this as an absolute last resort and will let the girls hold my phone while I'm driving.  You gotta do whatchu gotta do!
18.  Lastly, keep and empty disposable cup........just trust me on this one! ­čśë

I am sure there are more that I am forgetting but this is all for now!  I'll update if I can think of more!  Feel free to leave other suggestions below! ­čśś


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