Don’t You Dare Leave Home Without It: traveling with kids

We take a lot of car trips with the kids and have almost got the necessities down to a science. Almost. There’s always that one kid, isn’t there? I think they take turns because I can never guess which one will have an “episode.” Ha! But I digress.

Things we bring for the ride:

Blankets and pillows: each child has a lap blanket and a pillow pet or throw pillow they bring with them to make their own little nest in the car.

Favorite Stuffy: Oh, heaven help us if we forget “Beary!” You wouldn’t believe how many tears can come out of one little girl who’s lost without her stuffed bear!

Flip-Flops or Slip-on Shoes: Do you have a child that takes thirty-five million years to tie her shoes? Just me? Well, we’ve taken to having all the kids wear flip-flops for car rides because they inevitably take all their shoes off once in the car and then don’t (won’t) find them and tie them back on for potty breaks at rest stops and gas stations. Yes, flip-flops get lost too, but are SO MUCH easier to throw on and off for emergency (doing the potty dance) potty breaks!

Grocery Bags: Here’s where it gets gross. I have a couple carsick kids and they seem to take turns. If I prepare for one kid, the other one goes. So I put a bag for trash on the back of the seat in front of them (except my oldest) to throw their trash in. And if things take a turn for the worse, they’ve at least got somewhere to go. (Along those same lines, I bring Clorox wipes, paper towels, garbage bags, and tums.) Dramamine doesn’t seem to work for them. It just makes them seem high. 😂

Dry Snacks: Animals crackers, tortilla chips, pretzels, granola bars, protein bars ( I like the Cliffbrand because they don’t seem to explode into a million crumbs), and lollipops. (I like YumEarth Organic Pops because they are more than just sugar.) I don’t mention fruit because I figure healthy stuff is a given. Bananas are our favorite because they keep pretty well for long trips.

Clear drinks: Have you ever cleaned baked on milkshake the day after a trip?? Yyeeaahhh… We now stick to juice boxes, Gatorade, and water. (Or, more often, sprite/7up because it can also help settle a tummy.)

Entertainment: If the stars are aligned, and it seems the kids are handling the trip fine, we let each of them pick a movie or tv show to watch on the DVD player. Ah, the DVD player. I had NO IDEA how much I was missing this in my life. Toddler meltdown? DVD player! Bored kids while running errands? DVD player! Mom needs a little piece of relative quiet? DVD player!

Chargers: And DONT, under any circumstances, forget charging cables and adapters for phones, tablets, and other sanity saving devices!! We don’t use them during the drive, but once we get to where we’re going, it’s like a little piece of heaven to have something that chills the kids out right before bed.

Happy Travels! I’m sure everyone’s list of necessities is different, but these are some of our essentials! What else would you add?

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