tips for long car trips with small kids

  1. i've started a thread like this before, but it seems to have been lost among the masses here! i'm moving from virginia to southern texas in 2 weeks and i need all of your handy dandy tips for traveling with toddlers. my son is 2, and doesn't generally like to sit still for long (what 2 y/o does??).

    we are already planning on stopping frequently to let nekhi run around a bit, taking some non-messy snacks, using a new toy grab bag to distract him prn, staying at hotels with pools for night-time play, possibly taking a tv/vcr combo for him, and not crowding him in the backseat with a bunch of junk.

    so, i am begging for your expertise here. tell me all of your survival tips for long road trips with kids! thanks for your help!

  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Brian
    Definately a TV/VCR or DVD combo, this has been a lifesaver for us more than I can count. It's even worth buying a few new movies he hasn't seen just to help keep his attention more

    But if Nekhi is anything like my kids, you will still be doing alot of entertaining Singing, playing talking etc... Good Luck!
  4. by   gwenith
    This is my other favourite website and although it is online there may be some things like the banana in pjama songs that you might be able to use.
  5. by   teeituptom
    So you are coming to this neck of the woods ehh

    drive safely


    to keep the kids quiet on a few cross country trips
    benadryl was wonderous

    better traveling through modern pharmacology

    not a peep out of them
  6. by   ragingmomster
    Our last road trip with a young 'un that little included a game called rubberneckers. Basically it was a can you find it kinda thing. Red car, yellow sign, blue truck. If he can see out the windows it might help you get through a few minutes! Good luck.
  7. by   H ynnoD
    Duct Tape Coloring Books
  8. by   nekhismom
    Quote from gwenith
    This is my other favourite website and although it is online there may be some things like the banana in pjama songs that you might be able to use.
    Sorry, gwenith, I didn't see a link here....can you post it again if you don't mind??? Thanks so much!
  9. by   LydiaGreen
    Making good time is NOT important with small children. Both of my kids have always been wonderful travellers and it's because we are constantly coming up with things for them to do. Last road trip (six days on the road there and back) included the flip trays (you can get Hot Wheels, Barbie, Scooby Doo ones - we got our's at Walmart) fully stocked with a cheap calculator (don't know why these are so fascinating to kids but they are), several favourite colouring books, drawing pads, pencils, washable crayons, washable markers, funky erasers (little cartoon character shaped ones). Handy wipes. Cheap cd player with headphones and LOTS of batteries. Children's music cds and the storybook/cd read-alongs are great and will be well used. Handy wipes. A cooler stocked with fruit and water bottles and juice boxes (there will be more than enough opportunities for junkfood). Handy wipes. Sunglasses and those pull-down, suction-cupped to the window sunshades. Handy wipes. A light blanket and a thicker blanket and a comfy, small pillow. And did I mention handy wipes? And a first aid kit with ANY medication you might need for your child - tylenol, ibuprofen, benadryl, cold & cough, gravol, etc.

    We also planned at least one daily stop close to the highway we were on for educational purposes, but more so for stretching and moving around and preventing the kids from getting bored. One stop was a bird sanctuary (the kids LOVED it), one was one of those kid's themed play restaurants.

    I would certainly advise against medicating a child just to make them drowsy - some kids become agitated with benadryl instead of sleepy. I'm sure that post was meant in jest, but you just never know, right?
  10. by   smk1
    my 3 yr old loves playdoh and it vaccums up easily, also new toys that they are not allowed to get into until the big trip. If vcr is an option it is a lifesaver! my daughter loves dora the explorer so i stocked up on dvd's.
  11. by   my2sons
    Mine are 3 and 5. New toys work well for us, too. Also, I have started trips just after suppertime. Dressed them in jammies, stopped once for potty break and teethbrushing and drove through most of the night. I recommend stopping for meals and letting little one burn some energy instead of drive-thru. Good luck, and drive safely. Made the move from PA to Houston 2 years ago and have been back and forth a few times since.
  12. by   nekhismom
    thanks all! You know, I thought about play-doh but was worried about the mess, and also about Nekhi possibly eating it. Maybe I'll break down and get a small container.

    Handy dandy wipes, huh??? Never leave home without 'em!

    I've been having a hard time finding any kid-oriented stops along the way. I KNOW it's such a long distance that there HAS to be something, but I can't find it. Anybody know of any websites that can help you find and plan for stops for the kids? I've googled my brain off and still haven't had any success. :chuckle: Thanks!