Friday, July 26, 2013

The Road Trip Review & Tips

Do you remember back in May how I was stressing about an upcoming road trip out to visit the NY cousins? Do you remember the list? I am happy to report that it didn't take us 12 hours! Stomper behaved admirable. I am so pleased with how he did.

I did make him a wipes toy with milk bottle caps and he greatly enjoyed flinging them around the car. He did not play with toys, cars, or books. He did like using the cookie sheet with stickers though and as a table to color on. I would do that again. I purchased a bunch of small planes and he had no interest in playing with them. My MIL purchased him a small strainer and some pipe cleaners and he played with it for about five minutes.

I also put a bunch of snacks in small snack bags in another wipes container and he really liked picking his own snack. He would take the container from me and say: "Hmm." while he pawed through the contents. Small boxes of raisins was his favorite and fruit chewy snacks.

The life saver was the DVD player. If we were going to make long trips a habit I would whole hardheartedly purchase one for ourselves. Many of the movies he only watched the first hour, but who cares? He didn't scream and that was the ultimate goal. I think that if I had been able to sit in the back (I get carsick) and play with him or read to him that he would have spent less time watching movies.

We wound up only stopping once there and back. Amazing! On the way there we stopped at the Ben and Jerry's Factory. It was well worth the stop. They have lots of space to stretch cramped legs and a small playground to frolic on. They also had a bunch of picnic tables under a tent so there was plenty of shade. On the way back we found a small playground in a small town to run around.

Here are my tips from our first trip.

1. Plan stops
2. Fill a wipes container with snacks (one per kid) some healthy, some not, and let them choose.
3. Borrow or buy a portable DVD player and rent or borrow all their favorite movies. (One trip a friend does is she puts her kids on a TV diet the week before a trip so they are starved for TV -- they travel from Maine to Florida every year by car)
4. Cookie Sheet with stickers. (The stickers rip off easily and can be rearranged)
5. Music. (We listened to the same 8 VBS songs over and over and over again, but it kept him happy!)
6. Electronic toys. (All those busy box games that sing and make foolish noises and annoy you aren't so bad when the they're in the back seat and you have the windows down and your own music going.)

There are tons of other things you can try, but that is what worked best for us.

Come back tomorrow to see all the fun we had in NY!


  1. We're originally from Wisconsin so we have flown back there from California a couple of times. We also like to go on cruises with Little Man in tow (to date he's been on three and we're going on another one in December). If we have to travel for long periods (the drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles is about 6 hours and our flights between Wisconsin and San Francisco are about 5 hours), we bring the iPads (which we have loaded some of his favorite movies and TV shows), crayons, paper, sippy cups, and his favorite stuffed toy(s). He does really well when we go, though. I think it's because I took him everywhere with me when he was little (the grocery store, the mall, the yarn shop, etc.) so he got used to traveling and being around other people.

  2. That is a lot of traveling! I think it probably helps to travel longer distances more often.


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