What can I say, road trips are excruciatingly boring for little ones. We go on road trips on a regular basis. One time, we also made the mistake of travelling in the evening while en route to the family resort. We thought that it would be better for Kara because the trip will be shorter (instead of 12 hours, the trip only took 8 hours).
She usually sleeps through the night (from 11pm to 9am) but this time, she woke up in the middle of her sleep and probably forgot that she was sleeping in her car seat and got so annoyed. She cried for 30 minutes straight. It was the first time in my life that she cried that long. I couldn't get her out of the car seat since we were on a highway and nowhere near any rest stops. Once we were able to pullover, I got her out and she didn't want to go back to sleep anymore. Imagine my dilemma - how do I keep her occupied while it's dark?
LESSON 1: TRAVEL DURING THE DAY AND PLAN FOR STOP OVERS.
Going back to Manila, we traveled in the morning and had stopovers every 2 or 3 hours. The total duration of the trip was longer but it was okay because everyone in the car was happy, especially the baby. There were no more tears!
LESSON 2: KEEP A BASKET OF TOYS / ACTIVITY BOOKS WITHIN REACH.
As I said, kids will get bored easily so you have to prepare lots and lots of fun activities for them. I prepared coloring books, sticker books, and interactive toys. Kara also loves to write so we brought notebooks and pens for her. I also downloaded (and paid) for the Dave and Eva app in my iPad so we can sing along during the trip. I am proud to say, that my hubby and I have now memorized over 50 nursery rhymes and Children's songs haha (even my Spotify is filled with Children's songs).
LESSON 3: PREPARE FINGER FOOD AND SNACKS (& MAKE SURE THEY'RE WITHIN REACH)
Kara loves to eat (as you may have seen in my Instagram posts). We always bring her favorite snacks with us and of course she uses her Snack Pod for mess-free munching while traveling. In our case, when this little lady isn't napping, she's snacking in the car so we really bring a lot.
We bought a car organizer where we put the Baby Wipes, the Mustela RinseWater, some drinks, some food and her diapers. We also include a change of clothes just so we don't have to get down from the car and get clothes from the trunk or from the car roof bag.
LESSON 4: CREATE A HOME AWAY FROM HOME.
In order to make your trips filled with not just joy but also fun, observe the cardinal rule in parenting while traveling - always create a home away from home. Prepare an itinerary based on your child's sleeping and feeding schedule. Under no circumstances should you disrupt an established routine unless you are willing to suffer the consequences (also, I don't have the heart to wake a sleeping baby - we always time our activities around Kara's schedule).
Respecting your child's inner clock will make her less likely to throw a tantrum in the car, the street, or a crowded museum.
LESSON 5: BRING TRAVEL-FRIENDLY ESSENTIALS
Do you feel as if you are bringing the whole house whenever you travel with your baby or toddler? I have never packed light in my entire existence so I was guilty of this till I discovered these travel-friendly essentials. I prefer items that doesn't occupy so much real estate in our bags.
A. Mustela Travel Kit (contains lotion, baby wash, rinse water, and diaper cream)
I love that Mustela created the ultimate travel kit! It's so convenient and it comes with a pouch.
B. Deluxe Germ Exterminator
This is excellent for family travel. This little powerhouse is lightweight and portable, so it can easily be stored in your diaper bag or luggage. Simply push the on-off switch, set the timer then pass it over the area you want to sanitize to disinfect objects such as breast pumps, feeding bottles, toys pacifiers, anything you want really.
C. Bottle & Utensil Cleanser in a Spritzer
Again, it's important to use space-savers when travelling with kids so I always transfer the Tiny Buds Bottle and Utensil Cleanser to spritzers. I have one like this in my breast pump bag and in Kara's diaper bag. It's extremely helpful to have a handy bottle especially when you practice Baby Led Weaning. We always bring our fun feeding mat with us so it's not messy (and my daughter doesn't like it when we mix her food - she prefers to have dividers on her plates... what an OC kid!) We just wash it afterwards and then sterilize.
There you go. I hope you found this helpful. If you have questions, just comment or message me.