A few years ago we took our (then) toddler on a little spontaneous road trip. Sounded like a great idea at the time. We thought we would just jump in the car, drive a couple hours, stop at the Zoo, say hi to the animals, and then drive back home. What a mistake!
You know the old cliche, “failing to plan is planning to fail”…well, this could not have been more relevant. We got about an hour outside our city when the waterworks began to flow. No song or game would calm him down. It was on. For the next 2 hours of the trip, we were living in a total nightmare. We ended up making 9 pit-stops in our 3 hours of driving. Finally, we were able to get him worn out enough to fall asleep for the very last leg of the trip. We sat in the parking lot of the zoo for an hour and a half while he slept.
I certainly learned my lesson that day. Spontaneity and toddlers do not go hand in hand. I vowed that day to never road trip again without proper preparation! What I have found most helpful is to get one of these storage cube boxes and fill it with these essential road trip items. This way you can stay super organized and nothing (well, almost nothing) gets lost.
1. iPad Case $15.99
I can’t count the number of times our iPad has been dropped. I would hold my breath every time I heard the thump. But not since we bought this case. It’s seriously been a life saver. I know my toddler can safely handle the iPad and I don’t have to worry about paying the outrageous cost it would be to repair that delicate screen. Of course, the iPad is a great way to entertain the kiddos on a road trip because…Netflix, duh.
These headphones have saved our road trippin’ sanity and are definitely worth the investment. They are the perfect size for little ears and can grow with your child as they mature into young adults. The best part is, my son can listen to Caillou the whole trip, and I don’t have to hear it! They also come in purple, green, blue, and silver.
3. Doodle Magic//$24.99
Holy genius, batman! Whoever came up with these magic marker coloring pads should receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Okay, so maybe that’s a little dramatic. But this is certainly a must-have for your road trip! This lap pad comes with 4 water markers, one coloring pad, and provides you with a crazy entertained toddler. PLUS you don’t have to worry about your child drawing all over the windows – which has definitely happened to us…more than once.
4. Puzzles// $11.99
Melissa and Doug have a whole line of these cool little puzzles. They are really neat because they are only a few pieces and they come in a wooden storage box. The box is really what makes this helpful for our long road trips. The kids can do the puzzle right on the box and the pieces won’t go flying off when we take a tight turn.
An oldie but a goodie. My child has a knack for liking vintage toys. When my son was much younger, he loved dragging around his vintage telephone on a string. Maybe that’s why the etch-a-sketch has been a such a big hit for our road trips.
6. Snack Cups//$9.99
These snack cups are just the best. We typically don’t leave home without one because they’re so convinent, so they are especially useful for road trips. They come in all different character types, like Star Wars, Paw Patrol, Shopkins, Frozen, and the list goes on. You can put whatever snack you want in the top half, it’s big enough to fit things like grapes and crackers. Then, their drink goes into the cup below, and wah-lah, snacks, and drinks in an all-in-one.
So there you have it. I hope that these items can help you, help your toddler to have a fun and exciting road trip. What is your child’s favorite thing to take on a road trip? Did it make our list? Let us know in the comments below. And if you are interested in any of the items we talked about here, I have posted the links and prices below.
Storage Cube Box//$9.99
iPad Case $15.99