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Car Trippin’

03/30/2015

Belle

Sabine has been on MANY long car trips in her short life. The first few were easy-peasy because she was so young. The last one, though, was a little rougher. Between sickness and needing constant stimulation it was a long two days to Kentucky and an even longer (and smellier) two days home. This weekend we are heading to visit my extended family in PA and while this is a much shorter drive (just 5.5 hours) I am nervous about how she will take it now that she likes to walk every. waking. minute.

So I am preparing. I consider this a nice short test drive for our Christmas car trip from NYC to Alabama, which is going to be a doozie of a two-day fiasco. For this weekend I have assembled brown paper lunch bags of new and old toys and activities. Some are safe for her to inspect and play with by herself and others need a little adult supervision so they will be save for when one of us are in the back seat.

Two grocery bags filled with little bags of excitement!

Two grocery bags filled with little bags of excitement!

Here are a few of the goodie bags.

IMG_9468

I am particularly excited about this bag, which contains a sensory ball that lights up and flashes and a really cool “paint with water” book by Melissa & Doug (pro-tip, these and some other Melissa & Doug things are Buy 1 Get 1 Half-Off at Target right now)

This is a bag to play with when an adult is sitting in the back with her. These are little foam Sesame Street characters and tub crayons that we can reuse when we get home. Also in the bag is a Slinky and two chunky Dr. Seuss erasers.

This is a bag to play with when an adult is sitting in the back with her. These are little foam Sesame Street characters and tub crayons that we can reuse when we get home. Also in the bag is a Slinky and two chunky Dr. Seuss erasers. Everything came from the Target $1 bins.

This was a steal from the Target $1 bin - bright colored cards with fun creatures on them. I know she will have a great time sorting through them and I expect to get mileage out of that box, too! Also in the bag is an "old toy" egg shaker - because Daddy will LOVE to listen to this in the car!

This was a steal from the Target $1 bin – bright-colored cards with fun creatures on them. I know she will have a great time sorting through them and I expect to get mileage out of that box too! Also in the bag is an “old toy” egg shaker – because Daddy will LOVE to listen to this in the car!

I picked this up as the 1/2 price item during the Melissa and Doug sale at Target. We called them Color Forms when I was a kid, but today they are "reusuable stickers." Either way, these should be big fun with little Bean.

I picked this up as the 1/2 price item during the Melissa and Doug sale at Target. We called them Color Forms when I was a kid, but today they are “reusuable stickers.” Either way, these should be big fun with little Bean.

I also picked up a few “junk food” snacks for her to enjoy on the ride. We don’t eat a lot of this stuff in our house so I know they will be a real treat. I dug out one of our funky Ikea ice-cube trays to put snacks in. I think it will be fun for her to pick a snack out of each flower, and then she can inspect the tray!

Emergency Apple Juice if we really start to lose our shit during the ride. While warm milk is still the best way to soothe a savage Sabine Beast, apple juice is a close second.

Emergency Apple Juice if we really start to lose our shit during the ride. While warm milk is still the best way to soothe a savage Sabine Beast, apple juice is a close second.

And finally, I have carefully planned our route to include two fun, Sabine-friendly stops. We hope to be on the road by 6 a.m. and will drive 2.5 hours and stop at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast and play. We’ll drive another 2 hours after that and stop at a little library in DuBois, PA. I am really excited about this stop because Sabine LOVES books. Then we’ll power through the last 1.5 hours with the help of a movie and probably a second helping of apple juice.

What are your car travel tips? Anyone done a two-day trip with a toddler?

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6 Comments

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  1. March 30, 2015

    Sitting in the back and playing with our kid works best for us! Though after a while she just wants out and we can extend the trip indefinitely or sit up front, grit our teeth and just get there already.

  2. veetamia #
    March 31, 2015

    Last summer we drove from Hamburg, Germany to Oslo, Norway with our then 14 month old and our yorkie! Over 1,000 km! I didn’t even think about doing goodie bags haha turns out that over two days of driving tires even the most well-adjusted adult but I think we learned that at least our toddler a) can survive long trips with minimum entertainment (watching the road, listening to music, getting some forehead and ear massage to soothe drama!) and b) it wasn’t that bad 😉
    I can’t afford to do goodie bags every time we travel though (trips back home to Mexico are quite challenging already without the extra baggage!) but I’d like to implement some of these ideas at home or rainy days 😉
    Good luck on your trip!

    • March 31, 2015

      Road watching is always fun! I can’t wait until they are old enough to play road games with us, too. I should have noted that the goodie bags and snacks came to just under $35 and everything in them can be repurposed when we return.

      • veetamia #
        March 31, 2015

        I wished target existed over here! I’d go crazy attempting to create these ideas for K and L!
        I think Sabine will have tons of fun with all of your preparation and hard work to make the trip enjoyable 😉

  3. Karaleen #
    March 31, 2015

    When I flew with my daughter across country at 18months old…it was a full day of flights and airports. Luckily…we got a few naps in there….but in between we did a lot of fun little things like snacks and stickers. The stickers were the best….I just bought little books of them from the dollar store and brought plain paper….we then just stuck them on everything….all over her hands and her car seat (because I sprung for a seat just for her). Then when she fell asleep I just cleaned them all up and put them in the trash and we started all over the next time she asked for them. It was hard to do the movies on the plane….but those work great for us on car trips. I had a backpack with little toys in it she had never seen that I got from the dollar store….crayons, coloring books and a couple barbies which were a new thing for her. I think your plan looks pretty good. My kids are older now and actually tend to complain more now than when they were little. They are 4 and 7. we are heading to Disneyland in November (a 6-7 hour drive) and I am already dreading it. They were actually more easily entertained when they were babies. Good luck on the drive.

  4. jak #
    April 1, 2015

    i LOVE the tray idea!!!! so creative. yes, they do like to put things in other things and take things out of other things. good thinking. but lord, where do you get the time for putting this kind of stuff together and can you share some please??? 🙂 guess this means sabine is actually taking some naps now days, lol.

    we did a 10h trip with 14 month old last summer. we took walking breaks and let him toddle around at rest stops. it was good for him, but bad for us (time wasted being off the road, trying to keep him from sticking cigarette butts in his mouth or stepping in dog poo or worse… NJTP is not glamorous).

    good luck! sabine is a lucky bean to have such a creative and thoughtful mamabean!!!

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