Planning our holiday to the south of France The 8hour drive
I found this great list of tips and ideas when travelling in a car for a long period of time.
Toddler Traveling Tips
1. Have patience! The most important thing for the adults in the car is to remember to have patience when traveling with small children. Yes, they may scream, cry and plead for your attention, but this article will give you tips for handling those outbursts.
2. Plan your trip in advance and try to keep any single day's worth of driving to less than 8 hours, if possible. If you're going on a family vacation and can afford to take an extra day or two, break up your drive into smaller pieces.
3. Try doing your longest drive at night when your small child can sleep in the car seat.
We are getting the 11pm ferry and I have booked a cabin for the 4 hour crossing. Not only will this be nice for Florence but Jon can get in some precious sleep also.
4. Schedule extra stops, especially at points of interest. Your toddler will need to get out of the car seat often to stretch his or her legs. Stopping at rest areas is definitely needed, but see if there are interesting state parks or other local attractions where you can stop for an hour or two. For example, plan on having lunch at a natural attraction like a waterfall or historic site along the way. These stops will provide a much needed break for everyone in the car.
So we are going to get off the ferry at 3am, let Florence (and myself) fall asleep and stop at 8am for breakfast!
5. Pack plenty of food and drinks. We like to keep a smaller cooler within reach of the adult riding shotgun. This small cooler should have drinks and snacks such as milk, water, cut-up fruits and veggies. Make sure you have snacks with protein for your toddler in an easy to reach location. Pre-make some sandwiches and have crackers or raisins readily available. In a larger cooler in the trunk you can store extra food and water for longer excursions.
I will do a blog post with some food ideas for long journeys.
6. Bring a portable DVD player and a variety of children's movies and cartoons. The DVD player will save your sanity! Be warned: toddlers love to watch the same movie over and over.
We are just going to use our Ipad and we are buying a case for it to sit in behind the head rest.
7. Bring a variety of toys and books. We like to pack a doodle board for our toddler because it entertains him without being messy. Make sure one adult in the car can easily reach some toys to hand your child when he or she gets board so you don't have to pull over to do a frantic search on a busy street. Be sure to include some new toys to perk up your toddler's interest (comes in handy during a tantrum).
8. Pack at least one extra set of clothes in your diaper bag. You never know when a nappy accident may occur so be sure to have extra clothing on hand. Pack more nappies, wipes, and ointment cream than you think you'll need. There is nothing worse than running out of nappies on a 90 degree day in a strange place.
9. Bring sunscreen.
10. Pack a blanket for naptime and a favorite cuddly toy.
11. Bring your camera to capture your toddler's various moods. Yes, I even take pictures when he's not happy and make a game out of it.
12. Put a baby backpack or stroller in your trunk. You may decide to stop for a nature hike on the spur of the moment. Having a backpack or stroller will make side excursions more enjoyable. Your toddler can still walk, but you'll have the comfort of knowing you don't have to carry your little one 5 miles back to the car in your arms!
Traveling with young children can be a daunting experience, but it can also be really fun! Go with a sense of adventure. If you're having fun and keeping your cool, your toddler will see you and follow your lead. Yes, outbursts will happen and sometimes you just need to let your little one scream for a few minutes. Just sit back and enjoy this precious time with your toddler because it will be gone before you know it.
I'm taking this with me So thought I would share.
Happy holidays Daisy x