Almost 2 years old H has sat through more than 12 flights in last two years. Her first flight happened when she was barely a month old. And mine, when I was 25! years old. So, we have kind of come to terms with air travel. But what makes me write this post is the fact that we are off to H’s first considerably long road trip tomorrow and I am feeling
butterflies grasshoppers in my tummy.
I have my reasons for feeling jittery. Hyperactive H hates to sit in one place for more than 5 minutes. Inside the car, dash board, music system and steering wheel are her favourite toys. However the big daddy of all my worries is – the reflux turning into puke and a lot of mess that H does after approximately 40 minutes of travelling in the car! This is going to be a 5 hours long journey to Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai. So, we need to be all geared up!
So, while I did my research about how to make this road trip a happy one for both all of us, Papa M and my toddler H, I would like to share the tips with you too…
1. Timing is important: The best part about road trip is that you are the boss, so you can time it according to your child’s schedule. Starting around a time when the kid sleeps will usually helps. If your baby sleeps better in the morning, you can start early in the morning or immediately after he/she wakes up so that you either have a sleeping, fresh or less cranky happy traveller at least for some part of the journey. I have noticed that H doesn’t throw up when she is sleeping while travelling.
2. Keep taking breaks: The rule of the thumb should be to travel when kids sleep and take a break when they are awake. Not only for loo and food but these can also help them burn energy and get tired and hungry. So, make sure to break the journey at kid friendly places. Timing your break according to your child’s potty time is also a good idea. If your kid doesn’t like to do the business anywhere apart from his/her own potty seat, you know what you have to do!
3. Make a ‘Keep Busy Bag’ for toddlers: I came across this awesome idea to make a ‘keep busy bag’ that has everything that can keep your toddler busy while on the go. Stuff it with everything from crayons to story books, play dough, lovey, toy phone etc. In short everything that can entertain your little one. I can’t think about stepping out without her Doodle Pro.
4. Pal please! Sitting in the car seat at the back all alone might sound pretty boring for the toddler. In case, you don’t have a sibling/grandparent/uncle/friend etc to accompany the kid in the back seat, be ready to switch seats. Did you just mention romantic drive with your man?! Sing rhymes, songs and tell stories to keep the little traveller entertained for longer duration. Your kid’s favourite toys and the busy bag can come to your rescue here!
5. Food & Water: Going by my own experience, finger foods always work better for H while on the go. Not only they are less messier but also require less utensils to be consumed. Check out some healthy snacking options for travel here. Carry loads of snacks and it is perfectly OK to let the little ones gorge upon their fav junk food for a couple of days if it can buy you some peace. Don’t forget to stock up on water. You don’t want your kid to have water outside and fell ill. The idea is to avoid breaking your child routine.
6. Sun shade: Since we are going to travel during the day, I plan to put sun shields to block the sun from bothering H. Sun + AC + eating on the go works as a strange catalyst for throwing up for me and H. Towels, newspapers come handy for this.
7. Be ready for the mess: Don’t forget to carry extra packets of wet wipes, old news papers and waste cloth to clean up any kind of mess that the kid makes. Also, carry extra travel packs of hand sanitizer, garbage bags to clean up. For the sake of Swacch Bharat!
8. Pack well: Packing is an art, especially when you are travelling with kids. A fussy traveller can challenge our promptness like no one else. So, everything should be in easy reach. When kids what something, they want it now!
9. Medical emergencies: Always be prepared for medical emergencies. Do carry a mini first aid box along with basic medicines that your child needs. Illness can come unannounced!
10. Diaper & Change: Do carry a changing mat. You never know if you get the cleanest place to change, so a changing mat can come handy. Always keep an extra pack of diaper in your cars. Agreed that you are not going to Mars and you can buy them everywhere. But, historically speaking you run out of them when there’s no shop around.
I am ready! Looking forward to a happy long weekend! Do share how did you find these tips and I would love to read your travelling experiences too! So, keep them coming!
Till then, Happy Weekend!