Travel notes, road trip with a 16-month old

Notes on a road trip with a 16 month old:

+ On the way to DC from Knoxville, we gassed up the car and left right after lunch when Javi’s daily nap was scheduled to start. He slept three hours while we hauled and listened to the radio.
– On the way back, we left a little earlier than the scheduled noon nap, which worked well as javi fell asleep right away, but when we stopped for gas an hour in, he woke up and wouldn’t go back to sleep. Fail.
+- The Fisher Price cover for the iPod worked well and protected it, but Javi wasn’t distracted by apps for very long.
+Magnets on a cheap brownie pan (smaller than a cake pan) worked great! When that got boring, I handed him stickers one by one to stick on it. Unexpected bonus: the cheap stickers weren’t too sticky so he could remove and replace them as much as he wanted.
+Moving his car seat behind the driver’s seat gave me good access to him from the passenger seat.
+On the way there, I had a sippy cup of milk and straw cup of water in his cup holders so he didn’t have to ask me for them.
+I forgot the milk on the way home. Duh. Once I remembered, he drank it quickly and finally fell asleep again at 4.
+I froze a half gallon of milk to take with us.  This worked brilliantly.
+I also froze a half dozen water bottles and used them as ice packs.  This worked brilliantly.
-New books were a bust.
+His favorite book from home was a success. He read it to himself for five or ten minutes.
+The neck pillow I bought him didn’t work well as designed but worked great if I tucked the neck flaps next to his head.
+Blankets are good, as are pillows from home.
+I should have packed, and kept to, one different blankie per day. They feel grimy after a little while.
-I always forget that I should always pack a little bottle of dish soap. All of his cups feel slimy after a day.
+Carabiners are great for everything – hanging our bag of snacks off the head rest posts, stringing up a sun shade, hanging things from our stroller….
-Not all (in fact, not many) McDonald’s have play areas anymore. Chick-fil-a’s do but are few and far between.
+City parks are awesome for shaking out the sillies; Walmart will do in a pinch. (My boy loves bikes so we let him walk around the bikes in the toy section at Walmart in desperation for him to get some energy out before bedtime but after dark when parks weren’t an option.)

+Poker chips and a pop-top lid kept him occupied for 15 minutes (with my help). I used a spare snack container to hold the chips and he fished them out of there to put in the slot. Bonus: we still play with this at home.

Cost of all the stuff I bought and did or didn’t use/ work: um, don’t want to admit it.

A relatively happy toddler who is a really good traveler: priceless.


One thought on “Travel notes, road trip with a 16-month old

  1. These are some great ideas! Especially freezing the water bottles and using them as ice… no wet, melty ice to mess with. The magnets + brownie pan also sound genius! Glad for your safe travels

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