Summer goes by way too fast, and kids grow up too soon! Don’t wait another minute. You can survive a spur-of-the-moment road trip with your toddler and have fun doing it.
Here’s my car essentials kit / road trip survival kit. Why not put one together for yourself? One of these days, you’ll wake up and be free to say “let’s go!”
Fun in the Sun and Water
Most moms know about the danger of the sun as well as toxic chemicals in sunscreen. My family always opts for a chemical-free zinc oxide sunblock between 10 am and 3 pm. Most of the time, though, we just cover up and take breaks in the shade every thirty minutes or so. UVA/UVB sunglasses, a hat, a swim shirt with short sleeves, and swim shorts do the trick.
Mama’s Magic Potions
OK, I’ll admit it. My daughter and I are a bit high-strung. Two nervous-nellies together in a small space for hours can drive each-other a little crazy! Before getting in the car, we dab essential oils. The oil blends shown are manufactured by Young Living, but you can make your own or purchase any brand that suits you. The blend I prefer is called “Stress Away” and contains copaiba, lime, cedarwood, vanilla, ocotea, and lavender. My daughter’s blend is called “Reconnect” and contains sacred frankinsence, galbanum, white angelica, and lavender. I massage 2 drops into the back of her neck. According to the manufacturer, this blend may be applied directly to the skin.
Bach’s Rescue Remedy pastilles really come in handy for dealing with tantrums. They’re a homeopathic blend that helps with trauma, shock, panic, and just plain old feelings of annoyance. I keep these Black Current drops in my purse, and prefer them for driving because they contain no alcohol like the traditional Remedy drops.
Burt’s Bees makes a couple of products that we really love. The hand sanitizer is a must-have for travel! We’ve used it on many adventures at restaurants, after using port-a-potties, and after petting farm animals. I love this stuff because it smells ah-mazing and it doesn’t contain any of those nasty toxins like many of the others. The only downside is its price. You can make your own natural hand sanitizer, if that suits your wallet.
We also love Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent. Not only is it a worry-free way for a mama to keep bugs at bay, but it smells wonderful! We have been known to use it as a vehicle-refresher as well. Just be careful, it’s oily!
Spills and Accidents
I’m very lucky. My toddler is mostly potty-trained and can feed herself. Unfortunately, many accidents happen in the car. From spills on the shirt to potty mishaps, a full change of clothing is not optional. If she’s going to be riding during her normal nap time, I go straight to a diaper. She’s more likely to lose control while she’s sleeping, as is common for many children up to age five. Don’t forget the wipes!
A mama can only listen to the “Frozen” soundtrack so many times. My solution is to load music onto a tablet, and have her plug in her headphones. These ‘phones do have a cord, so I would caution against them for any child under the age of three. Bluetooth-enabled (cordless) sets are available, and don’t forget to look for a reduced maximum volume ‘phone to protect the kids’ hearing.
A favorite car toy is the Melissa and Doug Water Wow painting book, (just load the paintbrush for hours of painting and re-painting pictures that “magically” appear and disappear when they dry. If your kids are younger than three, they might enjoy this other favorite: the Little Ones Think series of activity books. They’re bright and cheerful, and the stickers are so cute. A plus is that the books are very thin and lightweight.
Bento Box Bites
This purple bento box resides fully packed and ready to go at all times. We like these car snacks because they’re yummy and nutritious! Plum Vida Fruit & Veggie Pouch, Wild Oats Organic Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, Annie’s Berry Patch Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, Glutino Strawberry Bars, and of course, our BPA-free water bottles!
Remember, less is more! Start with the basics, and stop along the way as needed. Try to relax and just enjoy the ride!
Are you planning a road trip with your toddler? What would you add to this list?