Monday, May 21, 2012

Road Tripping With My Three Favorite Allies

In a few days we will be embarking on an 18-hour road trip with a six-month-old and a two-and-a-half-year-old.

<Insert chorus of sympathy here>
travel with babyHonestly, I’m so stoked about finally getting out of here and going to visit family that I’m actually looking forward to it. No doubt there will be some hair-pulling moments, but at least we will be out of this house…out of this town…traveling toward our old home…toward everything and everyone we love and miss so much…

Yes, I’m ready. Bring it on.
But I definitely need to do everything I can to make this trip go as smoothly as possible. We’ve road tripped with a youngster a few times, so I know how important it is to be prepared for anything. Here are some things I’ve considered so far:

1)      Bring medication. No, not to knock the kids out (as tempting as that may be at times), but because you never know when illness might strike. Once, when Hannah was about a year old, she and I both came down with the flu just a couple of hours into a road trip. You haven’t lived until you’ve searched for an open urgent care in the middle of nowhere after surviving fevers and chills overnight in a hotel during a snowstorm.

2)      Hannah will be wearing a pull-up. She’s potty trained, but not while sleeping, and I’m not risking it. I don’t think I want to add “cleaning and sanitizing a car seat at a gas station in the middle of nowhere” to my “you haven’t lived until” list.

3)      We’re bringing the iPad, complete with newly installed kid movies. Hannah should be thoroughly entertained.

4)      I don’t know how Abram is going to be thoroughly entertained. In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s not. I know I will end up wedging myself in between two car seats in the back of our little Mazda and making silly faces at him while he squawks at me.

5)      I’m trying to decide if we should find a hotel before Abram’s 7 p.m. bedtime. He’s a very habitual little guy and gets pretty upset if his beauty rest doesn’t begin on time. I know it’s possible that he will simply sleep in the car, but it’s also quite possible that he will get cranky and overtired.
Is making good time worth the potential headaches? I’m thinking the answer is probably no, especially after we’ve all endured about twelve hours of road slavery.
6)      Keep snacks handy! And diapers. And wipes. And toys…oh dear, it’s getting crowded.
I think some wonderful family memories can be made on road trips, even when things go a little wrong, but it’s certainly nice to feel prepared! Do you have any tips on traveling with young children?