happy toddler travel plan (the road trip edition)

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Burke and I fly fairly frequently, just the two of us, and I have a whole strategy and stash of goodies for airplane-travel-with-an-almost-2-year-old (I’ll have to share my tools with you sometime).  When the mode of transportation changes, however, so does my Happy Toddler Travel Plan.  Since this is quite a long road trip- I thought I’d show you what I put together for Burke.

1. A dvd player and never-been-seen-before movies (borrowed from my parents), paired with a few of his favorite flicks. I really wish that a stack of Disney and Pixar weren’t my number one tool for a happy traveler, but this has been key for us (plane, train or automobile), so it gets to go first. 

2. New books.  Not new, as in, bought-at-the-store (though, I did get the Elmo beach book from the dollar bin at Target for Burke)… New, as in, from-the-top-shelf-of-his-bookshelf that Burke hasn’t read before.  I also hide books that he loves a couple of weeks before a trip and reintroduce them throughout our day of travel.  It’s free, it delights him, and the novelty seems to provide all sorts of entertainment (translation- extra minutes of calm, distracted travel).

3. New felt shapes for Burke’s felt book.  When we went to Lubbock last month, I made him an Elmo, a walrus and an octopus.  For our spring break trip, I’ve put together a Max (Burke’s favorite book-of-the-moment is Where the Wild Things Are), a whale, and some beach accessories to prime him for our little vacation.  Again, novelty seems to work wonders here.

4. Reusable fabric snack bags filled with fruity cheerios and nilla wafers. Sure, we could use ziploc bags, but these little numbers make snack time way more fun.  And that’s what we’re all about, folks.  Fun = Happy Toddler.

5. A little caddy for his “guys.” Same idea as a crayon roll… but with his jeep, elmo, erinie, beast and belle… and a little mini scene for the guys to play on.  Maybe I’ll put together a tutorial because it was super simple to make.

That’s it folks- pair with comfy clothes, music Burke loves (Adam added his current favorites to our beach playlist) and a reclined car seat and my Happy Toddler Travel Plan is complete. 🙂

Any other suggestions for traveling with toddlers?  Or babies?  Or bigger kiddos?  Do tell!

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  1. When we took our girls on a trip from AR to NY (3 days one way, we kept the days short), I made up treat bags with snacks and small dollar store toys to coax them back into the van after we made stops. It worked well the first 2 days, but by the third day they were so sick of being in the van that it didn't matter =)

  2. I so want to make that caddy. Thanks for the travel tips. We don't travel much but will this summer so this will come in handy.

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