It's officially the SILLY season and people are all over the place traveling to and fro by plane, train and automobile.
I recently did two long interstate drives on my own with my 2.5 year old and 3 month old, and it inspired this blog post. I drove from Sydney to Melbourne, which is 926 kilometers to be exact! That's 575 miles for those not on the metric system. We only stopped once, and did the 9 hour trip in 11 hours there and on the return leg home. #EPIC
Pretty sure I was a long haul trucker in my last life.
I wanted to share a few tips that I/we did in the hopes of helping some other families out. Road trips can be tough, but they don't need to be.
Preparing for the trip
1. Lay out everyone’s outfit for the next morning, including yours!
2. Shower and pack the entire car the night before.
3. Drink a lot of water the day before because there won’t be a lot of H20 consumption the following day.
4. Wake up, get yourself dressed, finalise the packing of the car if anything is left, and eat your brekkie. I recommend two hard boiled eggs. Quick, easy, healthy and no clean up!
5. Brew your hot bevie (I choose coffee on the way down and bone broth in the way home). In all honesty, I didn’t really drink the coffee. I only took mini sips when I felt like I needed it.
6. Go to the toilet before you leave. Force out a poo with gusto, but don’t give yourself hemorrhoids. This is paramount if you’re like me and competitive... who stops?
Pansies, that’s who.
7. Wake up the baby. Change their nappy, give them a BIG feed and load them in the car to fall back asleep. Be sure your rear facing mirror is set up so you can check them safely while driving.
8. Last thing to do is wake the toddler. Put them on the potty, put a nappy on in case of emergencies, and then place your toddler straight in the car.
First leg: Quiet time, if at all possible. Maybe they will both go back to sleep, maybe one will. Give your toddler brekkie in the car. Give them something that’s not messy, easy to eat and yum. Something that says please eat this quietly AF because your baby sibling is sleeping.
I opted for a probiotic coconut yogurt squeeze pouch which worked a treat.
In the two front cup holders, I have my hot bevie and my reusable water bottle. I also have an extra, clean pacifier on hand. The water bottle is more of a novelty really as I don’t drink much of anything when I’m doing these long haul drives. It’s there in case I need it, but mainly it’s there for my toddler.
The food bag is well organised and on the front seat. It's loaded with things like:
Carrots, cucumber, crackers, nuts, berries, sandwich (quartered), popcorn, prunes, apple, and banana
The activity bag is also well organised and located in the front seat:
- Old phone on airplane mode, for looking at photos only
- Colouring book + crayons
- Sticker books
- Toy phone
- Board books ( and interactive ones, like Spot)
- Plush toys
Car charger / car play ON for maps and Spotify jam sessions. Be sure to have your playlists set in advance. Have your kid’s list ready and your preferred playlists + podcasts as well for if/when they sleep.
Personal TIP: When you stop, stop somewhere nice! Get a good feed, take your time to finally drink something or have a proper coffee. I’m all about saving money, but I treat myself to a good feed on these types of breaks.
I find that taking the kids to a park during the break just adds A LOT more time and builds their resistance to getting back into the car tenfold. Who wants to get back in a mini straight jacket car seat after a romp on the swings? I sure as hell wouldn’t. Having said that, if I’m driving with someone else, then I’d entertain a park stop or Maccas coffee/playground refresher.
Good luck, and safe driving!
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