We just got back from a family trip to LA a couple of days ago and that was the first time we drove that far with our 1-year old son. The drive from San Jose to LA takes about 6 hours give or take depending on traffic and I knew I had to be prepared for those 6 hours on the road since my son isn’t used to being strapped into the carseat that long. So here are 5 things that we have to bring when traveling with my son to keep him from crying or throwing tantrums.
1. iPad or laptop or PSP or basically any gadget that would allow your kid to watch videos or play games while in the car! I knew that one of the things I can’t forget to bring are my husband’s iPad, my Kindle Fire and the laptop because my son loves watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Phineas and Ferb. So I know that one way I can get him to calm down or take his mind off the fact that he’s been in the car seat or quite a while is to show him those videos. And it was very effective! He fell asleep a couple of times while watching.
2. Comfort pillow or toy. Is your kid having a hard time sleeping unless he’s holding his favorite toy or pillow? Then don’t forget to to bring whatever makes your kid comfortable! In our case, we needed to bring our Spongebob nightlight and his Mickey Mouse pillow just so he can feel like he’s just at home. This is me and my son at the Spongebob section of a store in Universal Studios. He loves Spongebob!
3. Snacks! Nothing makes my child throw tantrums more than an empty stomach! So make sure you pack a couple of snacks — not just one or two. Bring a variety of snacks so that you can offer him a different one every time. My son sometimes gets easily bored with one type of snack so I make sure we have a couple of different ones in the bag. Here’s my son “snacking” on a pair of 3D glasses while on the Universal Studios Tour!
4. Cooler with milk, juice and water. And make sure it’s within your reach! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to reach for the cooler at the back just to get my son something more to drink. Yes we had a sippy cup beside us but I didn’t realize that 1 sippy cup of water and 8 ounces of milk isn’t enough for a 6-hour drive. Again, there should be variety in the drinks you bring for your child. Sometimes, he just wants some water but other times he’d request for milk or juice so be ready for that. Here’s my son drinking some fruit juice when we arrived in LA.
5. Culturelle. When traveling with kids (or even without), there’s always a possibility of some stomach problems. Culturelle Kids probiotics help reduce upset tummies and can be a solution for digestive discomfort. I brought the Culturelle Kids packets which would be easier for my son to intake. If your kid is older though, I think the chewables would be more convenient.
These are just a few of the things I learned I shouldn’t forget to bring whenever we travel with our son. I loved our vacation because it’s our first long drive as a family of 3 and our son enjoyed going around the city and meeting our relatives down in SoCal. We’re planning to go again next year and I know I will be more prepared. And it probably wouldn’t be as difficult since he’d be 2 by then. Or maybe not. Oh well!
How about you? What do you usually bring when traveling with kids?
*I was given a sample of Culturelle and was compensated for this post. Regardless, all opinions expressed are my own.