07 April 2015

Surviving a road trip with a toddler

Dazed and tired but still okay at the Bangui Wind Farm, Ilocos Norte

This year was our first Holy Week road trip as a family. Prior to our trip, I have done some research on how to prepare for the long journey with a toddler. Based on my experience, no matter how many useful information/guides you read, nothing comes close to actually experiencing it firsthand and learning from that.

Our adventure took us up north to Ilocos Sur, home to the Heritage Village of the Philippines--Vigan City. I have not been to this province and despite knowing that we will be having a 8-10 hour drive (which stretched to 20 hours because of the Visita Iglesia stopovers), I eagerly prepared for our getaway.

Here is my list to survive a road trip with a toddler:
  • A variety of snacks - I packed different kinds of biscuit and cookies that I know Riley likes. Much better if they are packed in small quantities so you can give it little by little. You don't want them to be so full till they puke on you while on the road.
  • Drink packs - Riley still drinks water and milk and since he seldom drinks the pre-packed ones, I let him have it on the trip.
  • Toy cars and coloring materials - He was given a 10 piece set of Matchbox cars as a present so we gave it to him during the trip. It was a great time-waster when he is not sleeping or eating. The coloring materials was not really used as much as the cars but it is better to have a back-up activity for him.
  • A small bag with necessities - Riley is not toilet-trained yet so we had a bag that only contains diapers, soap, wipes, powder and a change of clothes. This was a life-saver since you do not want to be rummaging your luggage every time the little one needs to go to the potty. 
  • A pillow - We brought along his small pillow so he can snuggle with a familiar thing and have a good rest.
  • Songs, videos and games - I loaded my phone with his favorite songs, videos, and games so he can have other things to keep busy with. And bring along a fully charged powerbank in case your battery needs more juice.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste - Call me a neat freak but I did not want Riley to have milk stains on his teeth.
  • Plastic bags - For vomits, dirty diapers and the amount of wrappers from all the snacks!
Sleeping like a log

And the most important thing to have in surviving a road trip with your little one is to have patience. Lots and lots of it. If you had a toddler that would not stop talking, singing or wiggling for hours, you would definitely feel like exploding and I almost lost it a few times. My secret? Chocolates and gummi bears. Lots of it! It helped keep me sane and relaxed enough to handle my energetic toddler.

Luckily, we survived with no tantrums and although my poor back is still sore from our travel, I would not hesitate to bring Riley for another road trip in the future.


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