Since my son is newly potty trained the one thing we worried about when on the road with him is that he'd have to go #2 and not be able to tell us until we were too late and he got out of the car. Also, with the long 6 hour ride to Mammoth Mountain, we worried about how many stops we really needed to make and how many stops were just "fun" stops.
In preparation of our trip we decided to bit of research to make sure that we had a successful journey with two young children in the back seat. Since we've made this trek once before with our son at 18 months we kind of had an idea about what to expect. In an effort to make our next trip successful we wrote down a few things that helped us along the way.
Here are a few ways to keep your road trip fun and successful with young children:
1. Make sure to pack a potty -
We simply placed our Joovy Loo in the back of the car. That way if we needed to stop and there wasn't a place to do so, we could just use the back of the station wagon. This helped us a lot when my son was working on things and just needed to sit on something other than his car seat to help him along.
It also gave us peace of mind when on long stretches of road. We didn't have to worry about not being able to find a sanitary place to stop (my husband isn't as adventurous as I am and doesn't approve of relieving yourself on the side of the road... just wait till we go camping!).
This won't just give your child a chance to "try" but it will also give them a chance to stretch their legs and get a little energy out. By planning out where your next stop will be you might be able to quickly answer your children when they ask how long it will be until you arrive at your next stop.
You can also use pre-planned stops as points for conversation. By letting your children know what the next stop is, or giving hints to where your heading, you might be able to create a sense of excitement and adventure as you make your way through the trip.
We had fun picking out where we stopped and made sure to mix restaurants in with quick pit stops at gas stations. I also allowed the kids to pick out one "surprise" at each stop to make it more interesting to them as well.
3. Create a fun pack filled with games and activities -
By creating a fun pack filled with new-to-you toys, activities focused on the age level of your child, and games the children can play in the car you can create distractions and, hopefully, reduce the amount of, "Are we there yet?" questions from the back seat.
Figure out some fun games you want to play with your child on the road. Consider simple ideas like finding an object of a certain color, finding a certain letter of the alphabet, or, depending on where your driving, looking out for different animals! By making the ride fun and entertaining itself, your child will be less likely to complain about being in the car and more excited.
We brought our fun activity backpack and filled it with the following:
- Crayola Color Wonder note pads with marker
- mini magnadoodle
- magnifying glass
- cars, dinosaurs, and planes
- a stuffed animal for each child
- books about where we were traveling to such as Who Pooped in the Park? about Yosemite animals, Road Trip (Spongebob Squarepants), and The Super Silly Yosemite Sticker and Activity Book
4. Find a great local attraction to visit -
Take a look at a map and find a great middle point between your home and your destination. Are there any fun, quirky activities you can stop and do in between? Maybe a museum or a historical monument. By maping out a spot or two on the way to your destination you can talk with your children about what you might see, what they would like to do, and how you will spend your time at the next spot.
You can also use these stops as teaching opportunities. By learning a bit about the spot beforehand you can tell your child about the history behind the attraction as well as why it's such an interesting stop on your journey.
5. Continue You Probiotic Suppliments -
When your child is in a new environment or has a new routine, sometimes it's natural to hold things in. I know a few children who, when on vacation, will refuse to go #2 in a new place (as well as a few adults!). By continuing to offer your child a probiotic supplement like Culturelle, you can make it easier for your child to feel comfortable going when on the go.
Culturelle boosts digestive health and helps reduce occasional digestive upset. his will also help provide ongoing maintenance for a healthy digestive tract. And we all know how much happier we are when we're regular! Same goes for our kids.
There are two awesome varieties of Culturelle available for young children depending on their age. My son enjoys the powder form that is easily added to his water or juice. It has no taste and dissolves quickly. By continuing to offer it to him throughout our trip we were able to successfully continue our potty training success while on our vacation!
Do you have any tips for a successful road trip with young kids?
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post from Culturelle. I also received a sample of Culturelle Kids! for review purposes only. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.