I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to packing for trips. I don’t know why… I’m not usually a very organized person but there’s something about traveling that brings it out in me, I guess! I’ll pack a week early, plan out outfits, buy travel sized items etc So when my husband and I decided we were going to drive to North Carolina (from WA State), I started planning it out right away! This will be our first big trip with two little ones and our biggest trip ever!
Now I’m no expert but I thought I’d share some products I’ve purchased to help with the trip!
For the adults:
Neck Pillow. I know (hope?) some car naps are going to happen on this long trip so I ordered this neck pillow. It’s really soft and doesn’t take up much room. You can also use it for lumbar support which is helpful when sitting for long periods of time.
Car Phone Charger is a must. I got one with two ports and USB style because my husband and I have different types of phones. Listening to music and podcasts burns through battery life pretty quick so I’m sure we’ll need this. Tip: Make sure your phones are unplugged when you turn your car on! Plug them in after it’s turned on.
Essential Oils: I always travel with a few essential oils. For this trip I’ll bring my Energy Roll On and a de-stress blend for sure! I’ll also bring Roman Chamomile to wear on a diffuser bracelet… It’s a safe one to have near my newborn too so I can always put it near her for some gentle aromatherapy (roman chamomile is calming!)
Snacks aren’t just for the kids! I like to eat every few hours especially while breastfeeding so having snacks with me during trips is helpful. Some of my favourites include Skinny Pop popcorn, trail mix, Purely Elizabeth granola, Theo chocolates, coconut water, kombucha and vegan jerky. (I also love my son’s snacks which I’ll share below)
For the toddler:
Car Seat Lap Tray is something I was excited to try! I ordered this one after comparing a few different ones. It’s basically a small, somewhat sturdy tray that your child can wear in their cars eat! Or anyone could wear it since it just attaches around your waist. It has pockets on the sides for storage and a little cup holder. It’s easy to clean and helps contain messes. Unfortunately it doesn’t really work with my son’s car seat! It needed to be a bit smaller to really fit on his lap. So I would recommend this more for a kid in a booster seat.
Kindle Fire is not something I normally let my toddler use in the car but for a long trip I’ll make an exception! I like the Kindle Fire for him because it doesn’t use up data but when I do have wifi access I can download movies and shows onto it. It also has a nice selection of games. The other option I have is to bring my old mini Ipad but put it on airplane mode. I do prefer the apps Apple has over Kindle but either works (and if you don’t own either, a Kindle costs far less). There’s also a kids Kindle Fire but I don’t have that. I’ll download some things on Netflix and Amazon Prime (we really like Learning with Vehicles) for my son. For games, his favourite has always been Sago Mini (they have a free 7 day trial of all their games)!
Magnetic Tin Toys is something new I picked up. I thought it looked great for traveling. It’s a metal tin that opens up and has two scenes that you can stick all of these 3D magnetic vehicles to. I like that it requires some imagination! I just noticed there’s this dinosaur one too.
Playdough Kit was a no brainer for us because my son loves playdough and it will seriously entertain him for hours! We won’t be using this in the car but it’ll be great for in the hotel (and I don’t have to clean up the pieces he drops for a change! haha). I grabbed this set because I knew he’d like the little knife and other tools plus it comes in a carrying case. I also have this wooden set but it’s a little bigger and heavier for traveling. This one is cute too! You could totally make your own travel set with whatever play dough and tools you like though!
Snacks are obviously a must for toddlers (okay and me). Some of our favourites are Larabars, Health Warrior bars, apples, applesauce, crackers with hummus, Snapeas, peanut butter crackers and roasted chickpeas.
Wiki Stix are great for on the go! I’d lost our previous ones so I picked up a new one recently. They’re easy to toss in the diaper bag. My son is a bit young to make things on his own with them but he does still play with them or he enjoys having me make things. They’re really great for at restaurants! I’ll admit my husband and I have fun making things out of them hehe It’s under $5 too!
Potty was something I hadn’t actually planned on bringing! It was a last minute decision. We’d been potty training so my son was just wearing underwear but we worried that being in the car so much he might have some accidents (plus he was still pretty afraid of public restrooms). So we had planned on using diapers and just bringing him to a bathroom when we could. However, the week before we were leaving he would get really upset if he had to pee and would not want to go in his diaper… so I decided to bring his potty so that if he HAD to he could use it in a parking lot or whatever. The annoying this is I have this potty and it’s pretty bulky. It does fit between the carseat and the back of my seat but if I’d known I was going to bring one, I would have ordered this travel one for sure.
Essential Oils can be great for kids too just make sure you use ones that are safe for their age! I love traveling with this one for germs and this one for bumps and scrapes. I also bring lavender to help with sleep.
For the baby:
Breastfeeding Pump + Bottles are not something I use much at home but I will be bringing them in the car on this trip! I have fed Finnley from a bottle in the car successfully before! Kind of a life saver when you want to keep driving but baby is hungry. I like that this pump is small, super easy to travel with. I use these glass bottles and these ones.
Pacifiers are not something I have ever gotten a ton of use out of but Finnley does like this one and this one. She likes the shape and they are easier for her to hold on her own. It really helps soothe her in the car so I always make sure I have at least one if we’re out of the house.
Sound Machine is coming with us too. I have this one which is great for traveling and is what we use at home. I actually use it more for my toddler than my baby though! It has a little light which is nice too.
Diapers and wipes are a given. I used to use Seventh Generation but lately have been loving the Amazon diapers and wipes (the wipes are especially great because they aren’t super wet) so I’m bringing those!
Teething Toy is something Finnley is starting to be interested in (she’s 3 1/2 months). She likes this one which can attach to her shirt. I also want to get her a teething mitt but forgot to order it in time for this trip! That girl is always chewing on her hands!
For the car:
Backseat Organizer is so helpful for getting stuff off the floor! I got this one which can hold a tablet. I also added some snacks, wipes, toys etc My toddler can’t reach it too well but it’s helpful for organizing stuff I want to keep in the car. We’ll have to do some car diaper changes so having some diapers and hand sanitizer in there is also helpful! I do wish the pockets were a bit bigger though.
Trunk Cover for Dog is something I should have bought years ago haha But it helps keep the trunk clean and dry! We’ll have some bags in the back so I like that this can go over them too… helps secure them and keep them fur-free. It’s also non slip. I got this one.
Trash Bag Holder is such a simple little thing but so helpful for keeping trash organized! This one is sturdy which I like and the bag stays put!
Suitcase Organizers are something I”d somehow never used before but now I’m hooked! They don’t necessarily save space but they keep everything nice and organized. I used them for the kids too and with the baby it was especially helpful because the clothes are so small they get lost easily in a large bag! I bought this set and this set. Both are great. The grey set has some zip up bags which I liked (including laundry ones) where as the blue set has more for clothes.
What do you pack for a long trip with kids?
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