The Adventure Starts Here: Car Trip Necessities

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Car Trip Necessities

While we have yet to take Noah on a super long road trip (and honestly I don't think it's in the works for us), we have done a couple of trips with him that are between 2-4 hours.  Last summer we drove to Rhode Island to visit my brother and his family and we are going again this weekend.  That drive is the longest Noah's ever been on.  While Noah is very different from last year, here are a few things that have worked for us on our shorter trips recently.

1.  iPad.  We let Noah watch Bubble Guppies on the iPad in the car.  I know lots of people save it for long car trips, but we actually let him watch it during normal car rides too.  The episodes are only 20 minutes long, and we haven't figured out an easy way to load them on the iPad so they continuously play.  Instead, we have to keep choosing a new episode manually.  

2.  Toys.  We have a basket filled with toys for Noah to play with.  We have kitchen stuff, trucks, and stuffed animals.  Recently I've also been letting him choose a toy to bring in the car... It's something special that he got to choose and he seems to enjoy it.  

3.  A cooler and snacks.  We've been doing this for car trips before Noah was born.  While we still make stops to use the bathroom and to eat meals, I love having cold drinks and snacks handy while driving.  Now that we have Noah I make sure to bring some things that could be considered lunch just in case he doesn't eat at the rest stop.  I also bring a bib, utensils, and plenty of napkins or wipes.  

4.  GPS.  I think this is pretty standard now, but it's really no fun getting lost (with or without a child in the car).  Our GPS wasn't working when we went to Miami, so I was very happy to have our phone give us directions as a backup.  

5.  Good Music.  We have XM Radio, but if you don't I suggest making a good playlist for long car trips.   Chris and I usually chat while Noah is awake watching the iPad, but once he falls asleep we usually like to listen to some music.

6.  Lists!  I am a lover of lists.  From packing lists to itineraries, I love it all.  When going on a long car trip, I definitely end up packing more "just in case".  Lists keep me from forgetting something important.  

7.  A husband who drives.  When we go in the car as a family, I usually sit in the back with Noah.  We've been doing this longer than we should have for short trips, but I definitely find it helps on long rides.  Not only is it easier to control the iPad, but I can distract Noah with toys and snacks.  I also think he just likes the company.  

I'm linking up with the One Year and Beyond series.  


  1. I can't do anything without a list!

  2. These are seriously good tips. I love to swing by the Dollar Tree to create a "bag of tricks" ha! I grab a few random toys & some fun snacks to throw Lily's way every 30 minutes or so. Just for the 3 + hour car rides, of course. Thanks for sharing!


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