How to Pack for Day Trips with a Toddler

July 25 2016 |

How to Pack for a Day Trip with a Toddler

How to Pack for a Day Trip with a Toddler

I love, love, love traveling with Hank right now. He’s just over a year and a half and totally up for adventure. Is every trip completely perfect? No way. But we’ve developed a bunch of tricks that we keep up our sleeves to help things go as smoothly as possible. Little dudes are pretty flexible but they do have their limits, so we do our best to be prepared for lots of different scenarios but not have to pack the kitchen sink for every little trip we take. Here are our favorite tips, tricks, and things to take!

The Basics Start simple! Diapers, wipes, sunscreen, a hat, a couple of bandaids, a compact change of clothes — ya know, the usual mom stuff.

Car Entertainment Henry still takes one nap a day so usually we try to plan our long drives so that he snoozes in the car for part of them. But if that just doesn’t work, no biggie! We bring a couple of his favorite toys or books for the car to pass the time. He has a few faves that he’ll read forever, so those are usually the go-tos. We start with toys and books and when/if things start to go south (read: screaming, crying, desperation) then we go for the big guns and pull out a phone or an iPad. It’s not our favorite habit, but on travel days we loosen our expectations on screen time. If an episode of Daniel Tiger or looking at photos on my phone gets us to our destination, no biggie.

Snacks that Everyone Loves We’re a family that gets hangry when we go too long without a snack, the little guy included. So I do my best to keep easy snacks in my purse that we can all share — no need to have different foods for parents and kids. Our latest go-to is Way Better Snacks sprouted chips. Hank is obsessed with chips right now (he calls them “pics”) so I try to find options that taste great and have awesome nutritional value, too. These are them! They’re packed with good stuff like quinoa and chia seeds, and are gluten-free & non-GMO. Seriously. A wholesome chip! And the flavors are banging’  – I’m a fan of the Spicy Sriracha and my fellas are pretty into Sweet Potato. We take a few snack bags with us to battle the hangries in between meals (also crucial for this expecting mom).

Also! Don’t forget water on your day trips! Nothing worse than being thirsty and not having a water fountain in sight. Staying well-fed and hydrated is something we really focus on and I think it’s the basis for a successful outing.

How to Pack for a Day Trip with a Toddler

Familiar Items Usually the toys and books stay in the car when we arrive at our destination so that we don’t have to haul them around. But we do make a couple of exceptions for whatever small toys he happens to be latched onto at the moment. On a recent trip to Monterey to visit the aquarium, he absolutely insisted on bringing his tape measure inside. I was happy to oblige. And I swear, he had that tape measure in his chubby little hand the entire time we were in the aquarium. He was thrilled with the fish but just didn’t want to let it go. If you look at the photo below, you can spot him hanging onto it. Long story short, sometimes it’s worth it to let the little ones hold onto something familiar so they have a sense of continuity on a day that’s somewhat shaken up.

Little Boy in Aquarium

Bedtime Gear We’ve started driving home from our day trips at Hank’s bedtime. So we bring jammies, a nighttime diaper, his toothbrush, and the little doggie that he sleeps with. We find a quiet spot (sometimes even in the back of our car!) to change him and do a mini bedtime routine, then pop him in his carseat like it’s bedtime and he sleeps all the way home. It’s a beautiful thing.

That’s how we do it, gang! I’d love to know if you have any of the same tips, or if you have any other brilliant tricks that we haven’t tried yet. Leave a comment and give us your best secrets! xoxo

How to Pack for a Day Trip with a Toddler

This post is sponsored by Way Better Snacks. All opinions and ideas are my very own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

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