Wait… Why would you do that?
10 Ways to Make a Road Trip a Little Easier…
1. Make a packing list the week before your trip.
Then start packing a little at a time a few days before so you’re not super overwhelmed the day before. I started with Milo’s stuff three days before we left and then packed mine the day or two before. Try to stick to your list so you don’t overpack! (I did NOT take my own advice here)
2. Plan your stops!
You know you will need gas and bathroom breaks. Do yourself a favor and plan ahead of time where/when you will stop … whether it’s a quick break at a rest stop or you need to gas up and grab something to eat. Aim for one and done stops … gas, food, potty breaks.
3. Don’t over do it in the days leading up to your trip.
This is just a theory, but it worked for us. We had a very calm week leading up to our trip. My line of thinking was he wouldn’t feel like he was “stuck” in the car and missing out on so much because we spent the last few days only hanging around the house.
Even if babe doesn’t get super hungry, sometimes you can distract a crying baby just long enough with some baby puffs. *Pro tip: Bring snacks along in individual zip lock baggies or containers to prevent overeating and meltdowns. If my guy can still see the container of puffs he’s going to want to eat them all!
5. Bring along a surprise (or two).
We bought a fancy new toy JUST in case Milo lost his cool. We ended up needing it a few hours into the trip and it totally distracted him for a solid hour. Sure, it’s bribery, but it works.
5. Have a day bag within reach.
Include your snacks, extra clothing, toys, diapers and wipes … anything else you might need while traveling so you don’t have to dig through luggage.
7. If possible… be prepared to have to sit in the back with your little one if they get bored or lonely.
I ended up sitting in the back the whole way. Not ideal, but Milo wasn’t having it any other way. Luckily I was able to nap, which made the drive a little faster.
8. Start early!
Ever notice how babies tend to be in a better mood the first part of the day? We had plans to leave by 6 a.m., but didn’t end up leaving until 8. I wish we had left sooner. I think if we had, Milo might have napped a little better and perhaps not totally lost his cool the last 45 minutes of our drive (see tip #10 for more on that).
9. Get comfy.
I broke rule 1 when it comes to long car rides and did not dress for comfort. Jeans? What the heck was I thinking? Not only was it difficult for me to get comfy because my jeans were digging into my fat rolls (speaking truths here), but I was also a little too warm the whole time. Next time … leggings or yoga pants only!
10. No matter how well you plan or prepare, something will inevitably go wrong.
Milo lost it the last 45 minutes of the drive. Like, red face, screaming, crying, had to pull over and get him out of the car lost it. It’s okay mama! You’ve got this!
Seriously, the last hour is gonna be hard. You probably already know this, but baby’s have some kind of freaky 6th sense that tells them when you’re almost to your destination so they can go ahead and freak out. It’s uncanny and Milo is a pro at this. So, needless to say we weren’t totally surprised when he started screaming his face off, but the more you anticipate it the better prepared you’ll be when it happens. And if it doesn’t happen, you’ll be that much more relieved!
All in all, road tripping with an 8 month old wasn’t horrible. Different, but not the utter disaster I thought might be coming my way. I feel like I could totally do it again … in like a year or so, no rush!