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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 06-02-2002, 08:01 PM
sheilaanderson's Avatar
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Lightbulb preparing for a long trip w/ a toddler

we have taken my son on a couple long car trips.

the way we prepared was to bring-

1. 1-2 brand new toys to play with

2. the potty-wipes-small garbage bags

3. plenty of snacks and drinks

4. children's music cd-a couple of the childs favorite books(my son loves his LeapPad book)

5. keep bag nearby with change of clothes etc. if needed

6. lots of patience (sometimes needed if child is cranky that day)

7. plan on stopping every 1-1 1/2 hrs. to stretch at a rest stop or restaurant and use the potty or eat .

try to not worry about it-sometimes you can never predict what kind of mood your child will be in the day of the trip-just try to relax,enjoy the scenery, and make the best of it. no reason to stress yourself out before your get to your destination.

sincerely-sheila ann anderson
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 06-02-2002, 10:50 PM
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blushing I wa soo... over prepared

My husband recently went to Japan on a routine deployment for 6 months and I went to Iowa to be with family. my daughter was 5 and I also had recently acquired a 9 week old puppy. OUr drive was 25 hours and I had it all. Crayons, paper, yound childs hand held Mr. Potato head video, Magna Doodle, Barbies, Baby dolls, and much much more. Boy was I ready. I didn't need 1/4 of what I brought. She used the Magna doodle which was great because I didn't have to deal with loose drawings, and the Mr. Potao Head game, it is designed for children ages 3-6 and she loved it. I think it was only ten dollars in the toy section. The rest of the time we spent trying to find the "Best Things we never saw before." We spotted a purple train, a giant florecent hat, some bison, just to name a few. It really took her mind off the time and it allowed me to keep my eyes on the road instead of her artwork. Not to mention all of the conversation that it invoked.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 06-03-2002, 05:16 PM
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If at all possible try to travel when the children will sleep ( night or nap time) this helps alot. We take alot of long trips with a 4 and 10 yr old. New toys are great. I can say the Mr. Potatoe Head game was a hit on our last trip. Music on their own CD player with head phones is another good one.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 06-03-2002, 06:48 PM
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POWER CONVERTER: This is by no means a frugal suggestion but having travelled with and without, there's no way I'd go without again. We bought a power converter (90$ Canadian) at Radio Shack. This gave power to our small (13 inch) T.V and V.C.R. so the kids got to watch videos. It was great. I got this idea from a co-worker who's been travelling for years and now all my colleagues who travel with kids have this set up. I noticed in a recent flyer that you can buy a made- for- the- car T.V./ VCR kit that hangs between /in back of the front seats but it runs at just under 400$ (Canadian). If you can make your way up to Canada you can get some real bargains seeing as our dollar is now worth 60% of the American dollar!

I love going on family trips - my top ones are Disneyworld (of course!), Wisconsin Dells (Treasure Island and Noah's Ark) and the Black Hills area of South Dakota.

Have Fun!
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 06-03-2002, 07:54 PM
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Traveling with toddlers

Hi Ski, I realize I'm a little late in replying, but I thought it was worth it. Our trips back home are 5 to 6 hours long. I read most of the replies that people sent you and they were all great! One thing that I didn't see which I have done in the past was having inexpensive surprises in a bag. I found things (like those suggested by others) I wrapped them and then told the kids that every hour they could open one. So, after we left the house I let them pick one each and open it. Then after an hour I let them choose another one and open it. They really liked it. It made it fun for them because they didn't know what they would be getting and it was something different to pass the time. I chose to buy 2 of the same thing since I had 2 children and then they wouldn't fight over them. You don't have to do it every hour either, you can choose how many 'surprises' you want to give. It also could be a way of reward. Tell them how great they are doing, that you know it's hard to sit and ride so long and that you have a surprise for them. Anyway.... I hope that helps you or anyone else out there. Have fun and be safe, that's the most important thing!
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Old 06-04-2002, 05:38 AM
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I agree with you about the small surprise bags. I don't know how many of you live near a Dollar Tree, but they have surprise bags for (of course) $1.00. Yesterday, my kids got a treat bag (we had an hour's drive back home after dropping my son off at camp). A lot of the stuff they got was individually priced at $1 in the store, but they had 2 - 4 $1 items in their bags + some little stuff. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend this for a 3 YO (as in the first post) without opening the bag prior to giving it to them, for kids a little older, it's OK. Just watch the "girl's" bags which contain REAL lipstick and nail polish. I already had to "voice my opinion" on that to one of the store's managers.

I have been traveling for over 5 hours 2 - 5 times a year with six kids for a little over 3 years now to my mom's house. My twin girls are now 5 & sons are 7, 13, 15, 17. One of the things I let the little ones bring are the small action figures or figurines. The girls collect the Barbie figurines from McDonald's and they also have several non-Barbie (Disney characters, etc.). That takes up a lot less room than carrying regular sized Barbies & you don't have to worry with clothes, shoes, etc. (which always get lost in the van!).

I also take along plenty of headache meds (for me), children's meds (allergies, aches & pains, cough), first-aid cream, band-aids, etc. so that everything is covered.

Charlene, mother to five

When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 06-28-2002, 01:51 AM
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Pinkie Winky

When I used to travel with my parents. My Mom would pack a small suitcase with all sorts of stuff to do. We would get to pick something out of it about every hr or so. Wrapping the toys up sounds great too!

I've been traveling for 8 hrs by myself sometimes with one then two kids since they were babies. They are now 7 & 8. When they were younger they would take turns being asleep and awake. Now they are awake most of the trip. But the ride still seems to make them sleep!

I usually pack a bag with everything for them to do. I love the Color Wonder coloring books by Crayola! I don't have to worry as much about the pens. The ink is invisible until it colors the special paper! Now I don't have to worry about melted crayons lost in the van! And you can get additional color pens and books sold separately!

I also stock up on tapes and books. I got both kids a tape player and headset. My daughter has always loved to "read" as she listened to the book on tape. My son just likes to listen to Barney. So I taped several Barney songs for him. We also have several kid song tapes. Some are travel stories. And I have been getting some nice tapes sometimes with the Chick-fil-a kid meals.

A few yrs ago we bought a small AC/DC TV/VCR. Now you can get them almost anywhere for less than $200. When we don't have it in the van, it's my son's TV in the house.

My kids also have the Leapfrog Leap Pad. It is easy for them to use and it has a jack for using headphones. The books are interesting! The pen "reads" the story to you.

I hope some of these ideas help!

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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 06-28-2002, 08:56 AM
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if your little one gets car sick, you can get chewable dramamine at walmart or the drugstore. you can give it to a 4 year old. dd is 4 and she gets very carsick. an hour before we leave i give her 1/2 tablet and she is good for about 6 hours before she needs another 1/2 tablet.
i would also suggest putting a mat under the carseat if you don't have one already, just in case of carsickness or potty accidents.
if you are sensitive to smells, you might not like the colorwonders from crayola. in a small space like a car, the smell from them give me a headache. we usually use colored pencils in the car. if you look around you can get short fat ones. and they won't melt in a hot car like crayons can.

i also pack a bag to keep up front with me that have a change of clothes for each kid, wipes, washcloth, 2 handtowels, and one regular towel, and a bottle of water. the towels are in case dd gets sick and i need to clean her up. i have the thinner hotel weight ones in the bag not my regular towels for home. and a couple of big ziploc bags to put anything icky in. you don't want to have to smell that for 4 hours.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 04-13-2004, 04:46 AM
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My problem is not the actual DRIVING with a toddler (being that he's the third child, I know how to deal with that) but it's the "being with the toddler" in any place we visit, hotel, restaurant, tourist attraction....

I have a VERY active 2 year old. It's getting to the point where I don't want to take him anywhere! Even an outing to the supermarket can become a challenge, and the thought of having to travel with this child, keep him contained and quiet in restaurants, amuse him in a hotel room, well, this just overwhelms me!

DH is threatening to take the Big Kids (8 and 12) and go without me and the little guy. I'm tempted!

I'm just not sure vacation is worth it when you come back more tired than when you left, and you work harder the whole time!
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 04-13-2004, 08:24 AM
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Lee Lee is offline
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Wow hes that active that you would miss your vacation? Hmmmm !
What are you afraid of that he will do? Maybe we can all give you a suggestion? You never know1
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