Andrew and I have taken the girls on road trips quite a few times now and have developed a system to make each trip a little easier. They are now 18 months which makes everything a lot easier, but we still have to plan out what we pack as far as food/sleep/clothing goes. I wanted to share a few things I like to do to make traveling with the girls easier and more enjoyable. It's all about being prepared and packing more than you think! Especially with twins! It's easy for me to think of how hard it is to take them places and how much work it'll be, but Andrew's great about reminding me they will be fine! It's important to go with the flow because nothing ever goes according to plan! Since having the girls I like to be pretty routine with what we do, but I also have learned to be super flexible at the same time. It's always a balancing act. So here are some things we always bring, and generally the list I make when packing for them.
1. Keep the car stocked and ready to go.
Usually when we are driving somewhere that's more than an hour away I'll sit in the back between their car seats. Not the most comfortable way to travel! But I can entertain them back there. I always bring books with us no matter where we go. They love books and can read them for a while. Sometimes I'll read them books if they are getting a little cranky.
We don't bring many toys in the car. Just a few things with buttons they can play with. We have these remote controls and a pretend phone they like. But honestly, books can really keep them entertained for a while. They also love to look around outside when we are driving.
I also keep some binkies back there for them. I'm slowly trying to hide the binkies during the day and only let them have some during naps and sleep. But they really LOVE their binkies!
If worse comes to worse and they are inconsolable in the car, I'll play some baby shows on my phone for a little bit and that usually makes them happy for a little bit.
If we need them to fall asleep in the car there are a few things I do. Usually when we go to the river, we leave around 6:30 so I'll keep them awake for a while and then start to calm them down for bedtime. I will give them their bottle and read a little to them. I'll also turn down our music playing in the car and play either white noise or music to help them fall asleep. I like this video HERE for that. I used to use this when they were younger if they needed to calm down. It's gold! If they are having a hard time falling asleep, I'll kind of try to cuddle them a little or rub their arms. Generally they fall asleep a lot later than they do at home. 8:00 is their normal bedtime. But whenever we drive somewhere they'll fall asleep closer to 9:00 it seems.
Once we get to where we are staying, Andrew will set up their pack n plays while I stay with them in the car. He will get it all ready to go so we can quickly bring them from the car to their bed. We have three different pack n plays. The Nuna one is my favorite. But I also bought a BabyBjorn travel pack n play that is super light and easy to put together and break down. We have a double wide one called Romp n Roost which we take on occasion. They've slept in it together just a few times but it's really heavy to travel with. I used it more when they were younger to let them play in it at our house. When they were at the stage when they couldn't walk but were rolling around, it was nice to keep them in one place for a little bit!
I always bring out sound machine with us so they feel like they are at home. The sound machine we have suddenly is gone from every website so HERE are some other options. I also bring their blankies (mini size) and bear (medium) they sleep with every night. Try to keep everything consistent so it's not too much change for them.
Always bring more than you need! I feel like I always think I'm bringing so many clothes but I need to remind myself it's for TWO babies and it SHOULD feel like a lot! You never know when they'll spill all over themselves or if they'll have a blowout (luckily that doesn't really happen anymore!) so it's always good to have extra tops and pants just in case. I also always bring a set of jackets. I love gap and carters for hoodies.
4. Diapers + Wipes
Again, bring more than you need! One time I had one diaper left to last the rest of the day. I waited until I reeeally had to change her diaper since it was so full, because I was so scared she'd poop and I'd be screwed! I usually bring a few sealed packs of diapers (current favorite) and 2-3 packs of wipes (love these). With wipes I like to keep a pack in the car and two in the diaper bag. I swear they disappear and you don't want to be without wipes! You can also use them for so many other things than just wiping buns!! And don't forget water diapers if you need those!
For snacks I usually bring pouches, granola bars, fruit snacks and crackers. I also will bring a cooler with string cheese, their milk, yogurt and fruit. It really depends where we are going and if we can shop when we get there or not. For meals, boxed pasta is always really easy. Quesadillas, rice and beans, pancakes and eggs are some of my go-to's. I like bringing little baggies that I can fill with crackers, pea crisps or veggie straws. And I always bring their water bottles. Disposable placemats are great if you are eating out!
^^life vests (these really grow with the girls!)^^
6. The Extras
I always bring sunscreen, hats, some sort of cream in case they get a scratch or sunburn. Extra swaddle blankets are great for a ton of things. You never know when you'll have a spill or if they need an extra blanket. On our way home from the river one time, Violet puked allllll over herself and the carseat. I think I gave her way to many snacks. Luckily we had a towel in the back! But extra clothes and wipes really came in handy! Maybe I should keep some air freshener in the car!
Sometimes traveling with the girls can be overwhelming, exhausting and I'm usually wiped out by the end of our trip. But I always remember that I'll look back fondly of all our trips. They are getting to experience new things and it really is special to be able to give that to them. So when things don't go according to plan just know tomorrow's a new day and you'll get through it! Try to smile and enjoy your time with your family!
I'd love to know some things you bring when traveling with you kids! What is one tip that makes your life easier? Thanks for reading and I'll talk to you soon!