Our little family vacation this summer is a road trip down to Charlottesville, Virginia.  After crunching the numbers and thinking about what would work best for us we decided on a ROAD TRIP!

I was nervous about all those hours in the car for our little guy . . .

Cole is infamous for NOT sleeping on a trip when you want him to.  When we flew to California for Christmas he was up at 3:00 am Eastern Time and did not sleep until we were in a car in California at 8:00 pm (that is 11:00 pm Eastern Standard Time, that is 17 hours of not sleeping for an 18 month old).

But thankfully he did sleep . . . almost three hour naps every day he was in the car.

We did prepare for the many hours on the road . . . and it helped.  Our little guy only cried a couple of times (when he was tired and couldn’t sleep) and rarely said “I want to get out!” which he usually says when he is in his car seat.

Here is what we had on hand:

2 Canvas Baskets of books+:

A couple of months ago I put together this canvas basket that we keep in the car by Cole’s car seat.  I love how it contains all the things I love to have in the car for him.  For this trip, we had it along with us, but only used these things at the very end of the trip . . .

We added a whole new canvas basket in front of his seat, so that everything I pulled out was new to him.

Included in the two canvas baskets:

  • Numerous books
    • including 6 library books
    • 4 new little books from my mom
  • 2 Stuffed animals
    • Teddy is always in the car
    • We brought Olivia and a new Olivia book
  • 2 Coloring books
    • we only used one, pulling out a page each time we ate out
  • A new pack of triangular Crayola crayons
    • not necessary, most restaurants gave Cole crayons
    • though they do not roll and that is nice
  • 1 Bulldozer from Uncle Brian
    • actually in that over the seat holder that is always with us I have a number of little toys that Cole can play with any time

A Diaper Bag of surprises:

I also packed this diaper bag with other toys, some that Cole had not seen in a while, some new hand-me-downs and three new things that I bought . . .

Included in Diaper Bag:

  • A hand me down vtech Tote ‘n Go Laptop
    • this was a big hit
    • he is still to little to understand, but he enjoyed it
  • toy truck for outside
    • never used it
  • a ball
  • 3 new things from Target
    • an alphaberry
      • this was a huge hit, he played with it a good deal
      • it plays music that he sang along to
      • he likes finding letters on it
    • a nerf football that was on sale for 89 cents
    • a big bubble stick that he loved
We played with the last two things outside at pitstops and he loved!

In addition we had a cooler with lots of healthy snacks, a diaper changing “station” (a box that is always in the van with diapers, wipes and other possible necessities).  And we did bring our ipads with “shows.”  I thought he would “need” those more, but he did not watch all the new shows and really just liked the first two we showed him, they would have been enough . . . Richard Scary’s Best ABC Video and Mr. Rogers on “Airplanes.”

He was a great traveler, and that made our road trip so much fun!