Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tricks to a Successful* Toddler Car Trip

Driving Day 1 - Iowa and South Dakota (3)

McDonalds -- because who wouldn't enjoy a chocolate shake?

Driving Day 1 - Iowa and South Dakota (2)
DVD Players. I know why I took very few car trips as a young child.
Because DVD players hadn't been invented yet.

Driving Day 1 - Iowa and South Dakota (9)Driving Day 1 - Iowa and South Dakota (11)
When you are in need of a break, I highly suggest looking up an elementary school -- they usually have great playgrounds, and during the summer they aren't usually in use. We stopped at several during the time we were in the car, and I have to say that it was one of the better ideas I had on the trip.

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And find a hotel to stay in with a great pool. We totally lucked out at the Clubhouse Inn and Suites in Souix City - the pool was small, but it had two great water slides that everyone loved. If you happen to travelling to a place with a Clubouse Inn and Suites, I HIGHLY recommend it.

*Successful is stretching it a bit -- the first day wasn't too bad, but the other three days that were spent in the car were filled with the sounds of a highly distressed two year old whining "I want to get out of my seat!" Oh yes, it was every bit as fun as you imagine it might be. And by fun I mean a great exercise in not completely losing your mind while in a moving vehicle.


Blueberry said...

ahhh, stop at a school with a playground! now that is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

Great tips! I love the idea of stopping at a playground!

Jen said...

Yes, stopping at a playground is essential. I never thought about finding elementary schools. Great idea.

Joanna said...

OMG - I would have never thought to have looked for a school on a roadtrip. DVD player is a must, along with treats....but never thought about looking outside of the car to keep them happy! Great tip.

Cara said...

I love the idea of stopping at a school playground. We did a road trip earlier this summer and it went ok. The biggest complaint was he couldn't get out of his seat to lay down and sleep.

Anonymous said...

the playground bit is a brilliant idea. :) elementary schools is the perfect place. that or a park, but parks don't always have good playgrounds.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Awesome tips Maggie! The only thing you forgot is earplugs for the driver. Kidding.

Sorta. :)

That playground idea is pure genius!

cherish.photography said...

You have got those tricks down! woohoo!

Unknown said...

All helpful and handy and have been used many times in our household!

Stacy said...

Oh boy, you are so much braver* than me in attempting a car trip of that magnitude with a toddler.

*by brave I mean ever so slightly insane and obviously into self-torture. ;)

Jaimee said...

Great ideas...especially about the school playground! And, how did our parents live without portable DVD???

Kimberly said...

Oh, you brave, brave woman! :)

Arizaphale said...

What's the matter with you all? I took my 3 year old camping in France and we drove over 800miles together in relatively pleasant companionship.
(If you don't count the insanity I suffered from listening to children's music tapes over and over and over...no DVDs in those days.) My tips for success hinge on having her in the front seat with me. I don't know whether it was legal or not but she was in a super duper US car seat with this kind of padded bar which doubled as a table thing which swung down over her head. I was able to reach her easily if she wanted something and we had lots of interaction 'up front'. This trip aside she has always 'traveled well'. The hardest trip was up to the Northeast of England when she was 18 months and for that one we did resort to stopping at playgrounds!
Glad you survived and lovely shots.