Toddler and Preschooler Day Trip Essentials
Being well-prepared for a day trip might not stop the are-we-there-yets, but it will give you the confidence of knowing that you're ready for poop, puke, meltdowns and, with a little luck, naps. Here's a list of family travel items to take with you on a day trip with a preschooler or toddler.
Small cooler: For keeping their juice and your soda cold.
Stroller: If you can sacrifice shopping-bag storage, consider taking an umbrella stroller to save room in the trunk.
Car window sun shade: To keep the sun out of kids' eyes.
Music or book on tape: You might not want to listen to toddler tunes for the entire trip, but if it keeps them happy, it's worth the sacrifice—even if you do end up humming them for the next three days.
Entertainment: Books, toys, stuffed animals. Besides the old favorites, throw in a few new toys to keep them interested. You might want to use straps to loop the toys to the seat. That way you won't spend the entire trip retrieving tossed toys.
Neck pillow: If it's a long trip (and you want them to sleep), make it as comfy as possible by getting them a neck pillow, such as the Kid Coddler, for the car.
DVDs: If you sprung and got the SUV with a DVD player in it, make sure your ride is well-stocked with DVDs.