Parents, remember when a road trip involved a cheap pair of service station sunnies, a single overnight bag, a mix tape and a stop at some ‘world-famous’ pie shop?
Those were the days. In fact when I was pregnant, a colleague used to jokingly advise, “Spend your weekends leaving the house, over and over again, just taking in how quickly you can do it. Just get in your car and leave, observing the swiftness. That will NEVER happen again.”
And, he was right…
Whether it’s the school drop off or a trip down the South Coast, travelling with babies and toddlers is similar to organising the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, but with more unexpected toileting incidents.
But with each experience our fortitude has been bolstered. I’ve found that all it takes is some forward planning, stocking up at a one-stop-shop beforehand (hello BIG W – let’s do this) and noise-cancelling headphones positive thinking!
Here are my ten tips for making travelling with babies and toddlers a success.
- Have an identical twin who can step in for you, for the entire journey.
- If this isn’t possible, ensure your car has a limousine-style partition.
- Seriously though, pack at least three nappies in the front. One for inevitable spills (coffee/your tears after visiting the in-laws), and two for every child, per hour you’re in the car. It is truly amazing how much children can ‘save up’ and then ‘release’ upon being clipped into their car seat, within five minutes of leaving your driveway. Huggies Jumbo Nappies are three for $70 at BIG W for the next two weeks so now is the time to stock up.
- Continuing on with this theme, for new bubs – pick up some Dymples Zip or Snap Terry Coveralls (2 for $8 at Big W). Pack changes of outfits in the car, not in the boot. You want a swift change to keep the stress levels low for all involved.
- For toddlers – it’s Peppa Pig or nothing. Pick up Peppa Pig Book Sets, $16 each. A ‘set’ will stop the inescapable screaming of “JESSICA ISN’T SHARING WITH MEEEEEEEE!!!”
- Fill every storage area of your car with dummies. I have no idea where they end up, but for some reason, car = dummy Bermuda triangle.
- Heinz Baby Food Pouches (4 for $6 at Big W) – quick, convenient and cheap. And, if I’m being honest, there’s a good chance they’ll taste better than all those ‘world-famous’ pie shops you once visited.