Over the last three years I have learned so much about road tripping with a little one. Since our family is spread out throughout the United States, we have to travel to see most of them. Flying is not always the most feasible option so we drive. Driving across country with any child under six can be an headache. So, I came of with the an guide to help ease the stress.
Check the weather.
You always want to check the weather to make sure you know what to pack, and how the road condition will be. Don’t ever say oh it’s summer time so it will be hot. It may be hot where you are located, but there is a difference between dry heat and humidity. Also, it may be cold at night.
Pack children’s clothes first.
This helps you because you can make sure you have packed all of their items first and shouldn’t have to run around finding items at the last minute. Pack complete outfits together to ensure you have everything. See examples.
Pack soothing items.
If your children have items that will keep them calm, pack them in a smaller bag that’s easier to get to. These items need to be available in case your little ones start to feel antsy. For my son it’s his blanket.
Pack entertaining toys/ items.
Tablets – Load tablets with enough movies and offline games that will last the entire car ride. Download your kid’s favorite shows/ movies. Example: 8 hour car ride means I am loading 16 hours’ worth of movies and TV shows.
Load learning games that can be played offline if you do not have a hotspot or wifi in your car.
Small toys- For my son, I pack the small toys he plays with the most like Buzz, Woody, TNMT, a car and a Transformer. All toys that are small enough to fit in his back pack.
Pack food and snacks.
Stopping to eat can be expensive on the road, so we always pack a cooler full of items.
Pack items that are easy to contain and that your children like.
– Fruit / Fruit cups/ Fruit snacks
– Chips/ Crackers
– Granola Bars/ Cereal bars/ Protein Bars
– Make sandwiches
– Nuts/ Popcorn/ Small bag of candy
– Bottle water
*Limit sugary drinks while on the road. They tend to run through kids faster than water.*
You have packed and now you are on the road, what do you do?
1. Try to leave early in the morning because the kids are still sleep or sleepy.
We know they will at least sleep another hour or two while on the road.
2. Once children are fully awake, we stop for our first bathroom break.
No accidents in the car.
3. After the first bathroom break, feed the children, but limit the sugary drinks.
I dilute all my son’s drinks with water whether we are on the road or not. Juice has entirely too much sugar in it.
4. Cut on the entertainment after feeding.
If you have multiple children make sure you have packed items that interest each child, but do not pack a lot of items. Have your kids to pick out 1-3 items they want to take the most.
5. Take bathroom breaks every two to three hours.
It will give the kids time to stretch out, walk around, and get some fresh air before getting back in the car.
6. Try to do family activities in the car.
– Play Games
– Sing Songs
– Talk about things that interest your kids even if it doesn’t interest you.
7. If you have time, stop at a cool/ interesting attraction you would like to see on your road trip.
– Attractions, monuments, statues, parks, etc.
Parents, I hope this guide helps make your next family road trip a little easier.
It seems like we take a couples trip every year with friends. We don’t always go with the same couple, but over the years couples trips have become a big thing. One thing I find interesting is how much you learn about a couple when you travel with them.
My first couples trip experience.
Our first couples trip was a little rough for me because I’m an introvert at heart. It was my husband’s friends and their girlfriends/wives. There were multiple couples on this trip and I really didn’t know any of the females, but one. Also, my other friend and her guy were supposed to come, but they were snowed in and couldn’t come. So I was basically alone alone.Read More
While in Liberia, I overheard a conversation between two older African American couples. I would say the couple was between 55-65 years old. I heard one of the guys say, “When did it become popular for women to travel without men?” The little feminist in me wanted to say, “sir women can travel with whomever they choose to,” but I kept my mouth closed. I turn to my best friend and said, welp I have my next blog post.
Is it really taboo for women to travel without their spouses?
I have friends that are older than me who do not understand why my husband and I don’t always travel together. I have been told everything from that’s not how a marriage works to you are asking for your marriage to end. Extreme much?
I personally feel like you should be able to travel with whoever you choose to. And, for the record 90% of my traveling is with my husband. I take solo trips (therapist recommended) and girls trips.
I don’t have a relationship where I feel I need to be attached to my husband’s hip. He travels with his friends as well. We think we should be able to connect with our friends and/or family without each other. Also, we are aware that everyone’s outlook on relationships and marriage isn’t the same, but this works for us. The one thing we have in common is our love for travel. We were traveling separately before we started dating.
I had a conversation about what I heard with my husband and he told me to look at it from a different perspective. The couples are from a different generation. It hasn’t always been safe for women to travel alone. Which is very true. My husband stated older couples normally always do things together so it would be weird for them to see groups of girls traveling without men. I can definitely see where he is coming from. Do you agree?
Times have definitely changed and women’s travel is the future. Don’t believe? There is a whole festival in New York City called Women’s Travel Fest. It’s a festival to educate women on traveling. There’s an array of classes. Everything from safety while traveling, ageism in travel, even budgeting for travel. There’s parties and everything for this festival. I hope to go next year or the year after.
I will say while travelling I noticed multiple groups of women traveling together and it was exciting to see. For me, the excitement came from seeing women having fun and living their best life together. I only seen one group of men traveling together. There were more family and solo travelers. At the resort there were at least three groups of women traveling together including my best friend and I.
I guess we can say a difference in generations can make something seem normal to one group and taboo to another group.
I decided earlier this year to celebrate my birthday in Liberia, Costa Rica. Why Costa Rica? Honestly, because it was on my bucket list, but also flights to Jamaica were to expensive, lol. I have never been to Central America, so I said why not. I have heard about the locals being nice, volcanic sand, and the monkeys living in the trees. I just wanted to experience something different. I wasn’t looking for a turn up atmosphere, just somewhere to relax with my best friend. A place to clear my head and reflect on chapter 32 of my life and how I want chapter 33 to be different.
Self -Care is the best care
Shout-out to Drake, as I recently visited Toronto, Canada with some of my friends. We decided to plan our couples trip this year for Toronto because some of us had never been. Toronto has been on my bucket list for a while and my husband has always raved about how awesome Toronto is, so why not
We decided to stay in an Airbnb since we were staying for several days. Our Airbnb host was amazing! The condo was in the center of everything. Literally, Scotiabank Arena was right next door, Grand Central station right across the street, CN Tower two blocks away, Ripley’s Aquarium three blocks away. It was perfect. But, what really set this Airbnb apart from others I have stayed in, was it had a grocery store (like a mini Walmart), Starbucks, cleaners, money exchange place, a bar, and multiple restaurants in the same building. Like I said perfect.
First night, we tried a Jamaican Fusion restaurant called Chubby’s Jamaican Restaurant. I say Jamaican fusion because it definitely wasn’t authentic Jamaican. Imagine having a Haitian American friend who has his mouth set on authentic Jamaica to be served subpar Jamaican. Epic Fail.
After our Black History tour the next day, our tour guide took us to Ritz Caribbean where there was real, authentic Jamaican food. And you know it’s good when the line is out the door and you are ordering from the steam tables. Oxtails falling off the bone, jerk chicken, rice and peas, and beef patties bigger than your hand. Let’s just say we were satisfied when we left this time.
Later that night we decided to try some authentic Asian food at Asian Legend in Chinatown. I knew this would be an adventure because most authentic Asian restaurants serve you the biggest portion ever. We all ordered different dishes and before we knew it our table look like we were preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. Everything from Kung Pao Chicken and beef fried rice, to chicken soup and noodles galore. Just a ridiculous amount of food.
The next day, my friend and I decided to have brunch at School. The concept of this restaurant is so cool. Everything from menus to glasses were decorated after school supplies. I had a pineapple chili drink served in a beaker. I had the apple crumble pancakes and my friend had the krispy krunch french toast. We decided to share a white chocolate raspberry scone, fried chicken, and pan fried hash with jalapeno sour cream. Basically coma inducing food. So freaking good!
First day we roamed the city. We really didn’t have any plans. The next day we took a black history tour that I found on Airbnb Experiences. By the way don’t sleep on Airbnb Experiences. They are affordable and pretty unique than most big brand tours. I wrote a blog about everything we learned during the black history tour.
There was an indoor mall we found in Downtown Toronto named CF Toronto Eaton Centre. It was beautiful. It felt like we were outdoors although we were inside. FYI: Its normally cheaper to buy items out of the country than it is in the USA.
Outside of the mall were some beautiful buildings. I like that Toronto is a mix of old and new architecture. They have preserved alot of the buildings which is something we rarely do in U.S.
There was also an art festival right by the famous Toronto to sign. Vendors were selling everything from oil paintings to sculptures. Toronto is a walkable city for the most part and I really like that. After the art festival we walked to the harbour just to relax by the water and people watch. I really enjoyed watching everyone come together and have fun. No one was segregated. It was nice seeing people hang out without an agenda. Just friends brought together by friendship not because they are the same race. Being from the south, you do not see this a lot.
The next day was our girl’s day. We started with brunch and then a mini spa day. Afterwards we walked over to one of the most famous parts of Toronto, Graffiti Alley. It’s were artist from all over have painted the alley ways of some of Toronto’s streets. I am always looking for art when I travel and this was perfect. We had a photoshoot in the alleys and then headed all the way across town to create our own cinnamon rolls at cinnaholic.
On our last night we decided to go to the Rec Room. It puts you in the mind of a Dave and Buster, but cooler. There was an area to do virtually reality games (VR games), arcade games, two restaurants, multiple bars, dance floor, live DJ, fire pits outside, and private party rooms. Things became competitive between us. Competing against each other in basketball, and Mario kart. Yes, we are grown, but still kids at heart.
Overall our trip to Toronto was nice. We didn’t party much during our time, but enjoyed exploring the city and connecting with our friends. Toronto is definitely a city I would move to. The people are so nice and helpful. The city is diverse and the opportunities seem limitless. If you have a chance to visit Toronto please do. You won’t regret it.