July 5, 2011
I feel like my husband and I have completed the impossible... we got through a trip with a 2 year old and a 2 week old. Not a big trip mind you--but even little trips feel pretty big when you are trying to do it with 2 young ones.
We packed up the car and drove three hours for a beach weekend with family and friends. We survived so I thought I would provide some tips if you want to try your own trip sometime.
Word to the wise: choose your destination wisely. Don't be too ambitious and pick somewhere where if needed all the conveniences you are used to are available. This way, if you forget something that is essential (like diapers) you can always buy a pack at the grocery store or drugstore.
Tips to make your life less stressful:
1) Pack the night/day before you leave. Have as much ready as possible and have it in the car if you can--no surprises in the morning when you realize that you can't fit everything in the trunk!
2) Make sure you have good accommodations ready and booked. When I say good accommodations--you need space for your gear and ideally a separate space from the sleeping quarters. This might be hard to get but it is worth it. Someone once told me that otherwise you should put the pack and play in a closet... so something to consider.
3) If you are staying with family/friends make sure that they are aware of typical wake-up times so they are not shocked when they hear you at 6am. If you still have a young one who wakes up throughout the night, advise them of that too so they aren't shocked to see you nursing in the family room at 2am.
4) When the baby (or babies) cry in the car--be sure to keep an eye on your partner and the two of you can switch off the driving as needed so that not one person gets stressed out.
5) Stop when needed. Gone are the days when you can say "I will be there at....". Now you want to say "we are leaving at ________ and should be there between _______and ____ if not, we will call you". Give yourself time. Stop and take breaks at parks... or Tim Horton's.