Solo with 18 month old Road Trip Prep

I am preparing for a solo 10 hour road trip with my 18 month old son.  Yup, you read the correctly.  Just me and a toddler for 10 hours in a car.

Here is what I have done so far:


  • pouches for fruits/veggies
  • goldfish
  • crackers
  • PBJ sandwiches



  • extra diapers & wipes

I know I have to be missing something… Any suggestions for me so I keep up my sanity?  HAHA

I will blog as we take our journey which starts on Wednesday morning bright and early.

4 thoughts on “Solo with 18 month old Road Trip Prep

  1. Carry a gallon jug of water (for emergency clean-ups) and a wash cloth (in a ziplock bag) in case the ‘wipes’ aren’t enough. Also, if it’s hot out, you can wipe his little face, neck & head to cool him down. A roll of Paper Towels could come in handy too.
    Don’t forget food and drink for Momma.
    Most of all, drive carefully. If you are getting tired, pull off into a rest area, Momma needs a break too.

  2. For Random, add a few changes of clothes that are easily accessible.
    Also, if you don’t have tinted windows in the back, take a piece of cloth and squeeze it in the window so as to offer shade and something to look at.
    Be prepared to be singing and talking basically the entire time in order to keep him entertained — as for having him watch Thomas the Train, does he truly watch TV yet, at that age? Wow. Mine wouldn’t have until way older.
    Pack a few no-spill bottles with water for him to have in easy reach so he can sip on it whenever he feels like it without making a mess when he starts tossing them around.
    Be prepared for puckage (wipes, lots of wipes :P).
    Try to drive as far as possible on the first leg of the journey — he will likely get more cranky the longer you are on the road and you will have to make more frequent stops towards the end to let him walk/ran in a park/ rest area. Those tend to be really safe and well-maintained, btw, so don’t worry about letting him toddle around on the grass for a bit. Perhaps take a ball so you can do a little bit of kicking/ tossing around (as much as he’s able to, of course).
    If he has favorite books, pack those — flipping through them might make him sleepy towards afternoon/ evening and give you a bit of a reprieve by putting him to sleep. Don’t let him read though if he’s prone to getting car-sick, reading makes that worse.

    But above and beyond all that: don’t worry. You’ll get there in the end. It won’t be as horrible as the worst-case scenarios you are probably envisioning. It won’t be all perfect either, but it’ll end. Everything you might need is within easy exit access — be it a loo, a new toy, food, drink, a new set of clothes, or anything else you might find yourself in sudden need of. Stores are open 24-7, exit ramps usually lead to nearby cities/towns, everything is available for buying, and if something really really goes wrong, there are cellphones for calling for help/ advice and motels to spend a night if you really cannot go any further. Believe me, it’ll be fine. I took an active 2 year old on the autism spectrum and a scaredy-cat 4 year old on an 8 hour flight from Germany to the US because I had to, and we survived the trip. I also took the same boys, one year later, from Detroit to El Paso in 3 days, with only me and them in the van. We survived 😉 It takes some planning, but with plenty of food, drink and distractions (not to mention such wonderful inventions as AC in the car and beautiful rest areas), you’ll get there in the end 🙂 Good luck!

    • Change of clothes, I learned when he was a little baby to keep at least 1 change of clothes in his diaper bag. 🙂 He does since it is a random thing and he doesn’t get to watch TV often. I am keeping it as a “just in case” all else fails. I love those spill proof sippy cups. I even have a tether for them. I figure I will have a couple in the cooler too. He has a cup holder attached to his car seat. Amazing how they are little thrones now. OOHHH love the idea of driving as far as possible. I am hoping he will fall asleep for the first leg since we will leave right before his morning nap. Thankfully he loves his car seat. Fave books check 🙂 I have been packing his bag all day with things going “OOO I think he might want this”. Robert will also have his favorite Monkey that he seems to not be able to sleep without. Check on the ball, I added that into his bag.
      Thanks 🙂 I am mapping out emergency stores as well.

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