How To Survive A Solo Road Trip with Two Babes

As many of you know from my Instagram stories, I recently embarked on a solo road trip with my 3 year old and 9 month old. I quite frankly didn’t think I was mom enough to handle such an event but thanks to grounded planes and broken down cars, I found myself with no choice but to pull up my Spanx and load up my SUV. 

I’ll give my kids credit, the surprised me with their behavior. I had imagined the worst and they gave me their mediocre to almost best behavior for our six and a half hour journey. With only nearly peeing in the toddler car seat once and a few quick scream sessions from the infant seat, we made it to our final destination (and into the arms of my very well rested co-parent) without much to complain about. 

And while my offspring did well, I will absolutely pat myself on the back for doing even better – I was prepared. PREpared. If I anticipated that they would need it, want it or be bribed by it, I had it ready and waiting in the front seat. New Paw Patrol stickers? You bet. Enough ounces of pre-made bottles to get us through Armageddon? Yes ma’am. Coffee for me? Times two. Preparation is key, mamas, and I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve. 

And since its’ Spring Break Season, I thought I’d share some of my more successful tips and tricks for surviving a solo road trip with two babes:

How To Survive A Solo Road Trip with Two Babes

So, we learned the hard way that my son gets car sick if he is reading/writing/coloring in the car but thankfully, screens don’t seem to bother him. I wouldn’t even bother putting him in the car without his Amazon Fire HD8 Kids Edition Tablet and two chargers. Yes, two chargers. One for the backseat and one up front with me because I will not risk letting that thing die mid travel day. 

The Amazon Fire HD8 Kids Edition Tablet plays games, apps and books without a WiFi connection so he jams out to it (with a sweet set of Mickey toddler head phones) for the duration of our travel day. I actually just went through and played with the Learn First program a bit and now he is required to spend the first 30 minutes of his screen time reading or watching books, then he can access the app and video sections. 

I also cut his video usage down to 15 minutes a day so that he is gently coerced into taking advantage of the more educational/interactive options in the apps section. I honestly love that I can do all of that from the Parent Dashboard online because we use his tablet for white noise at night so I don’t have to sneak it out of his room to change settings or view his usage. 

And a small side note about the 2 year, worry free warranty program: we recently had to take advantage of said warranty because, well, because three year olds are wrecking balls, and they weren’t kidding when they said they would simply replace your broken one and use Prime shipping to do it. Think if you’re on vacation or Grandma’s House or road tripping to your new home in a new state and your Amazon Fire HD8 Kids Edition Tablet becomes the latest victim of your wild animal – you call customer service, they get you a new one in a matter of days. 

Days, people. 

I could have cried when our new one arrived, locked, loaded with Amazon FreeTime Unlimited and read to go.

How To Survive A Solo Road Trip with Two Babes

When we stop for a break, to stuff our faces or for Mommy to use a real potty (and not the one in the trunk, keep reading for those fun details), I pull out a Dollar Aisle bubble wand and tell my big boy to have at it. What is it about bubbles? I don’t care if a kid is 10 months or 10 years old, bubbles will always be a hit. I challenge him to pop ten bubbles in a row, to race faster than the bubble and to see how many he can make out of each frantic swish of the bubble wand.

 I’d say I spend no more than five minutes in a grassy patch near my parked car letting him make bubble magic but the energy it burns is priceless. He gets to stretch his legs, get’s fresh air and the bubbles distract him from the fact that we’re in an abandoned lot next to a Bojangles.

How To Survive A Solo Road Trip with Two Babes

While my son has been potty trained for a year now, that doesn’t mean he won’t throw me a curve ball every now and then. And something about a road trip really seems to fuel his need to keep me on my toes, something I learned on the side a dirt road, sopping urine out of his car seat. Ever since, I’ve kept a portable potty in the trunk of my car, no matter what. 

Yes, he’s a big boy but even big boys will promise they don’t have to go potty and then yell out “I need to goooo!” as you zoom past a rest stop at 70 miles per hour. I have pulled into many a parking lot, popped open my trunk, plopped him on our potty and then been back on the road in no time. This is especially crucial if you’re solo because it prevents you from having to unload any other babes, drag everyone into an establishment, coral them in a public bathroom and then do the car seat tango for the millionth time. No thanks to that.
Besides our parking lot adventures, I do try to stop at as many rest stops as I see on the road, just to encourage everyone to try to go to the bathroom – and for myself. When Gray was younger, we stopped every hour, just to get out and bounce around, potty or not. Now that he’s a bit bigger, I use good old fashioned bribery to get him to try to go when we stop: if he goes (and doesn’t let those stupidly loud auto-flush toilets send him into hysterics), he earns a little trip to the rest stop vending machines. He can choose what he wants, within reason, and he gets to punch the numbers and watch his bribery of choice fall into the bin, which seems to bring him immense joy.

 Hey, if a .99 cent bag of Wise popcorn gets him going, who am I to judge? Bonus: I also get a treat from the vending machine for being a rockstar mom so don’t forget to reward yourself, too! 

Actual footage from a vending machine bribery bathroom break, because that’s as real as it gets, people. 

Now go forth and solo road trip with your babes in tow! 
(but seriously, only if you have to.)

This post is sponsored by Amazon and is the third in a series, to read more about our experience with the Amazon Fire HD8 Kids Tablet, including our fave apps, books and videos, click here and here