We’re about half way through our cross-country road trip, heading to the great chasm that is West Texas. Along the way, we’ve realized two things. First, we’re checking an item off of a lot of people’s bucket lists–a cross country road trip–as a means to get from the East Coast to Hawaii (via a flight from California, of course). How lucky are we?! Second, we’ve realized that taking a road trip with a toddler, while pulling a camper, is quite different than taking a road trip with just adults. For more, check out our 10 Signs You’re on a Cross Country Road Trip with a Toddler below…
- Instead of singing classic road trip music at the top of your lungs, “Children’s Global Playground” is playing “King of the Bongo” on repeat for a minimum of three hours.
- There is a thin layer of snot and stickers coating the entire interior of the vehicle. Enter at your own risk.
- Rather than powering through long drives and stopping only for a pee emergency, you stop to change toddler’s poop diapers.
- Podcasts, books-on-tape, and pondering conversations are replaced by silence for fear of waking said toddler from napping. For example, I’m writing this blog while on the road. Don’t worry, I am not also driving.
- In the case of a pee emergency, you’d rather try to strategically urinate in a diaper than pull off the highway, thus risking waking up said toddler from napping. This may or may not have happened to both of us.
- Basically everything related to driving revolves around making sure toddler naps. If toddler does not nap, no one has any fun for the rest of the day.
- Instead of googling “fun Austin nightlife” or “classic New Orleans restaurants,” in preparation for stops, you find yourself googling “Austin with toddler” or “New Orleans for kids.”
- Ten hour driving days are memories of the past. Toddlers don’t nap for ten hours! Our max drive time is six hours, and that includes a good picnic playground stop in the middle. The preference is three hours.
- You break your “very limited screen time” rule so that no-nap-toddler will zone out long enough to watch Sesame Street so that you don’t continue to pull out your back twisting around to give toddler stickers, toys, books, raisins, or the piece of your tripod he insists is a mushroom.
- All those beloved junk-food road trip snacks are replaced by flying raisins and half chewed apples that, despite your best cleaning efforts, you find days later between seat cushions.
This has been, and likely will continue to be, the trip of a lifetime. It is a gift. Adventure, wonder, laughter, and exploration have filled our travels thus far, along with beignets, visits with old friends, every city’s interpretations of holiday decor, delicious vegan restaurants, tasty Tex Mex, live music, hiking, vegan donuts, camping, yoga under the stars, and even a little napping. We love our little toddler. But parenting a toddler can be hard, too. Wanderers we remain. Just let us know if there are stickers on our butts when we get out of the car…