Now I don't want to call myself a "seasoned" traveler with toddlers and preschoolers, but I've done a LOT of driving and traveling with the kids over the past year. This past month especially. We drove over 40 hours in the car, just the THREE of us. Here are a few things I learned from my trip this last time (its always good to learn new things).
Now #1 is fully potty trained, never NEVER has accidents at home and is fully night trained, never really ever has wet the bed, knock on wood. WELL, being in a new place, well new PLACES every 3-4 nights for two weeks did him in. He had various accidents and one night I had to threaten to put a diaper on him (I never THOUGHT to bring pull ups because he NEVER has accidents), because he had peed his pants 4 times. I figured out halfway through my trip that he needed a stool to reach most of the pottys (we have one at home, so it makes sense he'd need one). I also learned that he didn't "know" where the potty was one night. However, I travel with a little potty in the van because Montana (the state I have to cross completely) doesn't have as many rest stops up through the mountains, so just to be safe. I decided to bring the little potty in the house with us and have #1 use that at night in the room he slept, once that was solved he didn't have accidents. Takes a mamma a while to learn.
I also learned that 4 juice boxes in 3 hours will create a LOT of accidents in the car. Good thing #1 doesn't care about being naked because after 3 accidents I had no more "reachable" clothes left for him to put on (this was on our drive home, 2-8hr days of driving) and so he had to sit naked in his car seat.
Another thing I learned was that although #1 is big enough to sit in a booster (with a back) and only use a seat belt, its probably best he's in a harness car seat for long trips, because he'd often take the lap belt off and I'd be turning around explaining to him that he HAD to wear his seat belt...thus when we travel back to ND in 4 weeks for a wedding different car seats will be brought!
You need more than 10 DVDs to entertain 2 kids under 4 for more than 40 hours....and I now know ALL the words to most of the veggie tale movies.
I also learned that my kids listen very well. On many stops people commented on how well behaved they were and how they listen, its nice for a mom to hear this when sometimes you only focus on the bad (a bad quality I'm trying to change).
Thus for the rest of our trips I'll be a little smarter, and I'm sure I'll learn something new on our other trips this summer. We'll be gone for MOST of June (so don't expect a lot of posts, sorry). We'll be gone 2 weeks in July, and possibly one more week in August. Summer is our travel time, and we LOVE to see all our family!