5 Items to Bring on a Roadtrip With a Toddler

Trev and I have always loved to travel and its something we were especially excited to do now that we have Savannah. Since our experimental trip to South Dakota in September (which went so so well!), we have been thinking almost non-stop about where we want to road trip to next and how long we want to stay. Trev has just about every National park in the US on his bucket list and as I’ve gotten older, I have been drawn more and more to the outdoors and all of the experiences they can offer. I want Savannah to have an active life and while I without a doubt believe in taking the time to decompress and relax – I also don’t want her days spent in hotel rooms or at shopping malls, you know? Anyways! Our plan is to drive to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, spend the night there to give us a little break, and then travel to Moab, Utah the next day to explore to explore the city as well as Arches National park and Canyon Lands (possibly adding on Capitol Reef if we are feeling extra brave!) for the next 4-5 days! Since we have very little experience traveling with a toddler, I decided that this is a good opportunity to gather up a list of the big items that we plan on brining/using on our first road trip with a toddler! The items on this list are items that we did not take with us to SoDak when she was 9 months old!

  1. Pack n Play

The pack n play is something I’ve been wanting to get for a long time, but to be honest, I’m not sure how much longer we will need it! The age range/weight range kind of confuses me on these and from what I can tell toddlers can use them up to 24(I think…?) months, 35lbs, or 35inches tall. So, I guess whichever happens first? Savannah is in the higher percentile on height so I’m not lovin the idea of shellin out some money to only be able to use it for 1 or 2 trips, you know? But the only other option would be for her to sleep with us and I’m not quite comfortable with that just yet! 

I found these two pack n plays on both ends of the price spectrum. There’s this Graco one from target that’s about $60 and seems pretty reliable and has great reviews, but is a little smaller and I can Savannah only being able to sleep in there for a short amount of time. Then I found one from a brand called Joovy that’s pretty awesome – but also carries a higher price tag. The things I like about this one is that its really spacious and super simple design! Savannah crawls evveryywheerre so the idea of having a space where she can hang out in with her toys and not get into random nooks and crannies of hotel rooms, makes me very happy! But again – its hard to pull the trigger on this when we may only use it for a year? There’s always the chance we may have more kids but we never know what’s in the cards for us so I don’t want to really bank on that, you know? I may ask Trev what his preference is and go from there 😉

2. Ergo Carrier

We have always loved loved our Ergo carrier! They are priiiicey so I was thrilled to find it $100 off, brand new, on Facebook market and its been so amazing for us! Savannah loves to be in there and it’s really handy when we don’t want to cart the stroller with us everywhere. Trev and I really want to try our hand at hiking this time around and not just looking at the landscapes and I’m hoping the Ergo will work well for this! She has her 15 month appointment tomorrow so I’m excited to see how tall she is and how much she weighs, but you can use the Ergo up to 45lbs or 48 months – whichever comes first! I don’t think shes 45lbs but I wouldn’t be surprised if shes at least 30! Either way, I am excited to try the option of her being on our back rather than our front – could prove to be very entertaining, or a complete nightmare. Haha we will see! 

3. Stroller

This stroller we have had from the beginning and we just love it! It’s not anything fancy, but we love that it evolves with your baby and comes with a car seat. We still use the car seat (though we’re going to have to age up any minute now!) but for the stroller we use the toddler seat – which is simple, but perfect for Savannah! If you have more than one kiddo its super helpful by allowing both the baby seat and the toddler seat to be used at the same time! Super cool idea for the future, but for now we love that we have been able to use it for so long (it’s still in great shape too!) and at different ages!

4. Cooler

Trev has wanted to get a cooler for so long, so I really think I’m going to let him take the reigns on this one! Maybe 😉 I know he wants to get a very large one and while we are driving 14 hours, I just don’t think we will have the space for a large cooler when we add in the stroller + pack n play + luggage! So, I found a cute affordable option that would work really well for all of Savannah’s snacks and any fruit we want to bring along! This will be the first trip where Savannah is actually eating food too and the one thing I have heard from other mamas is you can never pack too many snacks! So, a cooler is a must!

5. Stroller organizer 

This is something that I have been wanting to get but since we don’t really use the stroller outside of walks (I usually just carry her or use the Ergo) I just haven’t found a reason to purchase one! While I do want to use the Ergo a lot for this trip, I absolutely plan on using the stroller and since we’re traveling during a pandemic, I want to make sure we have everything we need close at hand! This one I just found online at target and it seems the most practical – I think it may be sold out though so I’ll browse for the actual one elsewhere – but I wanted to give an idea of what I’m thinking! While I do enjoy a good zip up bag, I don’t want to have to zip this one up in order for everything to stay put – you know? 

Our trip isn’t going to be until the middle of May so I do have a lot of time to make decisions and pick the best options for us, but I love making lists as early as I can because it gets me in the mindset of planning and searching for the best deals on any items I may need to purchase! I also know this is just a rough start but I’m hoping that all you mamas out there who have travel with toddlers have some good advice for me when it comes to what I need to bring that is helpful and what is essential!