Catchy title, right? Unbelievably, the Christmas holiday is NEXT WEEK, followed by the New Year. If you are lucky enough to live near the people who you love to (or are obligated to) celebrate with, YAY, you get to dodge the bullet that is traveling with small people. But, alas, we are not all so lucky, and that means that the already challenging task of raising these small people gets further complicated by taking the act on the road.

Fear not, dear reader. I, too, am faced with this task, and this isn’t my first rodeo. My whole family lives about 200 miles away, which is single-person time is 3.5 hours, but in I-have-kids time is more like 5. My first kiddo was such a dreamy traveler that I used to make this trip solo several times a year. Baby Bear does not share this quality, and so the trips have been harder and farther apart. Wah.

One sure fire way to make the trip harder is to not be prepared. SO, with that, I will share a glimpse into my travel bag. I hope it serves you well, and that your trip is amazing or at least not pull-out-your-hair awful!

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(I have all these products, but I did not have the wherewithal to make them matchy matchy like these. So here is a picture of all the things I talk about having, but much prettier than the set I have!)

For us, travel is happening with a four year old and a seven-month old. The four year old is easy. Fill his water bottle with milk, prepare to stop once or twice for him to, ahem, take care of business from all that liquid. Also, snacks. Unless you have a policy about not eating in the car. And even then, perhaps reevaluate this policy for sanity’s sake. I just bought the RePlay snack container and it is awesome! I like that breakable snacks stay safe, and that Bee can manage to remove the lids but Bear can’t. They are also easy to clean, in case they fall out of the car or onto a dirty rest stop floor. Hand him two super hero action figures and his drink and snacks, we are good to go.

Baby guy needs a lot more stuff. For one, diapers. Some diapers use a microfiber material, and those ones are great! Except that, when super full, they can cause a compression leak, leaving your babe and his or her car seat a mess. Not cool, right? Have you had the luxury of trying to clean a car seat? Forget it. Just set it on fire. It’s a pain. So while microfiber based diapers are great for lots of other times, I steer away during long road trips, and opt for a natural fiber-based diaper. I love using a Sloomb OBF with a TotsBots Peenut cover over it. The cover is wipe clean, with easy hook and loop closure, so if and when a diaper change occurs, I’m not struggling to snap it in the back of our Jeep. A wet bag is another necessity, both for yucky diapers, cloth wipes, and any yucky burpy bibs/clothes/etc. Food wise, we will either be stopping to nurse, or be rocking a diet of Puffs and Pouches (those squeeze pouch purees are just the handiest thing in the world). A hazard of those squeezey guys is that they can be messy. Hence, wetbag.

Alright, so baby is fed and dry. But he or she is still mad. Enter, new small toy! Look at that, angry baby! Fresh toy; so clean, so ready for drool and chewing and tossing to the floor of the car! (This also works for toys they have not seen in a while, or books, if you are able to sit back and read out loud.)

Finally, pit stops will happen. Let those kiddos stretch their legs a bit, and then pop the baby in a carrier. My carrier of choice is, of course, my beloved silk Sakura Bloom. This is where Bear will be during any rest stop dining experience, or if we need to have a repeat of our last trip, where Bee got to ride his bike around a roadside parking lot for a while to help expel his demons. Travel is hard, y’all.