Last week, we went to sunny, beautiful, not RIDICULOUSLY HOT, San Diego for a few days with my parents. It was one of the most relaxing (yes, even with a baby) vacations I have ever gone on and it was surprisingly easy to get there and keep Baby J in his routine. I’m not going to lie, going on vacation with the parents is VERY underrated. They LOVED having Baby J there and that gave us some quality time together to really enjoy being married again and hang out.
My parents have had a timeshare in Del Mar, across from the racetrack, for years and almost every year for the last 9ish years, we’ve gone and stayed a week a few blocks from the beach. This year, we got to take Baby J, and we got to go over our anniversary weekend. We went to Seaport Village, the beach, on a date to Slater’s 50/50 (hubby’s request), eat cupcakes where we got married, and have a lot of yummy food (anyone been to Point Loma Seafoods??? SO good!) and time to relax.
While traveling with Baby J was not a walk in the park, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the airplane disaster that we encountered last time we left the state. Baby J had his moments of crying and screaming, but overall, he did pretty well. It definitely helped that we had an iPad with Finding Nemo on it. 😉
Some tips that I’d give if you’re planning to do a road trip with a baby are:
1. Don’t be afraid to TAKE YOUR TIME. I wanted to get there early the day that we left because I really really really wanted to have lots of time and get an “extra day.” But that didn’t happen. We had to stop 4-5 times on the way there and on the way back. Baby J got restless and needed to get out and walk and he need snacks that weren’t veggie straws. Therefore, we stopped a lot and a trip that would normally take 5 hours or so, took us 6.5 hours. That was OK though because we still got to San Diego and still got to have all afternoon and evening there. I’d also like to add that we left at 5:00 am.
2. Pack lots and lots and lots of snacks. Maybe it’s just my kid, but snacks keep my son happy. I don’t pack crappy food for him either. He ate plenty of fruits and veggies on the trip, but whenever he got fussy, we’d try a snack first. He loved having mama hand him food and looking back to see where it was coming from. It ended up being a game, and boy was I glad we had all those snacks for him! 🙂
3. Pack lots and lots of toys… and don’t let them have access to them. Another thing that we did was pack a bag of toys. This was awesome too because we’d hand him toys and he’d play with that for a little while and then want a new one. The fact that he didn’t have access to the toys made it so that his attention would be on one toy or book a little longer and he didn’t get them all out of the bag and throw them.
4. Let them watch a movie. This one SAVED us. I rarely let Baby J watch TV at home, so this was a special treat. Guys, one movie on a road trip one time won’t kill them. It won’t slow their development. They’ll be OK. I had a hard time with this one at first because, like I said, we don’t really let Baby J watch TV very often. But that was part of the intrigue for him! He got to watch Finding Nemo on the way to (and from) San Diego, and it allowed us 2-3 hours of no crying because he fell asleep in the middle of it, thus, allowing us to pause it and continue it when he was fussy later on.
5. Don’t get mad when they cry. We don’t always like being in cars for 5-6 hours, so why would we expect our toddlers to love being strapped into a backwards carseat staring at a seat for this long? We were the only ones in the car, so if he cried, oh well. We couldn’t get mad. We simply turned the music up and stopped when we could.
I’m not an expert, by any means, on road trips with babies, but these are some tips that really helped us out. We had a great time and I now want to live in San Diego more than I did before. 😉
Here are some pictures from our trip. Enjoy!