I’m not sure when my fear of flying started but at some point in my life vulnerability kicked in and I was no longer able to step foot on a plane. I never thought that my flying fear would be much of an issue as I had traveled enough in my younger years. I also had no idea that this phobia would lead to a road trip of about 3,000 miles (daughter and two-year-old grandson in tow).
I had a great idea that I wanted to get to market and the next step was to find a manufacturer. I started calling every manufacturing company with products similar to mine using ThomasNet.com. After months of phone calls and getting nowhere, I decided to take someone’s suggestion of attending a trade show to talk with other vendors. I wanted to find out who their manufacturers were and how they got started. Unfortunately, getting to the first children’s product tradeshow (San Diego Kids Expo) meant traveling from Washington State to San Diego, California, thus the road trip began!
Planning for a long road trip with a two-year-old took some planning ahead but was well worth it. First I had to decide whether to drive my own car or rent a more comfortable car, my suggestion is the later. Renting a car saved me money on maintenance, fuel and made things less stressful when it came to cleaning a dirty car when I arrived back home.
Another great tip that I found extremely useful was to purchase a portable mini car fridge. I easily packed cold drinks, fruits, vegetables and those handy fruit squeeze packs to make snack time a breeze. For under $100 you can purchase a Koolatron Cooler.
Keeping my two-year grandson entertained in between hotel stops was a little easier with a portable DVD player and headphones. I also had my daughter bring plenty of color books/crayons and washable markers for hours of color fun in the back seat.
I strongly suggest a trip to the dollar store before the long journey begins to buy inexpensive sticker books and little doodling doodads like dry erase boards. Favorite picture books and interactive learning materials can make the trip even more valuable as you talk about numbers, colors and all kinds of fun facts.
Most importantly, we made rest stops every hour or two so that we could all stretch and blow some bubbles at throw balls at the park.
One of the best decisions was to pre-wrap some special toys not usually given as “we made it toys” to unwrap at each hotel stop. This was by far, the most fun to pick out and was chosen with utter delight!
There were still a few meltdowns along the way and not necessarily just by my grandson. Both my daughter and I had a few melt-downs ourselves too but toddlers are easily distracted and if you change things up every few hours it can make a long road trip much more enjoyable for all involved. You too can have Happy driving!