Toddlers need a lot when they go on road trips. Not quite as much as babies, but to keep them happy and entertained for hours on end they need plenty of stuff. After I worked on my regular road trip packing list, I realized that I should just have a second one for the toddler’s stuff. He is pretty spoiled. I bring movies for me, and separate movies for him. I bring snacks for me, and separate snacks for him or else he eats all of mine. It goes on and on, but with the separate list it is easier to get it all straight.
One of my tricks for road trips with toddlers is that if they are drinking real milk regularly you can buy cartons of shelf milk that don’t have to be refrigerated until they are open, or I like to give him the pedia sure milk replacements. They are expensive, but cheaper than buying a big thing of milk and wasting it because you can’t refrigerate it. Also, I have found that it is hard to get whole milk most places, so I really like having my own milk with me.
Another thing is that I like to buy a few new toys or books. They don’t have to be “new” I usually get them from yard sales or kid’s resale stores but something new keeps him entertained for longer. The good thing about getting them at yard sales is that if you don’t want to keep them after the trip you can turn around and yard sale them again or it won’t hurt as much to donate them. It’s worth spending a little bit to have more sanity while traveling. I put some of his toys for the car in his backpack, so that they are easy for him to get to. If we are going to a family’s home that don’t have little kids, or staying in a hotel, I bring my playmat full of toys so that he is entertained the few days that we are there too. I just try not to bring anything sentimental or irreplaceable as toys are more likely to get lost when traveling.
I have a large rubberband that I use to hold his diapers together. It keeps them in one spot and is easier than a half empty bag later on.