Road Trips with a Toddler

Recently my husband and I took a long drive from Northern California (where we live) to Southern California. Why on earth would we drive 10 hours to Southern California (side note, yes we don’t live ANYWHERE near LA/San Diego, Disneyland or anywhere else you’re currently trying to think of)?

Friends. Really incredible friends of ours are retiring from 23 years in the Navy. I can’t say enough incredible things about this family. They have been so generous and loving to us over the last 7 years, welcomed us in like family, supported us no matter what coast we lived in, and they are worth every second of a drive.

The last time we were in the car this long was after my husband’s deployment where I gave birth to our daughter. You can read about that here

We’re coming full circle and staying at the same incredible mountain oasis in Escondido. About an hour away from San Diego- but this mountain seclusion is worth every ounce of that drive let me tell you.

But back to the road trip. We knew we needed to make this trip affordable (how else are we able to travel so much??)- And well- toddlers require a ton of preparation.

We are very blessed- our daughter travels well- so I’m never worried flying with her- however the fact that she is now potty trained and a car trip can consist of many variables that make me nervous. So we need to plan carefully and I also needed to plan for unknown variables- which if you have kids- you inevitably will forget something.

I’ll tell you about where I succeeded- but I’ll share the failures – just so you know I’m human.

I spent hours cooking food to bring with us, the type of food you just need to piece everything together but it’s already cooked- but failed to pack: napkins, plates, silverware

I managed to pack all our clothes into one suitcase- but added about 10 extra bags of random things like: workout equipment, toiletries, kid toys, computer/work bag, diaper bag, shoes, essential oils, pool supplies, and like 6 coolers of food

I managed to bring books and a few stuffed animals and even a tiny portable doll house but forgot to bring things to entertain her in the car seat on the drive.

I managed to bring water bottles for when we spend the days being tourists- but forgot to buy a package of water for the car

I managed to bring the portable potty for emergency stops- but nothing to wipe with

All in all I think I did pretty well considering.  The first half of the car ride- our dear daughter was singing and yelling and saying “Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy” on repeat (cue huge amounts of annoyance), and yelling that the radio wasn’t on and how she wanted to “get out of the car RIGHT NOW”. Then of course an hour into our drive she demanded to go to the bathroom. And an hour after we were back on the road- she demanded to go again.

My husband saved the day with loading Frozen from Amazon Prime on his phone and she calmed down. By the time Frozen ended we were stopping for lunch so she could eat and run around a bit at this really awesome truck stop area.

After lunch- she is passed out and we’re on the countdown on the final stretch down to SoCal.

I’m managing to not sleep for the first time on a road trip of this magnitude and I’m busting out tons of work.

We have listened to podcasts and an audio book

I’m blogging away on my computer and saving it so I just have to upload it once I’m back in wifi

I’m answering client messages on my phone

Having phone calls with customers in the car

Prospecting for people I want to reach out to share resources and combine efforts

Finalizing content for my next five day free course on setting boundaries with social media

I’m working hard on this long stretch of time so I can truly enjoy our few days in San Diego. You see- when I’m on vacation- I don’t like to “take time away” to work. I’ll wake up early before everyone else or stay up late after everyone has gone to bed to get work done, but I won’t excuse myself to have phone calls or answer messages.

I’m my own boss so I have the luxury of time, so I don’t have to work when I don’t want to. So I can have focused, uninterrupted time doing what we love best- traveling, sightseeing, making memories.

How do you handle your business when you’re “out of the office”. Do you work on vacations?