How to solo road trip and cross an international border with an infant and/or toddler in 2,489,904 easy steps

  1. Mentally prepare by cramming what will feel like half of your household goods in to as few suitcases as possible so you feel like you’re “packing light”.
  2. Don’t forget snacks, books, and toys to keep in the front seat next to you. You can pass them back as entertainment is needed. Prepare to clean up a Goldfish cracker massacre upon arrival.
  3. Remember, road trip calories don’t count. Bring extreme quantities of chocolate and salty snacks for your own stress-eating pleasure. It really helps ease the sound of crying coming from the back seat.
  4. Assume someone will vomit and/or blow through a diaper and plan accordingly. Bring extra wipes, outfits, plastic bags, and hope there is a washing machine at your final destination.
  5. Plan to leave and drive at optimal times so its more likely your child will take a car-nap. They might not. But at least you tried.
  6. DO NOT, under any circumstance, stop the vehicle while your child is sleeping.
  7. Remember that screen time equals happy time. I advocate for as much of it as possible. #survivalmode. Load up your iPad with toddler friendly entertainment. However, don’t be surprised if the movie you play for your child is the wrong movie, and you are stuck listening to requests for Cars on repeat, although they clearly stated they would like to watch Wall-E. You’re not stopping until you need a potty break so they’ll just have to suffer.
  8. Do read this good resource for international border crossings with children if you are traveling without the children’s other parent. Prepare accordingly with the proper documentation.
  9. Don’t assume your passports and good intentions are all you need. The border control agent may think differently.
  10. Play the toddler playlist. The one the pre-children you said you would never listen to. This is desperate times.
  11. Avoid talking to strangers. If you need help, the lesson my mom taught me as a child still applies, “look for a grandma or a mother with children”.
  12. Remember, you are brave and bad**s and you can do anything. You can even navigate a gas station restroom at 25 weeks pregnant with a 30 pound two-year old under your arm, without touching a thing.
at the Michigan Welcome Center with the best travel buddy around


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