Food--For the sake of saving money, getting to your destination faster, & avoiding the grumps, bring food for yourself & your little one. For myself I'm a fan of a PB&J, but for E I bring a TON of stuff. I've found the easiest way to keep her happy & entertained is to give her something to eat. This time it was particularly important because I couldn't hand her toys while driving.
- For easy hand-this-to-your-child-while-keeping-eyes-on-the-road food we use Happy Tot pouches (they're a great snack even if you have an older child), graham crackers, cheerios, Plum Fiddlesticks, teething biscuits, raisins, or any other food item that won't spoil & can be quickly shoved at your child without making a big mess. Trust me, food is key to a happy baby.
Bring entertainment--We have a portable DVD player (thanks to my lovely MIL) that we use in conjunction with a handful of Sesame Street DVDs. Depending on your resources you might not have the latest smart phone/I Pad/I Pod, etc to hand to your child for hours of entertainment. If that is the case hit the local library. You can rent great audio books, CDs, & check out lots of new-to-your-child books. Also don't forget old standbys like coloring books & games.
Make the most of your miles--
- Fill up your tank the day before. If you're trying to get your baby out of the car as quickly as possible this is definitely one to do ahead.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated so you get the best possible gas mileage.
- Use cruise control to minimize fluctuations & maximize fuel efficiency.
- Don't speed. I have to be honest here & admit I struggle with this one, but fuel efficiency dramatically decreases with increased speed, so try to stick to the posted limits. Also, not speeding means no speeding tickets or increased car insurance. A very frugal thing indeed.
- Lastly, be well organized. Know where money is for tolls, diapers are for stops, food & drink to prevent stopping, & any other necessities. Organization can save time, fuel, & head aches.