Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Road trip to Baja

I've been driving since I was 18 years old, mostly in the city to and from school and then to and from work sometimes to run errands or just for the drive. I occasionally have driven on the road for at the most an hour or two, but since getting married in 2001 Adventure Dad does most if not all of the travel driving in this family. Why? Well he loves driving and I don't mind sitting in the car as co-pilot making sure we get where we are supposed to {sometimes}.

So this year because we had a family event in Baja Mexico and Adventure Dad had to work during the week I decided that I would be adventurous and drive all the way to Ensenada Baja Mexico from Northern California with Adventure Kids. Yes, just our 6 year old, 2 year old and I. -gulp, make that double gulp-.

This may not seem as something unusual to some moms, but for me well it was uncharted territory to drive for 550 miles and my two kids who can sometimes get a little to anxious and cranky on long drives. So I braved it and surprised not only family and friends but myself by doing so.

After this little road trip I learned so much and am now brave enough to do it again. I learned a lot from traveling with kids -alone.

The first thing I learned is that you don't give your 6 year old a 1.5 liter water bottle after taking a restroom break, no you don't. That is, unless you want to stop again an hour after and then 30 minutes after in the middle of nowhere! Oh yes, she drank that water like there was no tomorrow! Even though I explained it had to last the whole ride to the Orange County area.

When traveling even if you have GPS it is always good to research at home about the rest areas along the way, that is to prevent you from counting on the next rest area -as per a sign on the road- and then as you get within a mile closer you find out it is closed for remodeling! and the nearest bathroom is 30 miles away.

To solve this I do remember when potty training Adventure Girl that I purchased a little travel potty called potette sold at Babies 'R Us that had a plastic liner bag attached to it with an absorbent pad in the middle allowing you to just throw away after the child is done using it and replacing for each use. This allows you to travel comfortably and younger kids to use the potty when needed. This is an excellent item to have when road tripping with kids and one I put back in the car along with a roll of toilet paper just in case Adventure Girl needs it.

I also learned that if you time your stops for every 1.5 - 2 hours to use restrooms, change diapers and sometimes to get everyone a snack you will have a very easy going road trip. I used our stroller to put Adventure Boy in it every time we stopped to use the restrooms.

I had all sorts of entertainment for the kids. Adventure Girl had her Nintendo DS with her along with 4 different games and her travel charger, Adventure Boy had his little laptop , I also had DVD player with their favorite movies and some books. We played counting clouds, shape searching, I spy and we also enjoyed the views. The tip of the surrounding mountains were covered in snow and the contrast with the deep blue skies and sun was simply breathtaking.

Adventure Boy loves drinking milk in his sippy cup and likes it cold so I had a little cooler within arms reach filled with ice and 4 sippy cups with the milk served in them. This was such a fantastic idea that Adventure Dad had, every time Adventure Boy asked for his milk I just reached and handed it to him.

We decided to stop for the day and rest in the Orange County area while visiting family. The next morning after breakfast we continued with our road trip and drove to San Diego and then to Ensenada. It was smooth sailing the entire drive and I am excited for our next road trip whenever it is.

Adventure Mom tip: When traveling always check road conditions and weather at your travel destination and make sure you have at least enough diapers and wipes for 48 hours so that you are not stressed and rushed looking for an open store when you arrive at your destination.

About the photos used: Adventure Girl took all of the pictures except for the one of myself which I took before we began our road trip in the parked at home ;) Don't drive and take photos it is not safe and it distracts you. 


  1. You are so brave! So happy it went so well. My kids do great in the car but I would be afraid to do it alone. Are you liking your new place?

    1. I was a bit worried about the kids on the road trip, since our 2 kids are used to short trips. But now I feel like we can travel! an amazing feeling in all honesty. Specially with plane tickets being so high in price. We are liking our new place, thank you! It's different but nice. :) Thank you for asking... and stopping by.

  2. You are one brave Travel Mama! Way to go, chicca!

    1. Thank you, I have to admit I was surprised at myself when we decided that was the way to make it there for a family event. But in the end I am so glad I did it. I conquered my fear of driving with the kids on the roads.