Tuesday, January 22, 2013


This weekend W and I took a road trip to visit my parents and have pictures done.  I know many parents are intimidated by traveling with a baby / toddler, but I believe the key to a successful road trip is planning and conditioning.  I took W on his first road trip when he was about 3 weeks old by myself.  The road trip that would normally take 3 hours took close to 4 because I had to stop and nurse, but was surprisingly easy since he still slept a lot.  I believe that getting your little one use to long car rides early on makes it easier on you in the long run.

I have learned a few tips to keeping your little one happy while road tripping. 

First and foremost is plan to leave about an hour before nap time.  This way your little will have a little bit of play time in the car before your little one passes out.  They will have just enough time to play before they get bored and cranky. 

The next tip is pack a car bag and keep it next to you that way you aren't turning around every five minutes to search for toys that were thrown or sippy cups that disappeared.  I recommend keeping a variety of dry snacks in the bag (animal crackers, dried fruit, puffs, Edamame).  I also HIGHLY recommend packing at least two sippy cups if you are traveling alone.  The sippy cup will be thrown at least once and you will need to pull over to find it if you do not pack an extra one.  You will also need to put toys in the bag.  I try to put a variety of stuffed toys, books and little cars.  Try to avoid balls or anything that can roll.  The LAST thing you want is for a ball to roll under your seat and get caught under your break pedal.  Here is a picture of some of the snacks I packed for this weekend's road trip.

When it comes time to give your child the contents of the bag try not to give them their favorite toys or snacks first.  I like to save these snacks as a last resort because they will help keep your child happier longer in the last leg of the car ride and prevent you from going nuts.

I know many parents have DVD players in their cars which I'm sure is a huge help for long car rides.  W is not a fan of TV so at this point it is not an option for us.

Another thing I have learned is it is best to break up your road trip if at all possible.  I know W can stand up to four hours in the car (if we travel around nap time).  If I try and push it any longer he will have a complete meltdown.  Now that he walks, it is easy to stop for 10 minutes at the rest stop and let him walk around and stretch his legs and eat a meal and get a fresh diaper.

Finally remember that when you arrive at your destination don't worry about unpacking your car right away.  Grab the essentials and allow your little one to roam around burn off some of the pent up energy from the car ride.  If you are staying at a hotel have your swim suits ready for a quick dip as this will burn off the most energy quickest making it easier for you to get settled in. 


  1. These are great tips for travelling with children and I might use this information in our upcoming road trip with my kids. Thank you! :)

  2. Thank you for these wonderful tips, my family prechild (but post furbabies) loved long car trips! It will be great to get kiddo into them sooner than later :)

  3. This is awesome information! I need to do this in mini version on a daily basis... the trip to school/work can sometimes be a challenge. :-/

    Thanks for sharing!

    Kate @ http://seriouslykateblog.blogspot.com

  4. What fabulous information! Leaving a half an hour before naptime is an excellent tip. Thanks for sharing :).

    ♥ Talia