7 Best Tips for Toddler Car Travel

Last updated on February 20th, 2019 at 06:27 pm

Road trips. Remember having this before becoming a mom?

The sheer fun of just listening to music, snacking then dozing off. Stretching your legs on bathroom breaks during stop overs? Ahh, those are the good times of single life.

How about the greater times of mom life? Your road trips with a toddler? Hmm, remembering my last one, I have this quote to sum it all up.

The journey, Not the destination matters
– T.S Eliot

The long and tiring journey! Can I please just drive the whole time instead of trying to entertain and clean up this little one in the backseat? I am a no vomit girl all my life on road trips but the amount of duties a mom gets to do while traveling with a toddler is exhausting to the point that I am feeling carsick.

It was from this case that I’ve come up with a game plan for every time we’re in for one long ride. To save both the baby and mommy’s sanity. And everyone in the car actually.

Let me share some of my tried and tested tips on traveling with a toddler.

7 Best Tips for Toddler Car Travel

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Ways To Survive A Toddler Car Travel

1. Bring plenty of snacks and water

You need many variations of snacks. From cookies, chips, pretzels and more. Throw in some skittles and chocolate too. A little bit of everything to get the kid nibbling and munching.

Before the road trip, make sure that the kid ate with just enough but not too much to avoid full throw ups due to car sickness. The snacks is just another form of entertainment actually.

Water is best instead of juices to avoid too much sugar as you never want a hyper kid inside a cramp vehicle.

2. Let your kid wear temporary road trip clothes

Since you aim for him to look nice once you reach your destination, the best way to achieve this is to put him in a temporary clothes while traveling to save his final clothes from throw ups and other mess.

Make sure to bring lots of extra clothes (top, shorts, underwear) just to be prepared.

3. Get your cleaning aids handy

Tissues, wet wipes, alcohol and garbage bag is a must. Also, expect your car to become sticky, messy and somewhat smelly during the trip.

Bring in another set of small plastic to catch on vomit and put in the dirty clothes.

For more parenting tips, please see related posts.

4. Offer toys and other forms of entertainment

If possible, this is the best time to introduce him to a new toy to hold his attention longer. Don’t forget to bring his favorite, reliable toys so you’re ready when he remember and demands for it.

Get his familiar and favorite songs playing in the car for some sing along time.

5. Bring a pillow and a blanket

Some time in the trip you’ll finally be rewarded for your efforts and the kid sleeps. Ensure his comfort and longer down time with a pillow and a blanket.

Some kids cannot sleep without their security blanket or favorite toys with them. Make sure you have that.

6. Stop and get some fresh air

If the kid gets too cranky it means he’d been cooped up long enough. The solution is to stop, get some fresh air and give him freedom to do toddler things.

Never ever leave your child alone in the car! You’ve seen the horror stories in the news and would never want that to happen to you.

7. For the parents, prioritize your needs too

If you need a medicine to avoid car sickness while dealing with a toddler, take one.

Tip: Drive thru, if available is the best thing ever!

For more toddler activity ideas, please see my related posts

Like anything else, planning is key. Being prepared for a trip will make it much bearable.

Toddlers and road trip aren’t the best combo, just make the best of it and look forward to your destination.

Happy trip! Enjoy the journey with these tips for toddler travel.

Ways To Survive Traveling by Car with your Toddler

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To the more experienced moms reading this, any suggestions that I can add here? Let me know in the comments below.

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20 Responses

  1. Lots of fab ideas here. I’m really lucky though as my two little ones don’t mind long journeys at all. But always good to have ideas on keeping them entertained x x

  2. These are great tips for traveling with toddlers! My son will be one next week and we have a few trips planned this year so I will keep these tips in mind!

  3. I have been trying to avoid long trips with my toddler as much as possible… BUT when that day comes, I will definitely come back to this post and make sure that I am fully prepared!! Thanks for all the ideas!

  4. Great advice! I have an almost 4 year old daughter and sometimes taking trips can be a nightmare, but after a few years you start to learn what is the best way to deal with your particular little monst–I mean toddler 😉

  5. My oldest is my ride or die on long road trips, he’s in it for the long haul. When my youngest was born I knew he would be different and I was right. He was so hard to keep happy on long road trips! These are great ideas, thanks for sharing!

  6. I love these tips for traveling with a toddler! I especially agree with the cleaning supplies!

  7. Love this post! I am going to be travelling with baby soon and will keep these tips in mind 🙂

  8. This is interesting to me bc I am unable to take a 10 minute car ride due to my kid hating the car so much. I give toys, snacks, water, play music, talk to her, sing and she just ends up a wailing hot mess. I cant even imagine going anywhere long distance. Any tips for me?

  9. Yes, great tips. We always use temporary clothes because you never know what will happen before you arrive at your location.

  10. I liked the second tip!! I didn’t get car sick but had food poisioning a few times as a kid and my sister got sick so my parents always had to do that 😂😂😂 it’s probably something I’ll do once Sophia reaches a toddler…. she spits up enough now I usually need to pack 6 or 7 diaper shirts lol

  11. Yes! We have three girls so we’ve learned most of these tips by trial and error. All great tips. We also learned that it takes us about twice as long as the actual trip now that we have kids. For really long car trips (like when we drove to Florida from Virginia), we drive about halfway (or as far as we can), stay overnight in a hotel and travel the rest of the way the next day.

    It’s a little more of a monetary expense but it saves a LOT of sanity for everyone.

  12. These are great tips! We’ve only been on one road trip with our little one, but we timed it for his bedtime so he slept all four hours!

  13. These are great car riding tips! We take a trip regularly back home once a month, 2 hours in the car. Sometimes at night, after a long day. It’s rough, but these tips are amazing and so true. Snacks! So many snacks!!!

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7 Best Tips for Toddler Car Travel

by MomNessly time to read: 3 min