6 tips for successful road trips with toddlers

Since arriving at my parents house, I’ve felt like summer has officially hit and it’s time to par-tay. My parents live on a lake and with the constant sounds of fast boats, screaming tubers, and water hitting the rocks, I’ve entered into my own little paradise. 
However, my days of laying out for hours and baking my skin to a golden brown are long gone. These days, I spend my time chasing Bubba around to reapply sunblock or catch him before he jumps in the lake. Although I wish I could lay down and relax for a little bit, there’s something about watching his eyes light up when we build a sand castle or jump up and down in the water. 
Since we had to drive in from upstate NY, I’ve compiled a list of tips for driving with a toddler. These may not work for everyone but they literally saved my life during the six hour drive by myself!
1. Leave at the right time: We decided to wake Bubba up early in the morning so that he would be tired and fall back asleep in the car. Boy did it work! He was only awake for the first 30 minutes of the ride before passing out for a couple of hours! By the time he woke up, it was the perfect chance to stop, eat lunch, stretch our legs, and hit the road again! Try planning your departure time around their sleeping schedule, whether early morning, nap time, or bed time. 
2. Pack snacks: LOTS of snack. I packed easy things like pretzels, graham crackers, fruit snacks, grapes, and string cheese. This way, I could just hand things back to him when he requested. 
3. Pack a few different juice cups: Bubba accidentally dropped his juice cup a few times and being the only driver, I had to stop each time and locate it. In the future, I plan to pack a few different cups so that I can just hand them to him should that situation arise. 
4. Be patient: Luckily for me, Bubba behaved SO well throughout our trip. As someone who doesn’t like to stop, I now have to be prepared to stop more frequently and expect the travel time to increase. As long as you worry more about keeping the little one happy and less about making good time, your trip should be a breeze. 
5. Invest in a iPad or Kindle: When Bubba started to get a little antsy and ready to get out of his car seat, I turned on Elmo’s World and voila, silence again! Have plenty of movies or shows stocked up on your device and hope that they’re distracted enough to stay still the duration of the trip. 
6. Invest in a roomy car: If it’s one thing I can’t stand on road trips it’s being cramped. As a one car family, we’re currently in the market for a second and larger car. We’ve been considering the Kia Sorento and with our upcoming move (and growing family), we hope  this will make traveling a little easier on us all!
Like I said, these tips all worked for me but it may vary depending on the age of your child. Patience is your best friend when traveling; keep your expectations low and your patience high and you will have a recipe for success every time 🙂 


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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