Back in September Andrew and I took the kids to Seaside/Rosemary Beach, Florida. We made the decision to drive for two main reasons: 1. we had a LOT of stuff and it would have been a huge pain to try to check it. 2. It would have taken us probably close to the same amount of time to park, unload, board, fly, depart, rent a car, and drive. So we drove 12 hours each way. I feel like now that we’ve done that I am a pro at surviving road trips with little kids!
5 Tips For Surviving Road Trips With Little Kids
Plan Ahead: Decide if you are going to make lots of stops, stop halfway for the night, what time you’re going to leave, etc. We decided to leave at 3 AM in hopes our kid would sleep in the car- they did not. But we also wanted to be in Florida before dinner and knowing we would need to stop for gas, bathroom breaks, and food, 3 AM was the right time for us. We also knew we wanted to drive straight meaning no long stops. So we planned to stop for lunch, stop for the bathroom, and stop and get gas.
Make the car travel kid-friendly: I have an entire post about car organization hacks that show exactly how I keep my car organized. Basically, I have things they need at reach for them, I make sure they can get to their snacks, or at least we can easily. We brought blankets for them both so if they got cold or needed a cozy they had it.
Surprise them with new toys: These do not have to be expensive toys! Truly just dollar spot, dollar store, easy stuff. We got Liam some new Octonauts toys and coloring stuff and got Charlotte some new books. They were both excited and the toys were fun because it was stuff they hadn’t seen and kept them occupied.
Throw the screen time rules out the window: Listen, we can all say all day that we limit screen time but when you are road tripping with toddlers that completely goes out the window. They had tablets the entire drive. Now Liam did play games some of it but mostly they watched movies.
Pack tons of snacks: This is key! We packed SO MANY SNACKS. You probably would have thought they’d never seen a grocery store again. I wanted to be sure we had plenty. We had dry snacks and also a small cooler with fruits, veggies, and cheese. I didn’t want them just eating junk so this way I had control over healthier options.
Surviving road trips with little kids can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Just make sure you’re prepared and you will be fine!
What would you add to this list?
These are great tips! I’m sure they loved their surprise toys 🙂 And road trip snacks are a MUST at any age!!
So many snacks! We road trip with the kids a lot and are about to again next week. My oldest gets motion sickness so he can’t watch his tablet, but he likes to play with some toy cars in there and we track how many different state plates we can see along the way.
Road trips with small kids can be fun and frustrating. I’m glad I’m past that point in my life.
I used to take a lot of car trips, especially from Maryland to Nebraska. My parents had locks to snacks, toys, MadLibs, and just our imaginations. It was a lot of traveling, but we had fun.
Great tips for surviving long road trips with kiddos! I don’t have any kids of my own, but these sound like very similar to how my sister handles it when she takes a trip with her boys!
Haha I don’t have kids but this brought back so many road trip memories from when I was growing up and it made me think how my parents probably could have benefitted from a guide like this back then. Great tips!