Quick and Easy Road Trip Tips for Traveling with Babies and Toddler
These quick and easy ideas will help you plan for your next road trip with your baby or toddler and make sure you have the right things within arms reach.
Start with Everyone Ready to Go
- For babies - start with a baby who is fed and has a clean diaper. Make sure you have your diaper changing gear in an easy to access place.
- For bigger kids - make sure everyone goes to the bathroom before you leave the house
- For everyone - keep a change of clothes nearby and not buried in your suitcases. Trust me on this one.
For toddlers who are potty training or recently potty trained, consider bringing a small portable potty for urgent needs to go to the bathroom.
We had this one from IKEA and it was so nice to be able to just pull over on the side of the road or a rest stop. It makes stops quicker and less stressful than waiting in line at a gas station. This also works great for visits to parks and playgrounds because you never know what kind of bathroom you will find there.
Plan for Breaks
Look at your route ahead of time and see if there is a park or playground that you can stop at to stretch and get some fresh air. This is a really fun way to experience some new places on your drive.
There a few apps that help with this, but I've always had the best luck just googling playground or park + name of town and then looking at the map to see which playground we would like to try. Even the smallest towns usually have a small park.
Don't forget to get your baby out of their car seat
Remember it is just as important for babies to get out of their car seats and move around as it is for kids and adults. It is recommended that you take babies out of their car seats every 2 hours. A good blanket or our Lay and Play Adventure Mat is great to have on hand because they are easy and small enough to pack in the car and give your baby a perfect place to stretch, roll and play while older kiddos run around the park or playground.
Have a Food Plan
I've found that it is worth it to think about where you might eat and and to have plenty of bottles and snacks ready to go before you head out on your road trip. If you are traveling for several hours, you may want to pack a picnic for one meal like lunch and plan to eat dinner at a restaurant or visa versa.
Packing an easy picnic for your kiddos can help avoid meltdowns and hangry kids, especially if you aren't sure what kind of eating establishments you will find on your way. The predictably of "known" foods for little kids is sometimes worth the time it takes to pack up the picnic ahead of time.
Snacks and Bottles
If your baby takes a bottle, make up some bottles ahead of time and keep them in a small cooler that is easy to access without digging around in the trunk.
For bigger kids who can eat independently, keep snacks in an easy to access spot so your bigger kids can reach them without you having to stop the car.
Keep Everything Within Arms Reach
If you take one tip away from this article, it is to keep the things that you will need while you are driving close by and not buried in the back of the car. It's no fun to have to dig through all of your bags or even open a suitcase to find what you need during the drive.
Here are a few things that I always make sure to have accessible during our road trips:
- Books and easy car toys
- Snacks and bottles
- Extra clothes