4 Tips to Plan a Road Trip with Toddlers

Are you about to plan a road trip with toddlers in your immediate future?

You already know that toddler meltdowns are not going to add a ton of fun to your trip, but don’t let the fear of that meltdown deter you from taking a great family vacation. There are ways that you can be better prepared to head out on your journey.

Enjoy summer travel when you plan for road trips with your toddler.

4 Tips to Plan a Road Trip with Toddlers

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If you are wondering how to prepare and plan a road trip, here are some of our tips for travel with toddlers that you will want to implement in your road trip.

Drive during nap or sleep time. Choose your drive time wisely as it is really nice when the kiddos spend a good portion of the road trip asleep. It is always best to get an early start on a trip anyway, so you are less stressed when things come up along the way.

Try for an early morning start while the kids are still asleep and will stay that way for a while. Help them get comfy by packing kids travel pillows so they will sleep well no matter what time of day it is when they fall asleep.

Bring lots of snacks. Its no secret, snacks are the way to a kids heart and frankly, a hungry, cranky kid in a car is simply no fun.  Make sure to pack healthy snacks such as fruits, nuts, cheese, trail mix, etc. This makes sure to keep the kids comfortable and happy, but not overly hyper from a sugar rush from junk food.


Bring lots of activities for the kids to do throughout the drive. There are tons of great ideas to keep kids busy in the car along the drive. When you plan a road trip including toddlers, think outside the box of the usual toys. Below are some of our favorite ideas that also help give you a break from entertaining the kids all on your own!

  • I have found success with these no mess markers and coloring books. Another great option for drawing are small whiteboards. The whiteboard can be wiped clean over and over again so it can continue to be used throughout the trip.
  • You can also pack a portable TV/DVD player or tablet (as much as you may be trying to avoid screen time, these can be a lifesaver).
  •  Another fun thing to bring is a kid’s digital camera, these are sturdy and will give your kiddo some excitement as she is able to take pictures of your wonderful adventure.
  • You can also create an Adventure Map. Print out a map of your journey (Google Maps or Mapquest would be great for this) and give each of your kids a copy of the map along with a highlighter of their favorite color. With each stop, have them check off the stopping point and give them a reward for “finding” the destination. It will be like a fun treasure map that will keep them intrigued the entire trip.

Plan for lots of stops. Making sure to put quite a few stops into your trip will lessen the number of meltdowns that you are likely to experience. Kids need to potty (or be changed if still in diapers), and they need to burn off some energy. Stopping at a large rest area or at a park to let them run around and have fun eases the stress of them being stuck in their car seat for too long.

These are great tips for when you begin to plan a road trip with toddlers in tow. No matter what your destination, these will help make your next vacation easier to manage!

More Travel Tips:

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8 Amusement Park Safety Tips for Families

Great tips!! Need help to plan a road trip with toddlers? Road trips are a great option for family travel, but you might be wondering how to keep little kids busy in the car. Check out these tips to help save your sanity and enjoy your vacation.

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