Taking a Road Trip with Toddlers
Leave at Bedtime
I think one of our best decisions was to leave at my daughter’s bedtime. She stayed awake for a few hours longer than she normally would at home, but after watching a movie on the iPad she fell asleep and slept through the entire drive.
We did put a pull up on her because she typically wears a pull up to bed still and this cut down on the number of times we stopped too. Just make sure your driver is well rested because a night trip like that is not easy, but if you can make it through the night it is awesome for kids.
Technology doesn’t always have to be bad for kids. We have an iPad that we keep Netflix on so that she can watch movies while we are driving (we have portable wifi) and have downloaded several educational apps for her to play.
One of our favorite educational apps is ABC Mouse. It does cost money though. If you do some digging around the app store it is pretty easy to find apps that will teach your toddlers the alphabet, counting, shapes & colors, etc. I’ve found the most through searching “preschool” in the app store.
The best investment we made for road trips or even just longer drives with toddlers is a pair of Bluetooth headphones for kids. They have noise control so that kids can’t hurt their ears by turning the volume up too loud and they don’t have cords that will tangle or get messed up.
She uses them for music, for her educational apps, and to watch movies on the iPad. These are the pair we bought.
Another one of the best things we did was make her a Spotify playlist on our account. In combination with the Bluetooth headphones, we now do not have to listen to Frozen for 12 hours.
You can do this with Pandora too and just create them a Disney station or something similar.
Pack Snacks and Drinks
If you aren’t planning on driving at night, pack snacks and drinks ahead of time for the kids. If not, you will most likely be stopping…a lot. Kids get bored on the trip and want to snack so you are better off just bringing along their favorites.
This also can prevent the kids from eating junkie gas station food the whole time!
I actually have not tried this, but have seen them all over Pinterest. Basically what they are is bags or boxes full of boredom busters to keep kids occupied on long drives. I’ve also seen them in school pencil bags too!
There are TONS of ideas for these so I will just link the Pinterest search so that you can find something that your kiddo will be interested in!
We’re headed on our second 12-hour drive in just a few days so if I come across any other hacks or tips for road trips with toddlers I will be sure to update you!