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10 Tips for Surviving a Road Trip with Toddlers

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Road trip season is finally here! Which means it’s time to pack up your bags, grab your GPS, and plan an amazing road trip with kids. Taking a road trip with the toddler is always an adventure! Long car rides with toddlers need preparation and planning in order for everyone to have a great time! If you want to make sure your road trip goes as smoothly as possible, here are 10 survival tips for traveling with toddlers on a road trip.

Bring more snacks than you think you need

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The Yumbox is hands-down the best way to pack snacks on vacation!

Everyone knows that the key to a toddler’s heart is carbohydrates! The most important item to pack on your road trip with a toddler is a TON of snacks. Bring a wide variety, as you never know which items will be a hit, especially if you have a picky toddler. We usually pack a variety of fruits, veggies, crackers, cheese, and some treats.

We LOVE using the YumBox when we travel with our kids. The YumBox is the perfect snack container for little ones that like variety. You can pack these up in advance and have your toddler be able to access their own snacks on the road. In order a reduce spills, a car seat tray can be really helpful. We love this one, that has space for a snack container and some other activities as well.

Stay on top of trash

Nobody wants hang out in a car full of trash, and no one wants to clean up said trash. Stay on top of things by throwing out the trash at every pitstop, and keeping a car trash can ready for the road. This car trash can has been SO helpful to have in our car, not only just for road trips!

It helps to clean behind the car seat before and after your trip. We all know that lots of garbage like to hang out in the cracks behind the seat and staying on top of it will make it easier to keep your car clean.

Plan for stops

Stops are going to happen. Whether someone has to use the bathroom or you just need to stretch your legs. Instead of getting down about not “making great time” enjoy the stop and make a great time out of it instead

If you can find stops that are ideal for play try to stop there when you need to! Picnic spots are a great place for kids to run around and a way to get out of the car for your next meal.

Map out your route ahead of time and try to plan stops in advance! You can use the website RoadTrippers to find the best spots along your route. This helpful program will show you all the best attractions, accommodations and food stops along your route. You can even plan the trip with friends. We love using the RoadTrippers app for our trips!!

Come prepared with toddler car games

We definitely use our fair share of electronics on long road trips but even electronics will only go so far with curious and impatient kids. Having some fun road trip games packed will not only be good for the kids, it will help the road trip feel like part of the fun.

There are our tried and true road trip games:

Pack a toddler friendly playlist

Although you may not want to listen to baby shark for the entire journey, your kids probably won’t want to listen to your tunes either. We use Amazon music to stream music on the go and love their kid-friendly playlists. My kids always go crazy for Kidz Bop and Disney hits.

Don’t feel guilty about a little screen time

Screens can be a lifesaver on a road trip! This can allow your kids to watch movies or play games while you enjoy a little peace and quiet. We bring our iPads and child-friendly cases and make sure to download a few movies and TV shows in advance on Netflix.

Stay organized

Use organizers and systems to keep your car organized while you are traveling. This will make it easy to keep track of everything and help you find things quickly.

Here are our favorites:

Keep your kids and your cargo separate

If the luggage is where your kids can reach, it will not only limit their small space, but they will go through the suitcase. Trust me on this one.

Pack a cooler if you can

Packing a cooler with meals and snacks is a lifesaver! You can end the argument of where do you want to eat and when! We have this cooler that also acts as a middle seat organizer and love it for our long road trips.

Save some treats for the way back

Don’t bust out all your hand-made activity bags, special treats or toys for the way there, they way back is going to be just as tough! We always pack a few small dollar store toys and activities to bring out for the car ride back, so that we can bring new life to the trip home.

Regardless where you are traveling to on your next road trip, I hope these tips have inspired you to take back your road trip sanity and enjoy your trip.

road trip pin

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