In just two weeks, I went on two long distance car trips with my almost two-year-old daughter. The first trip was 5.5 hours one way, the second around 7 hours (with border crossing). Having long trips in such a small span of time I learned a few tips on how to travel with a toddler by car.
How To Travel With a Toddler By Car: Road Trips and Long Distances
Have different activities.
Having a few different activities we could pass back to Baby Girl (BG) helped curb any boredom meltdowns. These activities do not need to be fancy. BG loved ‘reading’ magazines and would flip through the pages and rip them up. We also gave her a sand bucket and large fish toys and she would shake them around and put them in the bucket and then on her lap.
Snacks are a must. We made sure we had her favourites on hand – strawberries, crackers and chocolate milk – so she would eat and drink lots. Just be careful you give a balanced assortment with snacks and food on the road. Road trip food is notoriously unhealthy and you do not want any bowel issues. We learned this the hard way when BG got constipated on our second trip.
Kids need to run around so make sure you stop every few hours to change diapers, have potty breaks and let your kids run. Most rest stops now have grassy areas. Bring a small inflatable ball and you can play soccer or pass the ball around for 15 minutes. Just make sure the area is clean before you play.
Drive at night.
If you can swing it drive after dinner. Not only will there be less traffic but there is more of a chance your little one will sleep through the whole trip. If you are going to drive at night make sure you are well rested and there is someone that can share the driving with you if needed.
We live in a rural farming community and to go into the city we need to drive almost an hour. BG is used to being in the car for longer periods at a time. As they say ‘practice makes perfect’.
Please share your long distance driving tips below.