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10 Ways To Ensure A Successful Road Trip With A Toddler

Written by Karie Reynolds

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Posted on September 19 2018

tips for roadtripping with a toddler

Last updated July 6, 2022

Summer is a great time to roadtrip to see family and friends. Getting there with a toddler, however, can be a challenge. From trying to keep them entertained in the car to crying for no apparent reason, managing children during a roadtrip can be stressful. To help you avoid these traveling woes, we’ve put together 10 tips to help your child stay entertained and comfortable on the road.

Before you leave

Set yourself up to be safe on the road and get your car checked before you go. When you’re 70 miles from the next gas station, you don't want to find out that your tire pressure is low or you need to refill your coolant because your car is overheating. You may also want to consider investing in roadside assistance for any emergencies you can’t prepare for.

Important things to remember

Before driving away, make sure you have enough toys and books to provide distractions. And don’t forget your child’s favorite stuffed animals and blankies. Having their comfort items can help your kiddos settle down for a nap, which can buy you some much-needed quiet time.

Play car games

Before the advent of cell phones and tablets, family road trips were nearly synonymous with classic car games like “I Spy,” “20 Questions,” and the “Alphabet Game.” These games can also be adjusted to match the abilities of your child. Check out this blog post by Tripsavvy.com titled 9 Classic Car Games That Can Save Your Next Road TripOther games like Tic-Tac-Toe and Hangman can also help break up the driving time. 

Bring on the music

Music and audiobooks are a great way to distract children when they start melting down. Check your streaming service for kid-friendly playlists, and sign up for an audiobooks service before you go.

Use driving time as learning time

Depending on the age of your kids, road trips can be a great opportunity to teach them something new. Whether it’s colors, shapes, or the alphabet, traveling provides an ideal opportunity to teach your children new things while you have their undivided attention on the road. 

Break out the electronics

While electronic entertainment is not always our first choice, sometimes it’s necessary to maintain sanity. Whether your kids want to play games or watch movies, technology makes this simple and affordable. The key to facilitating this entertainment is to plan before you depart. Make sure that your device is updated and loaded with all the entertainment you might need. 

Have snacks and water ready to go

There's nothing worse than traveling with a hungry toddler. They are hard to distract and often quite vocal about their needs. Be sure to pack plenty of healthy snacks like carrot sticks, apple slices, and whole-grain crackers to keep them full and their blood sugar steady. Fill up BPA-free water bottles to make sure your kiddos stay hydrated.

Split up the trip and take breaks

Although you may want to get to your destination as soon as possible, breaking up your trip can help your children (and therefore you) stay sane. If your trip is long, we recommend breaking up your trip over a few days. It may take you longer to get to your destination, but it can help you and your kids to arrive saner and happier. Also, take a couple of breaks each day, preferably at a place where kids can run around like a park or a playground. The movement break will help them release their pent-up energy and make your time on the road go smoother.

Prepare for messes and accidents

When traveling with toddlers, it’s best to plan for some mishaps. If your child is toilet training be sure to have all the supplies you need, including their port-a-potty and a couple of changes of clothing. Wipes are good for more than just toilet training. They’re super helpful to have on-hand if a drink spills or food ends up somewhere it shouldn't. First aid kits are also important to have on hand for minor cuts and scrapes that may happen when you’re pulled over at a park.

Bring along a safety gate

While having a baby safety gate in your vehicle isn’t going to do much in the way of entertaining your child, it can be a crucial part of ensuring a successful road trip. It guarantees that you have a reliable way of accomplishing an important baby-proofing task: restricting access to the stairs. The Stair Barrier’s structurally reinforced gates are lightweight and portable, and they easily roll up to about the size of a yoga mat. When you arrive at your vacation spot, our banister-to-banister gates can be set up in minutes.

a portable safety gate

Need a portable baby safety gate?

Shop The Stair Barrier! Our structurally reinforced gates are lightweight, easy to carry, and portable, meaning you can easily roll up your baby gate, pack it in your car, and install it once you arrive at your home away from home. Additionally, for banister-to-banister stairs, our gates require no drilling or tools for installation. They install in minutes and roll out of the way when not in use. Our portable gates are offered in a wide selection of fabrics including two indoor/outdoor weather and mildew-resistant options. Check out our complete baby gate collection today.

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