How to Road Trip with a Toddler


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I thought we were ready for a four-hour road trip. We rented a vehicle that seated all of us. We packed the necessary amount of diapers and wipes and packed a separate bag for a set of changing clothes in case of an accident or diaper blowout. We even packed food pouches for a quick snack for the children in between stops. 

Use these tips when taking a road trip with toddlers.However, I was not prepared for the emotional breakdown of a 15-month-old during the road trip.

Her behavior was in far contrast to my son’s disposition. The difference in demeanor was vast between my two-year-old son and my 15-month-old daughter. Now I can see how a road trip with a toddler can quickly turn a sweet child into having a case of road rage.

Prepare for a road trip with a toddler.My sister purchased a head rest device that held the cell phone so the kiddos could watch movies — and for that I was grateful. That device was a saving grace during the road trip! Along with that, I picked up some tips along the way that may help us (and you!) for future trips.

  1. Purchase an activity table. This is the kind of tray table that will attach to the car seat for eating time and for play time. It allows the toddler to have the items right in front of them. 
  2. Allow time for stretching. My sister had a great idea. When we stopped for gas or a restroom break, she allowed our son some running time in the parking lot. He needed to stretch his legs and burn some of the stored energy. He enjoyed his time running around and he was ready for the rest. 
  3. Make time for more breaks and diaper changing. We are in transition for potty training with my son. It is a difficult task to encourage potty training while traveling. We didn’t take in account that more water and or juice they have, the more diaper changing time we will need. We did learn that the hard way, which leads me to tip number four. 
  4. Pack extra clothes. This seems like an obvious suggestion, but I didn’t prepare. I was thinking to myself: How could I not pack for a possible accident. Believe it or not, it happened with them both. 

Overall, the family road trip was awesome and fun, even though the occasion we were traveling for was sorrowful. We had a wonderful family-bonding road trip. In the end, I learned through trial by fire and was, in fact, grateful for the toddler road-rage experience. 

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