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How to Survive a Road Trip with a Toddler: 5 Life-Saving Tips

How to Survive a Road Trip with a Toddler: 5 Life-Saving Tips

This weekend we’re taking our toddlers on a 10 hour road trip! 🚗 Subsequently, road trip survival has been on my mind a LOT the past few weeks and I’m equal parts excited / terrified (if I’m being completely honest). Soooo, I’ve combed the internet & polled the moms I admire to come up with the top 5 road trip survival tips and now, I’m sharing them with you! 

What we’re listening to. No, you don’t need to hand your kids the hypothetical Aux cord – no one needs to listen to “Baby Shark” 100 times in a row. But creating a playlist with a mix of songs that you and your kiddos enjoy can be extremely helpful! Sandwich “Shiny” from Moana with a healthy dose of Taylor Swift and N*Sync to get you through. And when you’re starting to get tired of music, consider  turning on an age-appropriate audiobook. They’re an excellent way to keep small minds engaged (and it may even help them doze for a few minutes)! 

Pro-Mom Tip: Use a service like Spotify or a Yoto player where you can download the playlists ahead of time. You don’t want to rely on spotty data reception in the middle of nowhere while your kid is screaming for the “Elsa Song.” 

Screens CAN ride with us. Let's face it; sometimes you need the help of our dear friend, technology. Now, I’m not saying that you should park your child in front of a screen for the entire ride, but a tablet loaded with educational games or favorite shows can be a lifesaver in desperate times. Use technology wisely to make your life easier! If you’re looking for other smart ways to use tech while traveling - check out our wearable GPS tracker. It helps keep tabs on your kid’s location (and more) so you don’t have to stress about getting separated from them on your trip! 

Pro-Mom Tip: Keep a portable charger handy. Dead batteries help no one (I wish I weren’t speaking from experience here). 

Snacks, snacks & more snacks. You've heard it before, but snacks (and a wide variety of them!) are the currency of peaceful road trips. Don't bring just any snacks—bring the GOOD stuff! Think about what your toddler enjoys, doesn’t present a choking hazard for their age and isn’t so sugary they’ll be bouncing off of the minivan walls.  From apple slices to cheese sticks to goldfish and granola bars —pack 'em up in easy-to-reach containers.  It'll buy you at least 30 minutes of blissful silence and, trust me, that’s golden.

Pro-Mom Tip: Pre-cut fruits and portion snacks into individual bags. The last thing you need is to navigate pouring cheerios from the box into a small bag on a windy road. 

Toys on the go. Let your littles pick a toy or two to bring in the car with them! This will hopefully get you started off with a bang because they’re excited about what they brought. Beyond these toys, pack a small box or backpack with toys, books, coloring books, and activities your kid hasn’t seen in a while. The novelty will keep them engaged longer than their "regulars” (but throwing in a few regulars is a good idea too)! 

Pro-Mom Tip: Wrap some of these toys as mini presents and only dish them out when you’re really needing a home run. The joy of unwrapping something can amp up the excitement tenfold! Especially if it’s a new little something-something from the Target Dollar Spot. 

Plan your stops. 
Research fun pit stops along your route - a quick, energy-burning run around a rest area or 20 minutes at a park to eat a snack may just keep everyone’s sanity in check. I like to plan breaks around our bigger meals to get the most out of our out-of-car time, but a quick stop at the gas station to refuel and choose a big sucker can also be the tiny break you need to keep going! 

Pro-Mom Tip:  Even with all the planned stops in the world, your child is still likely to need an unexpected quick stop. Keep some hand sanitizer,  toilet paper & if age allows, a little potty training toilet in your car for the “I need to go NOW” moments. 

Go ahead and make those packing lists, you’re ready for this! Just make sure you include your Littlebird tracker to help track your child’s location, activity, sleep, and moods for perfect peace of mind  - especially on vacation. 

Did you find this blog post helpful? For more parenting gems and to check out how Littlebird Connected Care can add a layer of safety and peace to all of your family adventures, visit our website. Safe travels! 🚗✨