We recently had a long road trip with our toddler. All in the trip would take about 14 hours. In our pre-baby days we would have just driven it in one stretch. But with a toddler we opted for an overnight stay. And two days driving of around 7 hours. Along the way we picked up 5 tips for a road trip with a toddler.
5 Tips for a Road Trip with a Toddler
- Plan to stop somewhere every couple of hours. Even if it is just for 10 minutes to stretch your legs. Ideally though pick out a few nice places to stop. Lay-bys and petrol stations on motorways are never the nicest places to stop.
- But be flexible with your stops. Definitely do not wake a sleeping toddler. Use the nap times to make hay and crack on with the miles. So don’t have your heart set on stopping somewhere particular that you have always wanted to visit. If this is the case, maybe plan a slower journey to accommodate the visit…
- …although your journey is going to be slow anyway. So approach a road trip with a toddler with a changed mind-set. This is no longer about getting from A to a distant B as quickly as possible. Plan to take your time, otherwise it just ends up being stressful. Our 14 hour journey ended up taking around 34 hours, including an overnight stop. Sometimes you just have to stop, however much you would like to plough on. There may be nappies to change, spilt drinks or snacks, random crying that needs investigation and who knows what else.
- Try to avoid the temptation to cram as much in to the car as possible. We always completely fail at this one. But long journeys would be so much more comfortable if the car wasn’t at bursting point. I always end up with stuff piled up around my feet. And every time you open a door a load of bags fall out.
- Hope for a big dose of luck. So many things are out of your control. Just cross your fingers and hope for the best. If you are lucky there will be no traffic jams and your toddler will find a new found joy in staring out the window quietly… Of course that is going to fail. So make sure you have drinks / snacks / a selection of toys to hand.