Baby & Toddler Road Trip Tips – The 5Rs!

road trip tips, toddler road trip tips, tips for road trips with toddlers, road trips with toddlers, toddler road trip

Baby & Toddler Road Trip Tips… They All Start with R!

road trip tips
Don’t laugh, it’s roomy 😉

Think your parents researched road trip tips? I think everyone has a memory of at least one family road trip. Piled into the family station wagon, safely buckled in and taking turns singing harmonies of “Row Row Row Your Boat” in between neatly munching healthy snacks. No?

How about pinching, bickering, and hogging the one Sony Walkman in a seat that’s sticky from spilled juice with the vague scent of vomit wafting by occasionally (this being a time pre-Febreze).

More like it? Me too 🙂

And let’s not even discuss my dad smoking in the car…

In spite of my less-than-fond memories of the sweaty summer road trip (pre-AC as well!) we hit the highway every year.

We’ve learned that the best tips for road trips with babies and toddlers all begin with R…

Family Road Trip Tips #1 – Research

Don’t just rely on Google maps or other online map generators. Find a bit of time to really check out possible routes that may not be the quickest, but could be the most interesting. You’ll have to make more stops now than when you hit the road pre-kids. So, why not make those stops fun or even educational. Although truck stops and greasy spoons can be fun too.

A few more things to consider… There are some fun and helpful apps for your phones and GPS.  Familiarize yourself in advance and you won’t be frustrated trying to figure them out while all the lovely scenery is whizzing by!

Family Road Trip Tips #2 – Repair

How much would it suck to have a car packed full with belongings and kids stuck on the side of the highway. What if your car troubles could have been prevented with proper maintenance? Leading up to your trip, get your car serviced, with fluid levels checked and tires balanced. The day before you leave, double-check the tire pressure and make sure your membership with a roadside assistance provider is up to date.

Family Road Trip Tips #3 – Reach

What good are those handy-dandy snack packs, travel games, or stash of wipes if you can’t safely reach them from your seat? Who wants to scramble when a spill inevitably happens? Prepare a bag specifically for addressing these needs while en route and make sure …

A) you know exactly where it is in the car,  and

B) you can reach it without unbuckling your seat belt. And wherever you go, always make sure you have wipes and hand sanitizer nearby.

Family Road Trip Tips #4 – Rest

Many opt to drive ’round the clock to maximize vacation time and minimize time spent in the car. This sounds good on paper. And try to make sure that everyone in your party is rested, not just the driver! Pulling the kids out of their beds and plunking them in their car seats sounds like an ideal way to gain ground when they’re asleep. That trick just might not work for you (it didn’t for us). If you’re driving in shifts, make sure you can actually sleep in the car if you’re on the second shift. It would be highly unpleasant (not to mention dangerous) to be a busy passenger for 10 hours and then take the wheel yourself.

Family Road Trip Tips #5 – Relax

Road rage and rude gestures 20 minutes into your 20-hour drive is not the way to start your vacation. Yes, please don’t forget it’s a vacation and getting there may not be half the fun but it need not be a nightmare. Take a deep breath and laugh at the little things.

The jerk that just cut you off is likely not going to be spending quality time with their family anytime soon. You already are.

Driving vs Flying

With so many families now opting to drive instead of fly these days, make your journey a fun one for your brood.

Hopefully your kids’ memories of family vacations will be as idyllic as you hope your trip will be! And hopefully your memories will allow you to look back at the bumps on the road and laugh.

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10 Responses to Baby & Toddler Road Trip Tips – The 5Rs!

  1. Südtirol at #

    thx very helpful article.. i remember all holidays in our fathers station wagon 😉

  2. Anthony at #

    After my last family road trip i am certain to take the plane every single time i’ll travel in the future! 🙂

  3. I liked most of the Road Trip Tips of yours, especially categorizing the tips in various categories like Relax, Rest, Repair etc. (the 5 Rs).

    Rest and Relax is very important in a Road Trip especially if it’s a solo road trip. Long back I had been on a month long solo road trip and I do feel your tips are right on the spot. I highly recommend this post of yours.

  4. Great Tips for a Road Trip. I will like to add that please carry a Navigation device that has strong GPS reception.

  5. Donald C. Ogden at #

    I always drive, after Vietnam I had enough bad experiences with flying. Your tips are great right on the money. The wife and I had an idea that worked, the night before we left we let the kids stay up as long as they wanted. We usually leave about 7:00 AM from Davenport Ia. the kids get up all excited but fade after about 2 hours and all are asleep. That makes an easier drive the first day. We always stop at Dalton Ga. It’s about half way to Fort Lauderdale. We love the drive, this is my therapy.

  6. Martin at #

    Great tips, thanks for sharing.

    Also do not forget buy a car insurance.

  7. Edward at #

    Great sharing. Your 5Rs are really easy to remember. After read through this, I realized I’ve spent too much time in the car and most of them are unnecessary. I better make a plan to minimize it in our next family trip. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Jerry at #

    Nice tips for a road trip. Informative blog. Next time if I will go on a trip, I will take care of these points. Thanks for sharing!


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