My family lives exactly 500 miles away, so any time we want to visit, it means an 8+ hour road trip. Traveling with a toddler can be a challenge at times, so here are my tips to make the trip a bit more manageable.
If at all possible, travel at night!! Since my husband is used to working at night, it’s fairly easy for him to stay awake to drive us from point A to point B in the dark. We dress Turner in PJs and typically leave the DFW area around 6 PM. We’ll grab Chick Fil A for Turner to eat in the car to keep him occupied for a while. When he’s done eating, we’ll let him watch Mickey Mouse on the iPad until he falls asleep. He generally does not wake up at all, but if he does start to whine or cry, we’ve learned to crack the sunroof. The white noise typically puts him right back to sleep.
If you can’t travel at night, I recommend at least trying to plan your departure time around your child’s normal nap time. It’s much easier on the little ones if they can sleep for some or all of the trip, so try to plan accordingly.
If you’re traveling during the day, definitely plan to make several rest stops along the way. Check online before you leave for local parks or play areas that are not too far off course. It’s important to give your child a break from the car seat and let them burn off some energy.
Also, pack plenty of snacks! Have a variety of portable snacks that won’t make too big of a mess in the car. We pack a small cooler so that we can keep healthier snacks like apple slices and yogurt pouches, but admittedly, we also eat lots of Cheez-Its!
When we’re in Mississippi, our families live over an hour apart, so we do spend a good deal of time on the road between the 2 places. I have found that the Dollar Spot section at Target is a great place to grab a few new toys to keep Turner occupied during those trips. I just don’t let him see the toys until we’re in the car, so he’s excited to have something new to play with.
What are some of your best travel tips?