Road Trips are an old Time favourite way for many To go on vacation. However bored, restless or hungry Toddlers can make your Trip a real challenge. After many Trial and errors, we finally completed our Toolbox of Tips and Tricks To make Travelling easier.
Keep Them comfortable and cool
During summer it can get quite hot in the car, especially when your kids are still sitting in a car seat. Even when The air conditioning is up and running, The kids can get really sweaty with a enjoying Toddler as a result. So how To avoid This? First of all I recommend To dress Them in comfortable light clothing, ideally made of natural materials, cotton or merino wool. Cotton or merino wool clothing ventilates and isolates much better Than any synthetic material. In addition you can use an air layer, which will stop your little one becoming hot and sweaty. Air layers work with a honeycomb structure, which creates a cushion of air between your little one and The car seat. Equally important is The use of sun blinds on The side windows next To your kids. Nothing is worst Than having The sun shining in your eyes, same counts for you little ones.
Last but not least I always Travel with a woollen blanket in The car. Even when it is hot during The day, Toddlers can cool down very fast when The outside Temperature is dropping. In That case you have something you can reach out To Them without changing Their entire outfit.
👉 My Tip: in case you use and air layer, you can use it not only in The car but also in The stroller or maxi cosy.
👉 My Tip: in case you use sun blinds a make sure you use one That will not harm your child in case of an accident. Try To avoid hard roller shades.
Travel in The early morning and The evening
Personally I prefer To do as many kilometres as possible when Little T is asleep. We are lucky as driving at night is not an issue for us, but not everybody will like this or is able To drive at night. If your get easily Tired This is an absolute no go, no matter how many friends will recommend This approach. Good Thing is That There are other options:
- You can decide To leave very early in The morning, drive for a few hours, have a breakfast stop as soon The kids are awake and drive on for an extra hour of Two. Spend The day somewhere nice and start covering you remaining kilometres in The late afternoon, early evening. You can easily cover 8 or 9 hours of driving without being in The car all day.
- Another option is leaving in The late afternoon, driving for a couple of hours, making a dinner stop along The way, before you cover The rest of your kilometres. If you are prepared To drive Till midnight, you will be able To cover 6 or 7 hours of driving.
👉 My Tip: when Traveling in The early morning, leave your little ones in Their pyjamas’s. They can get dressed during your breakfast stop, so There is not need To wake Them up,
Have an emergency plan in place for when you get stuck in Traffic jam
Unfortunately you will not be The only one on The road, especially not during summer holiday season. My advise: be prepared at all Times, even when you do not expect any Traffic at all. Make sure you have at all Times an extra stash of food, drinks and entertainment with you and place it where it is easily accessible.
😬 small anecdote: I will not easily forget our first Trip To Italy with Little T, almost 3 years ago. We decided To drive at night To avoid any Traffic jams. Unfortunately, The Gotthard Tunnel was closed for maintenance and all Traffic was directed over The pass, which was subject To roadworks at The same Time. A Tourist buss got stuck on The pass and we had To wait quite a while before anything moved again. Of course Murphy’s law had To kick in, it was midnight and Little T decided To wake up as soon as we hit The Traffic jam, screaming he was hungry. In The end we reached out destination with a delay of more Than 3 hours. So from That day on I always have a small bag in The front of The car with some healthy snacks, water and small Things To play with.
Snacks and drinks
Very important is To keep your kids sufficiently hydrated during The Trip. Especially when it is hot in The car but also in case you use air conditioning, kids should drink sufficient. So Take a leak free drinking bottle with you and plenty of water. Little T likes his camelback re-usable water bottle, but There are plenty of other brands on The market That will do The Trick. In addition do not forget To pack sufficient snacks. From my experience kids complain more easily about being in The car Than somewhere else.
👉 My Tip: I can not stress out The importance of healthy snacks That are low in sugar. Sugary snacks will make you little ones hyper active, which will cause issues on moments They can not physically loose Their energy. I am a big fan of Taking carrot or cucumber sticks along. It is healthy, not sticky and contains a lot of water To keep Them super hydrated. Furthermore I always have some yummy biological fruit pouches with me. I rather give Those Than messing with an oranges or strawberries in The car. Last but not least all kids love cookies so with a healthy variation you will always score.
Spend some Time with The kids
Maybe you already Think That a long car ride is boring, imagine what it must feel like for your kids. Turn your Travel Time into quality Time and prepare a few activities and games. Make a map of The road Trip so your little ones can follow where They are. Make use of stickers or little presents when arriving at one of The pre-defined key points. Play a quiz, There are some great instruction books and cards for That. In addition bring along your kids favourite songs or audio books.
👉 My Tip: Audio books are a great invention and nowadays There is an entire collection you can download from The online stores on The internet, suitable for practically all ages. Little T is very much into Peppa Pig for The moment, so Those audio books were an excellent investment. Listen Together, laugh and before you know it you will arrive at your destination.
Toys for The kids
Entertainment is key when Traveling with young kids, doesn’t matter if you Travel by car, plane or Train. Maybe The Type of Toys you’ll need To Take vary a little bit, especially because kids who are strapped In a car seat will have less freedom To play. So Think smart and go for magnetic Toys or small pop up books. An iPad will also be a welcome gadget for The kids, however we Try To limit screen Time as much as possible In case you want To read more about our Top Ten Travel Toys and apps for Toddlers, click on The following links:
For babies, I would recommend finger puppets, soft baby books and Toys That come with a mirror.
Travel potty and extra clothing
Maybe your Toddler is already well potty Trained, however in case your little one needs To go urgent and There are no possibilities To stop, accidents can happen. Travel potty’s are a great invention. In case it is urgent you do not need To look for a toilet and your little one can sit in a comfortable position while he does what he needs to do. In addition we do not go anywhere without our Piddle Pad protector in The car seat. This waterproof seat liner are waterproof and a good invention for newly potty Trained Toddlers. It will prevent any damage To The car seat in case of little accidents.
👉 My Tip: a extra set of clothing can come in handy + a plastic zipper bag for The dirty clothes.
Obvious To Take along, but sometimes easily forgotten. Make sure you have your baby’s medication easily reachable. In addition it is always useful To Take medication against Travel sickness along, just in case. Discuss up front with your doctor, which medication is best suitable for your baby or Toddler;
When we are Traveling by plane, Travel documents will not be easily forgotten as showing Them is almost The first Thing To Do when you arrive at The airport. In case you Travel by car, make sure you have all The right identification papers of your entire family with you. Check up front which documents are required. In addition do not forget To Take The details of your Travel insurance along.
Safety in The car
When going on holiday by car, safety is a key aspect To Think about. For instance many parents don’t know That it is not recommended for small baby’s To sit in Their car seat for hours. Many car seat manufactures even recommend That a baby should not be in a car seat for longer Than 2 hours within a 24 hour period. This To avoid development issues on Their spine and respiratory problems. All very annoying when you need To drive more Than 10 hours To reach your destination. Think about buying or renting a bassinet car seat with isofix. The basinet will use up more car space Than a regular car seat, but at least you mitigate The health risks. In case you decide To use a regular car seat and you end up driving longer Than expected, check on your baby regularly especially when he or she is asleep. Use a mirror To monitor your baby or even better, sit next To your little one so you can keep your baby’s head in The right position during nap Time.
In addition you will have a bunch of useful toys and other equipment in your car To keep your kid entertained and well fed and hydrated. Make sure These items can not become projectiles which can hurt your little one in case of a car crash. Make sure you provide soft Toys and store drinking bottles and other items properly when There are not used. Sometimes parents do not realise how dangerous a bottle of water can be in case of an accident, even at low speed.
The key To successful car Travel is To be well prepared, choosing your entertainment wisely and To stop on a regular basis To let your kids get sufficient exercise.
Hopefully These Tips will help you To get The perfect kick off for your holiday!
Tittle T’s Mom and dad