An Uncomplicated Life Blog: 5 Road Trip Hacks For Traveling With Infants and Toddlers

nav

Monday, August 12, 2019

5 Road Trip Hacks For Traveling With Infants and Toddlers

Traveling with young kids? Use these 5 road tip hacks to make your next road trip easier!


I'll be honest: I'm not a big fan of road trips. I remember taking them as a kid. We'd drive to the Black Hills of South Dakota, which is a 13+ hour drive from Minneapolis. We drove to Yellowstone National Park. We even went all the way to the Grand Tetons in a Honda Civic! Perhaps it was being a tall family cramped into a little car but I tell you what - if it's over 4 hours of driving, I'm going to go ahead and just fly. Which is great... Except when you have four kids. All in car seats. I now understand why my parents did road trips, because for airfare, we're looking at $3,000. Plus an upgraded car rental that will fit all of us. Plus lugging all those car seats... Yes, I now definitely understand why my parents did road trips! I'm still not a huge fan of them, but we're taking the kids down to Galveston for a summer beach vacation. Here are my best road trip hacks for when you're traveling with infants and toddlers for an extended period of time. *Affiliate links used*

My first hack is to go BIG. If you don't have a large car/SUV, rent one. I happen to drive the largest SUV you can get (because four tall boys, all in car seats...) so we were set there. Even so, we bought a roof rack attachment (we got these roof rack crossbars and this carrier and it worked out really well - highly recommend, especially if you have a large SUV!) so that we'd have extra space for luggage and all the inevitable gear that comes with having four kids under the age of five. My sister, her husband and their 14 month old were also joining us from Boston, so we packed extra gear for them since they flew, like people with a reasonable number of children do for long distances. You'll never regret the extra space and you won't miss the gas money, but you will hate the trip if you're crammed and you will miss the gear you weren't able to pack in a smaller car. Just go big. Trust me.

Two blonde boys in car seats smiling while they listen to headphones in a three row SUV on a road trip

In car entertainment: Plan for regular changes to keep things interesting. I have an entertainment system in my car, which means drop down TVs and ear phones to contain noise. We can do DVD's in the center console or we can stream our Apple TV/iTunes purchases through a phone. That's pretty bad on data (although I do have a wifi hotspot in my car too... fancy!) so we decided the boys could each pick out a DVD to bring for each leg of the trip; we brought five or six DVDs total for them to watch there and back. If you don't have an entertainment system installed like mine, I highly recommend this portable DVD player. It has a remote so that you can control it from the front seat! You don't want to have to pull over every time your kids push a button or need tech help so that's a great feature, especially if you have young children like mine. The screen swivels to it's easier for more than one kid to watch, too.

5 Road trip hacks for traveling with infants and toddlers:

  • Go BIG. Rent a larger SUV if you don't have one. You'll welcome the space!
  • In-car entertainment: bring DVDs with headphones so your kids can watch movies and leave you in peace.
  • Pack a variety of activity bags. Stickers, coloring books, dry erase boards, and magnetic drawing boards are all great options. 
  • Get a set of infant toys and put 2-3 in your baby's car seat, then change them out every so often for a "new" toy for them.
  • If you can, limit the hours you drive each day to what your children can tolerate before meltdowns happen. If you can't, plan long breaks to get your kids out of the car.


Activity bags for toddlers full of stickers, magnets, a firehouse themed dry erase board all in ziplock bags to hand them on long road trips

I'm not a big fan of letting my kids zone out all day in front of a screen, so in addition to their special movies, I packed several "to do" bags in large Ziplock bags. One included an activity book with stickers and markers that only show the color on the page your child is coloring on. I have leather so the stickers would be easy to peel off my seats and the marker wouldn't show on any hands or leather. I got several options, so as they got bored with what they were playing with, I could consistently present them with new options.

Baby in a car seat with toys for a long road trip

My infant twins didn't have access to a TV screen because they're rear facing and... They're nine months old and don't watch movies. For them, we put 2-3 toys in the car seat with them. When those got old, we gave them empty water bottles with a few pennies in them to crinkle and shake. Yes, it was loud, but screaming infants is louder and you'd be shocked at just how entertaining empty water bottles are! If you're road tripping with babies, I recommend putting a few toys in their seat with them and having some spare toys to change out to when the first set get old. This is a pretty solid, well rounded set with a ton of options at a great price point. The good news is, with babies, they tend to sleep a lot with the road noise and movement of the car. Our twins slept a solid half to two thirds of the trip!

My final hack that made the trip bearable, dare I say fun even, is capping out the travel time each day. GPS told us it was 4 hours and 47 minutes from our home in Dallas to Galveston Island, our vacation destination. With kids, that meant about 6 hours with a stop for lunch and a bathroom break or two. My kids are five, three and a half and nine months old, and I'll tell you what, 6 hours of drive time in the car was about the absolute max before everyone was melting down. It is NOT fun to drive with kids who are melting down! So given your children's ages, I'd plan your driving distance over the number of days you need so everyone stays sane. My nine month old twins really maxed out at about 5 hours. The older boys could have probably gone 7, but that would have been stretching it! Plan to either stop for the day or have a nice long break BEFORE the kids max out. We took 45 minutes for lunch at Chick Fil A for them to get squiggles and wiggles out (and they still maxed out at the 6 hour mark for the day).

GMC Yukon Denali XL backing out of a driveway for a road trip
Like it? Pin it!

Traveling with young kids IS manageable! But it takes plenty of planning in advance, a large vehicle for adequate personal and luggage space, and perhaps most importantly, it takes TIME. Properly planning the length of your travel days to suit the needs of your kids will result in a happier time for everyone! Use the rest of these road trip hacks if you're traveling with an infant or toddler (or both!) and you'll have as smooth a trip as you possibly can.

11 comments:

  1. Oh! I remember those days! Great tips! I love your comment about pennies in a water bottle being loud....but screaming babies? LOUDER!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello everyone i am Mudaf Kyle from MALARIA , i am here to give my testimony about a great spell caster called Dr OLU, I was heartbroken and disappointed because i had very small penis, not big enough to satisfy or pregnant a woman, i have been in so many relationship, but cut off because of my small penis situation, i have used so many product,drugs,vaccines,herbs which doctors prescribe for me, but none could offer me the help i searched for. one faithful day i saw some few comments on the internet about how this great specialist called Dr OLU has been helping men enlarge their penis size ,pregnant woman and last longer in bed and i decided to email him on his email i saw on the internet,(drolusolution@gmail.com) i also visited his website http://droluherbs.clan.su/  and also his you-tube page https://youtu.be/VMTo3gqbO08 so I decided to give his herbal product a try. i emailed him and he got back to me, he gave me some comforting words and steps to follow which i did with his herbal pills for Penis Enlargement, Within 1 week of it, i began to feel the enlargement of my penis, " and now it just 1 weeks of using his products my penis is about 10.5 inches longer in erection , and i had to settle out with my Ex girlfriend Stephanie, i was surprised when she opened her mouth and said that i almost killed her and she is satisfied with my sex and i have got a very Big penis now.
      Am so happy, thanks to Dr OLU I also learn that Dr OLU also help with
      penis enlargement
      weak erection
      erectile dysfunction
      breast pills and enlargement bums,
      pregnancy
      herpes cure
      diabetes type 1 / 2
      fat belly and swollen stomach
      Abortion
      malaria/lassar fever
      heart failure
      kidney problem 
      human papiloma virus (HPV)
      tigthling and enlarging of vagina
      spell of all kinds(ex boyfriend/husband/girlfriend back,lottery spell,win a court case spell,job promotion or boom,marriage spell,breakup spells,cancel a divorce spell,Death spell and so many more

      so if you have any of this problem or other do not hesitate to contact Dr.OLU now for help on his email via (drolusolution@gmail.com or website http://droluherbs.clan.su/  [drolusolutionhome@gmail.com] or you can call him on his mobile number +2348140654426 .........for more information and advice contact my email mudafkyle@gmail.com THANKS    

      Delete
  2. We did an entire US road trip with our infant last year. He was still 7 months old at that time. It was very easy. Now at 20 months, I don't think it will be that easy anymore. Thanks for the tips! Visit our blog if you can... http://thissunnylife.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love long road trips! We had one planned this summer to Minneapolis that we had to unfortunately had to cancel last minute. We grabbed a couple of those Melissa & Doug Water Wow coloring books. The toddler loves those.

    ReplyDelete
  4. These are all great ideas! Our family loves road trips!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great road trip hacks for anyone traveling with infants and toddlers. Heck these are 5 tips I can use when travelling with my fiance' cause she gets antsy in the car and tends to drive me crazy cause she gets bored. Love that you try to limit their screen time with activity books. Before all this tech my parents before every road trip would take us to the local convenient store and let us pick out our own activity book or 2 for us to color, solve problems, or whatever in. Probably kept us quiet for hours. So I love this idea.
    As for the water bottle with pennies in it, sounds like a genius idea though Darcee would shake it non stop in my ear! Not sure which is worse a bottle full of pennies or a screaming Fiance'...please don't tell her I asked this question.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh my gosh these are amazing ideas! I am seriously so nervous for travel when we have kids - it seems so stressful! But these are great!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lord! Thank you for these tips! My toddler does NOT like road trips...so I’m always looking for ways to make life easier for us all!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have read your article, it is very informative and helpful for me.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks for posting it.. business travel insurance - compare car insurance quotes

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello viewers around the Globe, I was despondent because i had a very small penis, about 2.5 inches soft and 4 inches hard not nice enough to satisfy a woman, i have been in so many relationship, but cut off because of my situation, i have used so many product which doctors for me, but none could offer me the help i searched for. i saw some few comments on the INTERNET about this specialist called Dr,OLU and decided to contact him on his email: Drolusolutinthome@gmail.com) so I decided to give his herbal product a try. i emailed him and he got back to me, he gave me some comforting words with his herbal pills for Penis Enlargement, Within 3 week of it, i began to feel the enlargement was surprised when she said that she is satisfied with my sex and i have got a large penis. Am so happy, thanks to Dr OLU I also learn that Dr OLU also help with Breast Enlargement Hips and Bums Enlargement etc.. If you are in any situation with a little Penis, weak ejaculation, small breast_hips_bums do get to Dr OLU now for help on his email (Drolusolutionhome@gmail.com) or add him on whatsapp line +2348140654426 














































    Hello viewers around the Globe, I was despondent because i had a very small penis, about 2.5 inches soft and 4 inches hard not nice enough to satisfy a woman, i have been in so many relationship, but cut off because of my situation, i have used so many product which doctors for me, but none could offer me the help i searched for. i saw some few comments on the INTERNET about this specialist called Dr,OLU and decided to contact him on his email: Drolusolutinthome@gmail.com) so I decided to give his herbal product a try. i emailed him and he got back to me, he gave me some comforting words with his herbal pills for Penis Enlargement, Within 3 week of it, i began to feel the enlargement was surprised when she said that she is satisfied with my sex and i have got a large penis. Am so happy, thanks to Dr OLU I also learn that Dr OLU also help with Breast Enlargement Hips and Bums Enlargement etc.. If you are in any situation with a little Penis, weak ejaculation, small breast_hips_bums do get to Dr OLU now for help on his email (Drolusolutionhome@gmail.com) or add him on whatsapp line +2348140654426 

    ReplyDelete