Road Trips, how we enjoyed ours with a toddler

Road tripping with a toddler.

This July we were able to go on a road trip from the Portland area to Redding California. I packed most of the things we were bringing with us in car the night before. Your luggage will all depend on the location and duration of your trip. We would be gone for 4 days. I was able to fit both Genevieve and I’s clothing into one backpack. Our car was packed to the max with 4 adults and the munchkin.

There were a few things that made this road trip a success.

How to have an enjoyable road trip with a toddler. What to bring, Packing tips, ways to keep the adults and kids happy

When to drive.

For the drive down we left at 7am when the munchkin was still tired. She slept for the next two hours and we did not have to stop until 11:30 when we had lunch. The fact that she slept so much reminded me of her first time flying. On our way home we left in the late morning. We had to stop a few extra times to walk around and get the wiggles out since there was less napping going on. If you are able to drive when baby normally sleeps it can save you time since you will have to take less wiggle breaks.


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You gotta stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to headaches which is the last thing you want when your on the road. We love our Hydro flask Just a few ice cubes and the water stays chilled for hours even in the sun.

For Genevieve I chose the Foogo thermos. This is a great option for the littles.  The insulated bottle keeps her water nice and cool even when we are out and about on a hot day.


For the adults I like to bring some yummy and filling snacks. We brought Boom Chicka Popcorn, trail mix from Costco and protein bars.

Genevieve loves the Annie’s fruit snacks! I also brought some baby snack bars and Cheerios. This snack container is the best! It has a nice air tight lid so the snacks can last a few days with out going stale.


One word, podcasts! A good podcast can make a long road trip go by faster. We listened to Serial, it is kinda like an adult version of Adventures in Odyssey, and the Start Up. As well as music thrown in here and there.

For the munchkin I brought one small bag with some toys and books I know she enjoys. I would give her one toy at a time which helped to stretch out the fun a little longer. And since I was sitting in the back seat we were able to play peek a boo and sing songs to pass the time as well. We had our tablet with us loaded with some Sesame Street as a back up.

Babies diaper bag.

Try to have your bag diaper bag as organized as possible with the things you will need most on the top. Make sure it has diapers and a change of clothes. You just never know what might happen with a munchkin on board. It would be very inconvenient to have to dig through your luggage for an item that’s missing from the diaper bag.

Packing the car.

My cousin Alicia recently went on a family road trip from Oregon to Iowa. That is quite the drive. She has some great packing tips that I wish I had thought of for our road trip. She gave me permission to share them with you here.

How to enjoy a road trip with a toddler, make a check list
It can be helpful to make a checklist especially for an extra long trip.
How to enjoy a road trip with a toddler, do a trial run.
Make sure everything fits correctly.

Before their trip they packed their car with the bags and containers they planned to bring while they were still empty. This enabled them to more easily decide the best way to fit and organize them.

How to enjoy a road trip with a toddler, make a snack organizer.
D.I.Y snack organizer.
How to enjoy a road trip with a toddler, easy snack organizer.
Easy to find organized snacks.

This is an awesome idea for longer road trips and is a great way to keep all the snacks organized! I plan to use some of Alicia’s awesome tips on our next road trip.

Road tripping is a great way to travel and can be a very enjoyable experience when done right. Before you leave for your adventure make sure you read this post on car seat safety. Were you able to go on any fun road trips this summer? Do you have any road trip packing tips? How does your family make road tripping more enjoyable?norfolk

Looking for some more great tips???

Will you be taking the family to Europe any time soon? Be sure to visit The Tapped out Travelers for some awesome packing tips.

Want to know what and how to pack your carry-on for your next flight? Stop by Travel with the Greens for a great article full of detailed instructions.

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