Baby tales, Travels

Road trips with kids| Car travels with babies and toddlers

I’ve always loved love road trips, just like many of you. But once you put babies, toddlers or kids of any age in the equation, the fun increases manifold, right!? Road trips with kids can be a nightmare or can be fun, just like every day life with kids! Read this detailed post before you plan your next trip!
We’ve been on the road a lot and Baby V has always hated his rear-facing car seat. He cries most of the time and on some good days, he passes out for a nap. But we’ve found a few things that work and a few that DON’T. It’s all been by trial and error but one thing that usually works is to turn up the music and drive on!

You might also be interested in reading: Baby on board

Where to go – Road  trip ideas

If you would like to drive to a city, I suggest looking up these websites for some ideas:

  • Pogo Pass – Your pass to family fun in Dallas/ Fort Worth, Austin/ Waco, San Antonio, Phoenix/ Tucson and Las Vegas.
  • Viator – plan that spring or summer getaway to the Caribbean, Orlando or San Diego
  • City pass – This is a very popular pass you can buy for literally any city in the world. You can save 50-60% on some really amazing venues. Just look up the cities you are traveling to and get the pass that suits you the best.

If you would like to drive off the normal path, look up national or state parks or a lake that you can camp at.
Read this post on saving precious $$$ on a road trip.

A few points on how you can handle your itinerary

  • Rent a car or RV depending on where you are going. Do enough research of the activities you would like to do
  • Ensure you have a comfortable car seat, your insurance is up to date and if possible, sign up for road side assistance. Read this detailed post on best car seats for travel
  • Give enough breaks every couple of hours
  • If your baby’s younger, plan around nap times 
  • Avoid driving at night. Take a pit stop and get some rest before you hit the road again. It takes less than half a second to loose control of the vehicle

Read how to Survive long-haul flights with kids

Activity ideas


Gulukul books available in Amazon perfect for a kid during road trips
The most essential part of your kid’s childhood and I am extremely passionate about Early Literacy. Read my detailed post on 1,000 books before Kindergarten. A few suggestions to get you started:

  1. Gulukul books on Indian culture – OUR FAV
  2. Dr. Seuss – Oh, the places you’ll go
  3. Little blue truck board book
  4. Bookroo subscription boxes

Little Passports

An innovative company where you can order boxes of books and other collectibles for your littles. You can get your kids of age 3+ excited about traveling and exploring.

Give the gift of Adventure!


Car toys

Keep a few toys for the car separately (not part of their regular toys at home). This will ensure they are excited with the “something new”. This always works for kids, almost always.

Little Adventures

You can get Halos & Wands from Little Adventure to give your little girl a fun journey. Playing a little dress up on the way to your destination is always fun. But be mindful that they are old enough to handle these accessories. storytelling on the road can really help the journey.

Useful Apps for a road trip

Apps for the adults

  • Roadside America
  • Road trippers
  • Pimsleur
  • iExit
  • Waze
  • Gas Buddy
  • Spotify
  • Soundcloud

Apps & travel games for kids

AAP recommends that kids up to 2 years of age get no screen time and less than two hours per day after that. Some useful apps:

  • learning program for ages 2-8)
  • Highbrow
  • Stack the states
  • Elmo Loves 123s
  • Disney story central
  • YouTube kids – but make sure to monitor what is being watched.

Road trip essentials – what to bring along

Healthy road trip snacks and water

There is nothing called too much snacking when you are traveling. It is a must and it is a life-saver!
The Gerber Store
Just be very mindful of what kind of snacks you are carrying. Avoid all sugar-laden ones. You can bring some from home and carry some packaged ones. We personally love Gerber. You can buy on The Gerber store online and get FREE Shipping over $35 and you can save save 10% by just subscribing. Some of our favorites are their pouches, cookies, and their organic range. Their bundles are super value for money and I highly recommend checking them out!
Ensure you carry enough water for all the adults and kids. You might want to keep some electrolytes handy, just in case. Either way, stay hydrated. Make sure to carry a lot of water but also remember that more liquids = more stops on the way.
Read this post on malaria prevention by The Globe Trotter GP. Leanne who is a medical doctor also has other fantastic travel & health posts.


There’s nothing called too many clothes when you are traveling. Especially if your on a road trip and have room for luggage, you can

  • Opt for simple clothing from Gymboree“>Gymboree, Janie and Jack“>Janie & Jack or Crazy 8“>Crazy8. Always dress them in layers so that the kids are able to peel off the layers as the trip progresses. And yes, there will be mess. But mess is fun. For them!
  • Try daily deals from Pat Pat. You will find unique designs and also some matching ones for mom & dad.
  • Try these deodorants from Earth Mama Organics. They will save Mama from a lot of embarrassment. Keep it a part of your diaper bag.

Other essential items

  • If you have a baby or toddler with you, I highly recommend Totseat. We’ve used this while on the road and it is such a life-saver when there are no highchairs around
  • Trash bags for the inevitable
  • Music – you might want to carry your own music
  • iPad/ Tablet/ Interactive games for the kids
  • Diapers, wipes, sunscreen, moisturizer for the kids
  • Chap stick is extremely essential

Check out this useful website with a number of packing lists when you are traveling with kids

Also read my post on packing a diaper bag.

Check out All The Rooms for a fabulous list of articles on Road tripping, right from best routes to safety.

Free printable information on doing a road trip with babies & kids.
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Hope this post helps you in planning your next road trip. Have you been on a road trip? What works for your family? What doesn’t?

Happy Travels!
Much love,
Mama Dee
PS: This post contains affiliate links that might give me a very small commission at no additional cost to you. It helps me keep up the website. 

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10 thoughts on “Road trips with kids| Car travels with babies and toddlers

  1. Very well written Dee. I remember the days we travel together either by car/bus/train you always carry notebook and pen with you and start writing. Applaudable habit…. cpntinue your good works… proud of you 😍

  2. Great and handy tips indeed. We love road trips n our long road trips always make my kids have a good long nap! Snacks are a life saver so I try to pack a mix of healthy n less “healthy” aka indulgence ones! We haven’t intro our kids to gadgets yet. Delaying as long as possible.
    Jamie Chaw

  3. Yes, road trips with young kids can be challenging but with planning it’s fun and we create so many memories. Your list is a handy one. I pack snacks in their lunch boxes and carry extras in zip locks. I keep re-filling the boxes on the go. A small first aid kit is something I never forget you carry.

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