Comments 13


My husband and I recently had the chance to take a road trip with our now two preschoolers. We went to visit my brother one state over for a ceremony at his university.

The good news was the drive would only be about four hours long. The bad news was it would be the first road trip we’ve taken since Peanut was born.

Yeah, I know.

I glanced through what I learned while flying with the kids here and here, and took a leap of faith. Here’s what we learned along the way:


The first mistake I made was to overfeed Pumpkin. The kids had gotten up early and while eating breakfast, I insisted that Pumpkin eat a little more “for the trip”. Within 30 minutes of beginning our drive, she blurted out, “My tummy hurts!” and hurled chunks all over herself.

She doesn’t get carsick, and hadn’t this time either, but since I overfilled her stomach at such an early hour, it was a puke bomb waiting to go off. If I had to do it again, I would have given her a light meal and then snacks along the way.


We borrowed a pluggable DVD player from our friends and played a couple of movies for the kids. This worked out great, but the only drawback was changing the movies from the front seat required a feat of acrobatics I don’t currently possess. Also, pre-watch the movies you will be showing your children, so you won’t need to explain why that Fairy Barbie Mermaid Princess Movie is “scary”. Just shut your eyes, kids!


If movies aren’t your kids’ thing, music can be great too. My kids like hearing the songs they love while riding in the car, so it’s a no-brainer that you should have these songs on hand. You can’t always depend on the radio, especially if where you’re driving doesn’t get great reception.


This is big. As parents we tend to think, As long as I have (fill in the blank) somewhere in the car with us, we can take it out when needed. Not so when you’re road tripping with kids! At unexpected moments, one will want a snack while another one wants her blankie, all while you’re going sixty miles per hour and just can’t pull over.

All their necessities should be within arm’s reach, not in the trunk, where it might as well be on the moon. Examples of this might be: granola bars, water, blankets, a favorite toy or book, and extra movies for the DVD player.


Instead of focusing on getting to your destination quickly, include extra time for bathroom breaks and stretching. It will be good for both them and you. It’s tough to be a kid and be strapped into a car seat for several hours with no way out. Happy kids = happy parents!


Lastly, I know as parents we try to adhere to the Home Rules as much as possible, even while traveling, but if the kids want to sleep at some random point in the journey, let them. Don’t worry that They Wont Take A Nap Later or They Won’t Sleep Tonight. Take each situation as it comes. Odds are, you will be doing so much on your trip that the kids will need the extra shut-eye anyway. And if the kids do fall asleep in the car, bask in the silence—while it lasts!

If you’re going on a road trip anytime soon, best wishes! Once you get that first one under your belt, it will get easier the next time around. I’ve learned from the mistakes I’ve made and hope to do better the next chance I get!

Have you take a road trip with your little ones? What would you recommend to parents trying it for the first time?



  1. Couldn’t agree more with the no over filling their stomachs. I did that at least once with each kid only to have a barf mess to clean up.

    I think window clings are a fun thing for kids to play with in the car and also hand held logic games, like rubix cube, hoppers, flexi puzzle, etc. we also like mini travel boggle…

    A good playlist is also a must!

    Thanks for sharing your tips! Please check out and follow me over at

    • I like the idea of the handheld logic games. We’ll be introducing those once the girls are a bit older. I loved those on long car rides! I should look into window clings…thanks for your suggestions. 🙂

      • yes, they can create a window scene while travelling and its easy to remove! u will end up with smudged glass but whats new?! haha

  2. Great post! We LOVE jamming in the car so a playlist is a must! This might seem gross to some people but with 3 little ones we also take a little toddler potty just in case of an emergency if we are taking back roads or a major traffic jam! Also a roll of tp! Life with little ones! 😀

  3. Oh man, you’re brave! My older two boys are fine on longer car rides now but my 8-month-old baby hates his car seat and cries even when i just drive with him to the grocery store.😳 I love road trips and i can’t wait to take one with my kiddos when they are all a bit older. Thanks for all the great advice!

  4. Good point about the sleeping! I was so scared when the baby slept two hours in the car during her normal wake time…but she was so stimulated otherwise that she went to sleep at her normal time and slept, well, like a baby.

    • I was the same way! I think as moms we tend to forget that the kids will become way more stimulated doing and seeing things that are totally out of their normal routine that they stay awake while it’s all happening, and then crash in the evening. Win-win 😉

  5. I have totally made the same mistake too on filling up my girls so they wouldn’t be hungry – later followed by vommitting – not fun!

    • Glad I’m not the only one 😀 It’s ironic, because that day, since it was so early, I myself didn’t even eat that much since I didn’t feel like it. I should have applied that logic to the kids as well. Oh well, live and learn!

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