My Top Road Trip Planning Tips with Small Children

Our family loves to take road trips. The longest destination was to Austin, TX which was about 17 hours. We made one stop each way to rest. This break-up is nice because we get to explore other cities in between.

We have three young kiddos. Ages 3, 5 and 7 years old. It may seem daunting to travel with young children but we’ve learned that planning is key. Don’t worry, these tips don’t involve bribery items!

Important: Before you head out on your road trip, make sure to shut off your main water supply. We always do this if we’ll be gone for a long period. And we were so thankful we did it this time around because when we returned, we found a leak in our kitchen ceiling! Had we not turned off the water, our plumber said we would’ve came home to a disaster!

Here are my top tips for road tripping and traveling with small children:

  1. Schedule in a Stop: For our most recent road trip to Austin, TX, we stopped overnight at Tulsa. On our way back, we stopped overnight in Wichita. We got to try out some restaurants and drove around these neighborhoods to get the feel of the city. It’s a great way to maximize our trip and include the journey as part of the fun and to rest + refuel.

  2. Individual Snack Box/Bag: Fill their insulated lunch box/bag with both healthy and delicious treats. Every hour, they can pick something from the snack box and you can alternate between healthy and delicious treats. Kids just love to munch on things in the car.

  3. Drawing Tablet: We love these 15″ tablets that don’t have any access to the internet. They have come a long way from my magna doodle days! They draw colorful clear lines. They can press a button to erase and draw over and over nonstop which is better than a notebook because my girls would go through hundreds of paper!

  4. Pre-Download Movies/Shows: Brian and I both drive older model cars so we don’t have any built-in screens. We purchased this mount holder to hold the iPad in between the passenger and driver front seats so our kiddos can watch a limited amount of movies and shows.

  5. Neck Pillows: We forgot these for our two oldest and really regretted it. Think when you’re sleeping in an airplane, it’s the same thing in the car. Having neck support is a must. I gave the girls our jackets but it didn’t really help so it was more difficult for them to nap comfortably. Luckily, they were troopers and didn’t complain too much.

  6. Sit Stand Double Stroller: Can’t tell you how much we love this stroller! We do a lot of walking when we travel. Jack sits in the front and the girls take turns hopping on and off when they’re tired of walking.

Road Trip Travel Essentials

Sweetest Regards, Patti