10 things you need to not lose you mind on a road trip with a toddler

Blij kind in de auto

A road trip with a toddler – like many things in the world of parenting – is no walk in the park. And like with most things in parenting – it’s the end result which keeps you going – namely in this case some form of holiday at the end.

To survive, say a 4 hour car journey, strategy and stealth is required. We do this trip up North about every other month and so if I do say myself, have become a bit of a dab hand at the whole process.

So here is my list of 10 ways to survive a road trip with a toddler – enjoy these parenting tips!


Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. We literally pack a crate of snacks we can all dip into throughout the journey. Variety, ease of eating and how long it takes to eat is the key here. Snacks form a crucial part of time wasting hence why I’ve put it at number And don’t forget to pack the favourites or TODDLER WRATH YOU WILL FACE!!!

Colouring stuff

So the idea of your toddler letting loose with colouring pens in the car may send shivers down your spine but seriously – not that much can go wrong when they are trapped in a car seat – you might just end up with some psychedelic straps. Seriously this is THE next biggest time passed of all. Bring a colouring book with lots of interesting things they can scribble on. Even better an activity book where they can do some simple spot the odd one out and matching then scribble all over the god damn thing. For maximum time wasting pack an uber bumper pack of pens where the choices and time wasting possibilities are taken to the next level.


The next best time waster/passer – sticker books and little bags of different themed foam craft stickers – yup we’re talking jungle animals, farm animals, transport, the whole shebang with a pad of paper for sticking them all over. Every road trip I thank the road trip Gods for stickers.

Nursery rhymes

If you don’t already have emergency nursery rhymes for bad situations loaded on your phone then where have you been? By the time you have worked your way through 1-3 your toddler is probably already becoming a cranky pants and needs to zone out a little. Clearly you don’t want to be singing nursery rhymes the whole way so hit PLAY


They are probably ready for a bit more doing now so at this stage a stamping set can be very effective. Best to get one that has loads of mini stamps with lots of mini shapes they can go crazy with..


Bring along one or two of their favourite puzzles to help them hone their puzzle skills and feel like a winner. It requires a little orchestration on your part but well worth it.


By now you may find the return of the cranky pants again so this is a good time to whip out their fave dolly or teddy for some extended tickles/hokey cokey/Simon Says or whatever the hell else pops into your head.

CBeebies Album & Podcasts

It’s fair to say that CBeebies is a bit of an instituation with generation toddler, and so I have found the download of the CBeebies album which they scarily seem to recognize a lot (eek! too much screen time?) invaluable. Their Podcasts are also rather nice too, and save the day when you’re really too much in a caffeine starved grump to read a book.


Okay okay I know what you’re thinking, this sounds like a total safety hazard, but seriously, the bubbles very rarely get anywhere near the driver and if they do, your job is to make sure you play pop pop as quickly as possible so they don’t. Besides, the amount of time they spend blowing them far outweighs any potential hazards they might cause along the way.

Sit in the back

Seriously, life is so much easier when you just sit in the back with them. Whining and moaning reduced by 90%, everyone much happier and therefore trip less painful and seemingly quicker as a result.


This only comes out either towards the last hour when I’m all out of ammunition for a mix of fave programmes, drawing, photo booth and general pratting around.

The above are my top tips however other things we do throw into the road trip mix are books, threading, Duplo, Etcha Sketch , making phone calls to the grandparents, eye spy, who can stay quiet the longest and whatever other craziness/desperation pops into my head too!

Disclaimer: By using the above image, I am not suggesting your toddler drives the car (you fools!). I just thought it looked cute okay? 
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  1. haha! Love your disclaimer. Really? I so thought you were telling us to let the kids drive…..so much more interesting ;). Yep, totally agree with all those. Except, haven’t tried bubbles in the car…..but so are going to try it now!! It’s a stressful thing, travelling with kids. But as long as you have HEAPS AND HEAPS of food, that drive won’t be too bad. #TwinklyTuesday

  2. We have a long car journey to do next week and my iPad does the trick but I do try and delay it for as long as possible so it’s effect is maintained until hopefully the journey is older! 🙂 x

  3. Great list here. We haven’t tely done any long long journeys with Zach since he’s been aware of journeying! Not on purpose, we just haven’t needed to! I’d definitely use all of these tools though if we did! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  4. Great suggestions! We have a 3 hour car journey next week and I will be using every one of these. I had no idea there was a Cbeebies album! Will be buying this before we go as it should definitely kill at least an hour (although I may end up demented!).

  5. […] then. We could have managed passing up a thing or two yet with children, that too on their first road trip, it is no alternative by any […]

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