Car Trips with Kids

We’re heading to Madison for the 4th of July – it’s a 5-hour drive… with a toddler. Are we crazy? Maybe!

Glenn’s family lives in Wisconsin so we make a few trips over there a year. In the last few years, we have gotten smarter with how to keep sane. We have a variety of things we use that help make our road trips successful so I thought I would share them with you.

Movies: No brainer here. When we got my new car we thought about getting the DVD system in it. But we don’t ever buy DVDs anymore so I seemed odd to get them just for the car. Instead, we decided to just use our iPad. We use Netflix and you can download shows or movies to your device to watch without internet. I believe iTunes had a similar feature. We have an older iPad with this case on it to make it “toddler-friendly”. We also bought this to hold the iPad on the back of the seat so we don’t have to worry about Blake pressing buttons or dropping the iPad. Also, if we time it right sometimes he falls asleep watching the movies!

I also have an easy access bin right behind the center console of things we might need while in the car. Wipes, snacks, bottled water, diapers/pull-ups, plastic bags, sunscreen, basically all of the In case of emergency things I used to carry in a diaper bag. I loved when I got to stop carrying that big thing around!

I have this phone holder. Not just for road trips but it helps when we are on road trips because it makes it easy to use my phone for my GPS and holds it so I can see it while driving. Check our my favorite things highlights on Instagram for a full review of this phone holder.

I usually pack using the 31 utility totes. I love that they are big and open so I can throw stuff in as we run out the door. I usually use one for Blake, one for myself and Glenn has one. We then also have a 4th so if we need to we can throw last minute or overflow stuff in it. For this trip we are lucky because we don’t need to bring all the toddler stuff, Glenn’s parents have some of the necessities at their house.

Snacks, snacks and more snacks. There is literally no such thing as enough snacks for a car ride. Snacks can fix just about any situation.

We try to plan our car trips over nap time whenever possible. Blake has always been great at napping in the car. When we can we try to leave right after lunch or even eat lunch in the car sometimes. Then ideally Blake will fall asleep and we can get a few hours of the drive out of the way while he naps. When Blake is awake it is easier for one of us to sit back by him. For this upcoming trip, we will probably try to leave around 11 and make it like an hour before having lunch. We will eat in the car to kill another 30 minutes or so. Then if all goes as planned we will put a movie on for Blake and he will fall asleep for 2ish hours. The last 1-2 hours are always just survival mode 🙂

Wish us luck!

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