How to travel with kids?

Hey mommas
Next week i will be traveling with my 15 month old son from west michigan to new york, does anyone have any tips on what to pack, and advice for the long drive? Thank you in advance


Toys , extra of everything (diapers , clothes , formula , baby food ) snacks for yourself , things to keep baby entertained.

A friend just took her 2 yo to OBX from PA and said her portable dvd player was a life saver

Premade Snacks/ drinks. Wrap a new toy, each state you pass through he gets to open a new one. Make it hard to open so it takes some time. Get one of those tables that strap on for playing and coloring. There’s a CD called traffic jams or something like that lol that we used that is car seat exercises and dancing my son loved it!!
We travel a lot!! He’s an expert traveler now.

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I had a bag in the front filled with everything… including a color pad that used clear water pen…color was on the page… didn’t color anything except the page…juice, water, sippy cup, snacks…pull over in safe spot let them get out and run…have fun

If you travel at night they sleep. :+1:t3:
When you stop to change diapers & use a restroom, let them run, jump & skip, toss a ball or balloon.
Concur with CDs of kids songs & activities they can do in a car seat. Maybe a children’s book on “tape”?

Basic stuff for your little one, plus extra toys and snacks, a baby carrier, since there’s a lot of walking and a stroller it’s a hassle to move around ( with all the people and cars)

Leave at bedtime and hope he sleeps through the night :upside_down_face:

For my 14 month old we have a DVD player for the car. We make a 10 hour drive one way and then back a couple days later at least every other weekend so we spend a lot of time in the car. The DVD player keeps him calm and entertained. I’m pregnant so for long drives alone with just him and our dog the DVD player keeping him entertained is a life saver. I never travel at night because I’d be too tired due to him not napping during the day. So that’s not an option for us. Momma needs her sleep :joy:

Tablet with downloaded movies. New dollar toys that you save until trip. Snacks. Special blanket or sleeping toy.

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Travel at night so they sleep


Mine enjoyed the tv headrests. They watched their kid shows.

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Portable DVD or tablet, toys amd snacks. Let them out every couple hours to stretch.

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Tablet and snacks. Take breaks to stretch legs. I’ve drove to from Ohio and Colorado 8 times now with my 5 year old. And how recently my 5 year old and 1 year old by myself :sweat_smile:

dvd player with long movies and keep them going. my kids traveled better in day hours then they did at night.


We just did a 8 hr trip. We brought a snack box, their tablets, and a travel neck pillow. All in all, it wasn’t too bad. We stopped every so often to let them get out and go potty and stretch.


I bought a large shower caddy and stocked it with books, toys, etc and put it next to their car seat.


Travel at night, and get a TV if you don’t have one built into your car. Or tablet connected to the back of the headrest they’re in front of to watch movies. As for the tray, no it’s a waste of money. They’ll just play with it and throw all the food down.


Car seat trays are not safe to use.

Drove cross country with my 3 year old earlier this year. 28 hour trip. :sweat_smile:

My biggest advice: portable DVD player with tons of movies, coloring books, and lots of snacks.
It was a lot easier than I was expecting.

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make sure you can stop every 2 or 3 hours for potty break and a few extra minutes before getting back in car

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I had a portable DVD player, I’ve found that a notepad and markers/crayons keeps him occupied for longer periods though

I drove from TN to Alaska with my daughter. Snacks and drinks that are easy. Sticker books were a big hit. I also went to kids consignment sales on half price day and bought the cheap mixed bags of toys. Whenever we were at a low I handed her a new bag. Did I have a mess full of toys that I threw away, yes. Did $5 worth of junk save our trip, also yes.


Travel at night and melatonin helps!!!


Ive done 14+ hours with mine… She did great. We stopped every few hours and left late a night so she slept most of the way. She had snacks and a tablet and toys.

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Travel either at night or super early in the morning. We drove from Houston, TX all the way to Douglas, GA. Then from Georgia to Florida. We left around 5am (we were shooting for 3am but didn’t happen). But it was actually pretty smooth. We stopped in New Orleans, in Alabama then got to Georgia. We had an iPad to keep my 3 year old entertained, Nintendo Switches for my 10 & 8 year old. For the most part they stayed asleep but we still tried to walk around a bit.


Get the child out every time you stop for gas, even if they’re sleeping. We learned this during one of our Oklahoma- Ohio trips with my son, niece, and nephew. Sitting too long can get very uncomfortable and they’ll let you know by crying. If you start late, like around 7 in the evening, they will sleep for most, if not all, of the drive.

Travel at night while they sleep. So much easier.


We went 17+ hours when my son was 9 months and again when he was 2 years old. Bring their favorite things and you should be fine.

We just did 13 hours with 15,13,3 &1 yr Olds
We decided to drive thru the night in hopes they’d sleep. Wasn’t bad lots of snacks and breaks so they can stretch their legs. The portable dvd player came in great use for my 3 yr old my 1 yr old just chilled the whole way and the teens helped keep us awake lol

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You will need this for sure!!

Have toys or books that are just for the car, download movies to the tablet/phone, stop at a park or play area for lunch/dinner…

We make an 8 hour trip 1 way every few months. Our daughter is now 14 months old. We go through our bedtime routine then put her in the car and drive at night. Tried doing it during the day once. Epic fail. She screamed for an hour even with daddy in the back seat with her. :roll_eyes::woman_facepalming:

Tablet with a bunch of downloaded videos and shows, snacks, small toys, crayons and a coloring book

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Get them a pop it and a tablet or DVD player and snacks.

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Hang a bag over the seat in front of them with toys/books so it’s easier for them to get stuff in and out, sippy cup on a strap like a binky strap, bring lots of snacks that are portioned in ziplock bags so they can’t make as big of a mess, put a pull up on them in case of accidents (even if they’re potty trained) The snack tray honestly just bugged my toddler and make getting her in and out more annoying so we took it off after few hours. We make a 17 hour trip a couple times a year to visit family and this is just what I do to help

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Ipad. Get youtube premium or netflix and you can save and download shows to watch at another time. Snacks. Load up bc my 3 year needed a different snack everytime we stopped and $20 at every gas station gets pricey. Car games. Menards has $1 matching sliding boards. Gum and chewy candies for mountains. Itll be ok! Just be patient with them if its a new thing.

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Create a hourly system. Every hour on the hour they get a new toy to play with, a new coloring book, type of snack…etc. The fun of a new surprise every hour keeps them on their toes. They never know what to expect!


I just bring a DVD player for each kid and a crap ton of snacks. I just keep throwing snacks at them and hope for the best. It works. They don’t sleep in the car anymore. Probably from all the snacks I give them. I don’t know. I’m probably not qualified to give advice in this area. :sob::joy::rofl:


I would get a car seat tray. It will allow them to eat snacks without making a huge mess. Coloring books, small toys, and a tablet with games that do not require internet lol and some that do if you can set up a hotspot. You can also sign up for Netflix and download tv shows and movies onto it. Make sure to get Dramamine and travel at night if you can. Also make sure to bring a ton of napkins and wipes lol.

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I try to keep it to mouth-sized dry snacks portioned out in little containers: goldfish crackers, peanuts, cheese cubes, mini peanut butter or cheese crackers, mini Oreos, small fruit like blueberries, grapes, or apple or pear bits. Bananas are too squishy and sticky, NO chocolate. Keep sugar to a minimum as they can’t run it off in the car. Decide what and how much you’re willing to clean up. If it requires a bite, it’s going to make a bigger mess.

I also keep it to sippy cups of water only as stuff gets spilled frequently, either accidentally or on purpose, and you don’t want a sticky car. Have milk, juice, or whatever when you stop for breaks.

Love music CDs with activity songs kids can do in the car seat (Head, shoulders, knees and toes, Where is Thumbkin, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, etc. and songs they can sing along to to give them some movement and active participation while confined. Advance warn that “Baby Shark” will be played once only every 8 hours. :laughing:

Yes to swapping out/rotating toys at regular intervals. If you can tolerate stickers and crayons on your car, go for sticker and coloring books. Things like Etch-a-Sketch, Wooly Willie, Rubik’s cube to twist around, are all great as there are no parts to lose/drop/throw. Maybe a couple Duplo blocks to assemble/reassemble, squish balls, fidget spinners if you don’t think they’ll become projectiles.

At 3 if your child’s potty trained it’s also handy to have a potty seat if you’ll be traveling long rural stretches without rest stops. You can stop the car & let your child sit in the back of the vehicle to go & toss the contents in the bushes/roadside if you’re in a more remote area. If you have a boy, he can hop out to pee in the bushes, but stress this is a rare, one-or-two-times only occurrence so he won’t try it when you’re in the city.

Window shades if you’ll be traveling in bright daylight, or sun hat, sunglasses & maybe even sun block. A favorite small blanket/sweater if you’ll be traveling when it’s cold.

Run & do calisthenics, spin around, jump up and down when you get out of the car to get the wiggles out.

And yes, travel when your child will sleep, very early in the morning, nap time, and/or nighttime for as late as you feel safe and awake, or spell driving and sleeping if there’s another adult with you. And screen time is OK too, but other stuff is better. Teach your kid your favorite songs with clean lyrics, have a conversation, play I Spy if they grasp the concept. Maybe keep it to more obvious stuff inside the car if he/she knows what things are called and keep giving lots of hints. Or point to stuff in the car, say what it’s called and have her/him repeat the word.

My son was a hyperactive traveler, but my granddaughters are so calm and amuse themselves and take long naps.

Definitely leave about 3 am or so and definitely bring some snacks! If you have or can get a lil portable DVD player you can put on your headrest for her to watch a movie, I would highly recommend that!

Kids music, tablet make sure you have water n snack handy when they bored they will ask food water

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Some way to watch movies. Comfort toys.

We just went 10.5 hours with our 3 year old. We broke it up into 2 days but she had sticker books, a water color book, regular books, and her stuffed animals. We had her tablet as a back up but we never needed it, she loved those things plus looking out the window at stuff.

Tablet, different activities and what not. Also have kids dramamine on stand by because watching tablets and what not while riding in a car can give you motion sickness especially if you already have issues with motion sickness.

Traveled with a one year old for a 9 hour car ride, plan for plenty of breaks to let them stretch their little legs traveling at night helped us a lot but we made it into two parts to make it easier! A tablet and snacks sitting in the back with them if possible helps with their boredom a lot too !

iPad/a way to watch videos and lots of drinks and snacks. Plan for potty/rest breaks!!!

Victoria Juan Chavez …look at some of these ideas.

About to say both of these. Tablet, travel at night and when you stop to eat let the kids out to run for a minute. And melatonin… we traveled 12 hours to FL and it was a nightmare

Headphones. You’ll need them. :speak_no_evil::rofl:
At 3 we looked for animals, did sing alongs, snacked an napped. :love_you_gesture::blush:

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Get as many coloring, sticker, puzzle books as you can find, make bundles so you can open a new one every couple of hours. Lots of fun snacks!

Snacks !! ALOT of different snacks always help with my kids !!! Stickers and notebook to stick them in ! The magnetic scenes are also a cool road trip toy ! Ever so many stops let them pick a cheap souvenir! If you have doubts how they will do travel at night or leave super early so they will still be sleepy and it knocks some time off ! Enjoy your trip!

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Skyroam WiFi thing and a tablet… greatest purchase ever… put Netflix or movies on tablet for kid to watch.

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to travel with kids? - Mamas Uncut

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to travel with kids? - Mamas Uncut

Possible to travel of a night time?
If not snacks, book’s and toys.
No leggo or small fiddly things.

We found stopping for half hour Mid way is good for everyone.

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Have lots of snacks lots of games(get a new sticker book or something new that will get them excited) avoid noisy toy as it can be distracting For your drive, especialy If you baby is potty trained give them one off nappy as may happen you can’t stop on demand and than it is frustrating, and if you can’t revel really early in morning or later in the evening at least part of a trip, baby will fall asleep so you won’t need as many stops. Otherwise stop regularly and always have 5-10 min play outside the car and good luck :slightly_smiling_face:


I travel with my kids in the car on long distance trips alot lol. Keeping them busy is the most important thing. Lots of toys, maybe a portable DVD player or something, lots of snacks and water! A tray for the car seat is a good idea as it can catch things little one might drop, toys, food etc, can use it for colouring books too!

Id say the key is lots of snacks! But also lots of toys, something for them to watch maybe a tablet with things on for them to watch, make sure you download things tho! I learnt that one quickly because the Internet isnt always everywhere you go and theres nothing worse than a grumpy child in a car whos hasnt got Internet to watch their show. Also as someone else mentiomed make sure you take regular breaks and let them have a good run about


It depends on your child, what they’re used to, if they’re used to spending all day infront of a screen, it’ll be easy, if not, then you’ll need to take snacks and activities, colouring, dvd. Not too many drinks and stick to water for the car as kids drink squash for the sake of it and that’ll mean more toilet breaks. Take a poppit if you have one, my 2 yo takes his everywhere and it keeps him busy in the car. A tray is worth it if your taking colouring etc as it’ll give lo something to lean on. Feely books are great too. I’d also stop every 2.5-3 hours for 20 mins for a leg stretch and to release some energy.

I did a 10 hour trip with my daughter a little bit before age 3, and we stopped for breaks at visitor centers on the way a couple of times for potty and walking around breaks. When we were about 2 hours from destination, I had a stop planned at a Chuck E. Cheese. She deserved it! She did so well, and honestly didn’t really want a lot of screen time. We just talked to each other a lot, and we sang sometimes. It really wasn’t bad.

Also, she was pretty well potty trained, but we put Easy Ups on, in case she had to potty & I couldn’t stop in time. We would try to make it, but if it took too long, I’d just tell her that she was wearing her night time undies (she doesn’t wear them overnight anymore, but that’s what she knows them as) and that it was an emergency, and she had permission to potty in them. We would still stop ASAP & she was still a big kid.

Regular stops was the key for us driving up to Scotland. We had the DVD players in the car, tablets & snacks. But the key was regular stops to burn off some energy. Sorry, I think this is a platform for mums, but I thought I’d pass on my experience with it

Get a portable toilet seat like the oxo tot one! Saved our life so many times when we haven’t been near a stop or there just weren’t bathrooms. Lots and lots of snacks. We also like to get small toys or the small color wonder type books from target dollar section. DVD player is up to you obviously but we haven’t used that or tablets with our kiddos. If they know colors you can also play I spy! My daughter loves this game and thought it was a lot of fun to try and find different color cars! Make plenty of stops and try to bring something to help get some energy out at those stops too.

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If you still have any diapers around (not sure if your kiddo is potty trained) and their training potty bring it along, line it with a diaper and use it for emergencies

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Just pack things for them to do. We done a 19 hour drive (took us 24 due to breaking a control arm on the ute) in April with a 4y, 1y and 2week old. Only time we stopped was for fuel, food and when the newborn needed feeding/changing. I was expecting a terrible trip but the partner packed heaps for the older 2 to enjoy themselves and was great :+1:

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Drive overnight if you can…keeps you sane too.

We travel 10 hours with a 3 year old and a 2 month old. We leave anywhere from 7:30am to 1030am. We stop when the baby is crying or we need gas or to go to the bathroom. We have snacks for the 3 year old to eat in the car and then when we get gas(1 stop during trip) we get lunch. We have a tablet that has learning games for him and mickey mouse and little Einsteins. They both sleep most of the time but my kids don’t go to bed until 10pm at the earliest right now so they sleep in until 9am-12pm. We when stop for gas he gets out and jumps and runs around for 10-15mins after eating. Our gas stop is 30-45mins long.

If your car has availability for screens and movies, that would be awesome! If not, hand puzzles. My kiddo also liked to play with chop sticks, and also random things like flexible ice trays and whatever is flimsy and fun.

Portable DVD players. And driving at night is usually best if you can manage it. Or leave early and stay somewhere half way

You need to stop every couple hours for half hour break give them chance to stretch and move about or id try to drive over night so they sleep most of way xx

At that age I would plan to leave as the child is about to go to sleep for the night. Less awake time in the car can sometimes be better on the long trips.

Magnetic numbers, letters & shapes & a cookie sheet that magnets will stick to.

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Travel late at night. We used to leave about 1230 am. My son wouldn’t wake up till about 7 for breakfast.

When my sister use to travel she’d do it at night after dinner and bath and that way her kids slept the whole way coz It was there normal bed time. If you travel at night make sure you have someone you can swap when your tired

Just use whatever you can! Maybe bring a couple pans and let them bang them together! I know it would be annoying to you but it does keep them occupied.

Stop every 3 hours. Get child out of car seat for a bit.

Check out Pinterest! They will hook you up for sure!

We drove from Syracuse NY to Lexington SC with a 2 year old also from Syracuse NY to Trenton NC when he was 4 … we brought a iPad small toys and his music also head phones worked like a miracle as well … also snacks

Definitely recommend a seat tray. I bought this one and it worked out good.


Get something that’ll make them sleep like keeping them up before going to the airport make them stay awake and then whenever they get on the airplane they’ll go to sleep

Get one of those carrying cleaning tote that has like 3 or 4 different compartments and when it’s time to eat you can put their food in there
It has a place for a drink etc. Also travel at night if you can. DuraTote Tote Box - Blue by Little Giant at Fleet Farm

We just got done traveling 10 hours from Michigan to Tennessee with a two year old and 2 one year Olds, we left at night so they could sleep the whole way I don’t know how else we would of done it of we didn’t do that lol, but we did bring lots of toys and snacks and coloring books and movies to play on our DVD


Leave around their bedtime!! Travel at night, one there is less traffic so the drive will be a bit easier for you and B the kids should sleep till morning which also makes it easier on you.
My daughter loves her travel tray, I stock the sides with colouring books and markers, and her drink bottle, I have clips that hook her iPad to the back of the chair from the headrest so she can have a movie going.

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I know a lot of people who travel over night when the kiddo is sleeping


I traveled 10 hours with a 2 year old before. I had a bag of toys, snacks, drinks etc. Also, I took frequent stops at safe “truck stops” where they had walking paths etc. We spent at least 15 mins out of the car every 2-3 hours.

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Travel at night when they are sleeping


Luckily mine nap most of the way. I did try to leave at like 4am once but that caused my 6 year old to be awake the whole trip. We usually leave around 9am and then she’ll sleep most of the way same with my 4 year old son

I just did a 8 hour trip with a 2 year old had lots of healthy snacks and stopped every 2 hours for him to stretch and run off energy have a DVD player in the vehicle and some lap activities

We drove 12 hours with age 6 and 2 we brought their tablets toys
Made stops .

Leave at night or very early morning while they sleep.


Travel at night/early morning, invest in a DVD player or tablet and only stop whenever they’re whining and restless!

We drive 14+ hrs to Missouri. We travel at night so most of it they sleep. If they need some help, we use melatonin and then a little benadryl of needed. We also have tablets and snacks.

I’m traveling with a 3 year old now! Michigan to Missouri! I brought toys, tray, stuff for coloring. Drinks and snacks. We let him watch videos. Stop to stretch legs. And we left early so he could sleep in car for a bit!

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We drove from California to Georgia and back with 2 toddler and autistic son my only advice is make frequent stops. Bring lots of snacks.

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Leave at night, let them sleep through the trip!

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I just went from two different states but we broke the trip up that might not be something you can do but we went to one state because it was 6 hours away stayed for a day or two and then went to another state. But I do recommend like a lot of people say going at night time so that they sleep almost the whole way. We kept them up until the very last minute when we were right about to leave and they slept the entire way only woke up when we stopped to get gas gave them some food if they wanted and went right back to bed. Have a 2-year-old and 8-month-old

Research parks and playgrounds on the way. Even put stops. Get out and run, anything to get her moving
Yes it would take longer but Sanity prevails. Also drive at night for the first leg of the trip.

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