7 Tips for Traveling by Car with Your Children

Are you planning on taking a trip with your family? When traveling by car with children, there are several tips you should keep in mind.
7 Tips for Traveling by Car with Your Children

Last update: 13 May, 2022

Whether you’re going to the beach, the mountains, or even to another city, traveling by car can be unbearable for children and make the journey an ordeal for parents as well.

If you want your car trip to be comfortable and safe, especially for your children, just follow a few tips so that you don’t end up stressed and know how to handle your little ones when they’re already very irritated.

1 – Plan your route and be prepared for possible setbacks

A mother preparing for a roadtrip with her children.

Consider your destination so that you choose the least congested route. You probably don’t want to spend hours in a traffic jam stuck with your cranky kids.

Remember that, as you’re traveling with children, you’ll need to include more stops along the way so they can rest, stretch their legs, go to the bathroom, and have a snack. Little ones love to see new places, so by simply pulling over at a service stop and letting them pick out some treats, your kids will surely be happier in the hours ahead.

Also, choosing the right route could help you avoid motion sickness in those little ones who suffer a lot from long drives with too many turns.

2 – Safety first

It’s always advisable to make sure that everything’s in order when traveling and to be prepared for any situation.

So, keep your child safe and make sure you never place them in the front of the car. It’s the most exposed area during an accident and, because of their size, they could be more affected.

If your children are still small, you should correctly install an approved child restraint system in the rear seats to ensure the safety of your little ones.

To choose the right seat, you should check with the manufacturer to find out which model is best suited to your child’s age, weight, and height. Thanks to this, you’ll be able to feel safe in case of any unexpected maneuvers or spontaneous tantrums your children may have.

If you want to find out about the requirements you need to take into account when it comes to a child restraint system in your car, you can check the NHTSA website which promotes responsible compliance with these systems when traveling with children in the United States.

3 – Choose the right clothing for traveling by car

Don’t overload your little ones with too much clothing. This will cause them to feel more imprisoned inside the car.

Choose light clothes and soft fabrics to make them feel much more comfortable. For these cases, it’s best to use cotton clothes that don’t fit too tightly on the body.

4 – Food, water, and sweets!

Hydration is important, so carry bottles of water in their favorite glasses and distribute them intelligently so that bathroom time coincides with the stops you’ve chosen.

Your children will probably start asking for food along the way. Many times, this is the result of boredom and not so much because they’re really hungry. So prepare small light snacks to appease their anxiety. Including meals that are too heavy could increase motion sickness during the trip.

5 – Avoid motion sickness

It’s common for children to suffer from dizziness, sweating, and nausea due to the constant movement of the car. To reduce or avoid it, it’s a good idea to start the trip with a full stomach. A light meal before starting the route will avoid these scenarios.

If you only have one child, you can install the restraint right in the middle of the back seat. That spot’s the most stable and they’ll feel much less movement.

6 – Keep a positive attitude and make the experience fun

A toddler girl travelling by car happily in her carseat.

Make your children feel more involved during the trip. That way, they won’t feel left out in the back.

Encourage them to sing with you, listen to audiobooks, and tell them stories to keep them entertained and make the hours go by faster.

7 – The co-pilot: Your best ally when traveling by car with your children

Choosing a good co-pilot who knows how to be around children will help you avoid distractions while you’re driving. It’s vitally important that you’re always focused on the road ahead, so besides following all of the above tips, choosing a good co-pilot can further relieve stress.

Now you’re ready to turn that trip into a memorable experience that your children will surely appreciate.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Jaudenes, M. (2006).
  • Cómo usar las nuevas tecnologías en la familia
  • . Editorial Librería Pedagógica. 

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.