How To Prepare For Long Road Trips With Your Toddlers And Kids – The Do’s & Don’ts

how to prepare for long road trips with your toddlers and kids - the do's and don'ts

We all love travelling, who doesn’t?

For most of us travelling is an exciting event, full of new surprises and fresh sceneries to look forward to. It makes our heart yearning in anticipation of what will happen next and makes our mind imagining what experiences we could have on the trip. We love it so much to the point that we make sure we are really prepared for it.

When I and my husband were still newly-wedded couples ten years ago, a spur-of-the-moment trip is great and desirable but now that we have two kids I don’t know if unplanned excursions are still amenable or acceptable! Haha! How can it be? Having your own children when travelling is not easy, most especially if it’s a long road trip.

Here in the Philippines there are a lot of beautiful places where you could visit just travelling by land. The longest travel that our family experience is around eight hours. The itinerary – we were going to Baguio, the Summer Capital of the Philippine. It’s in the Mountain Province so basically it’s lush greenery and slopes. Very beautiful and chilly place. The eight hours of travel time has a catch. We stop over and stay in a hotel in Pangasinan, a four-hour drive, so we were able to rest and travel again on the next day. We completed the eight-hour journey non-stop when going home. I will share with you our whole Baguio story on my future articles.

So my family made the long road marathon, right? And I can say we always made it. Because we love to travel, though we have a toddler and a kid there’s nothing can stop us from doing it! Of course except only when kids are sick. For you to prevent these undesirable circumstances and have great travelling memories I will share my own Do’s and Don’ts while having long road trips with your little kids.


1. Bring Your Kids To Their Pediatrician A Week Before The Trip

This is an SOP for us as parents. Before going anywhere else have your children visit first their doctor and check their health stats. Ask their pedia if they need a vaccine for flu or other viral illnesses for them to be protected when going vacation. If you’re your kids have coughs and colds this is the right time to get medications and you still have time to treat it.

2. Do Prepare Your Kid’s Essential

Since you have kids now this is the best time to be more systematic and be more organize (somehow hehe..) As their mom and their parent you have the responsibility to prepare for their needs, you don’t want to neglect these things and just hurriedly pack and go with your family. Believe me, it will ruin your vacation and could give you more than just a headache. Of course, we want to enjoy this kind of rare moments but you can’t fully enjoy it if you cannot do some preparation and assistance for your kid’s needs.

Is this true Lai? You may say.

Of course, this is true! How can you be happy on your vacation if you didn’t do your mommy duties first by preparing your kid’s things? Your ‘mom motto’ should be “Kid’s First Before Yourself” and not “Me First Before Kids”- always think this way in everything you do for you to have a total enjoyment and happiness on your planned trip. Although we want to ‘escape’ somehow in our daily mom routines, yes I know the feeling, but you can’t overlook this part just for your own convenience.


In preparing things for our family travels I can say that I am a completely meticulous planner and a thorough organizer. I got these skills from my late father and I am proud of it. He taught me to prepare things ahead of time and anticipate future events by packing enough clothes and needed accessories when vacationing. Until now that I have my own family I do this. So for my kids, these are the things that I prepare for them if we will have a two-night vacation:

my kids things for long road trips

What can you say on my kid’s essential list? Is it long? Hahah! I told you so! Usually I only use one big bag for my own clothes and my kid’s stuff but as time goes by and kids grow up so fast I think one bag will not be enough! So are we done? There’s more!

3. Do Pack Your Family’s Needs A Night Before The Big Date

After you already complete your kid’s things you will now focus on your family’s need on the general view. These are but not limited to:

things i pack for our family long road trips

4. Do Make Sure The Car Is In 100% Condition

To succeed in long drive trips a well-conditioned car is a must. You don’t want to have any disturbance or lag because the car’s engine is overheated. No, you don’t want to have that kind of problems when travelling with your kids. Remember when something is wrong on your car you have to shut down its aircon thus making the kid’s irritated and more difficult to manage. So tell to your husband to start conditioning your car a week before the trip.


1.Don’t Stress Yourself Too Much

I know you, mom, with your hands (and shoulders) full you feel stress and agitated for all of the things that you should do and prepare. It’s natural but as I say on my blog’s second article you can control your emotions. You can and you have to. So much stress will bring you no good. You only get stressed on packing when you didn’t prepare ahead of time and you hurriedly do things the night before the travel or worst you are just packing on the same day! Wooh! It’s all in your hands mom I will leave it all to you.

2. Don’t Overdo It!

I know I said you should prepare but I didn’t say you overdo it and put everything you see in your house. There is a balance for everything. You can’t carry unnecessary items like a ceramic mug or more clothes inside your baggage since it will just put more weight on your car. Be meticulous but not in an exaggerated way. You want to leave your house for a day or two so don’t make it look like you didn’t leave at all.

3.Don’t Be Too Negative

Your outlook will have a great impact on the outcome of your family’s road trip. If from the start you think your kids won’t be cooperative or will not behave the way you want them to then you already dictate the ending scenario even before it happens. Just go with the flow and do your part to make it will be truly memorable to all of you. Children are children, they will do things that will make you frown, but when they see new places like long highways, green pastures or animals taking shelter under trees, you will see amazement and joy from their eyes you would whisper to yourself that “I’m glad they’re with me right now”.

So basically these are my two cents of advice for you and I hope you learn a lot from my tips. There’s many more of it but these are the basic things that you should remember for your family to have a cheerful and memorable long road trip.

Going back to my promise (you thought I forgot it already hehe..) here is my own list of items that I personally prepare and take ‘inside the car’. Of course, all of the baggage will be placed in the car’s trunk and as a mom, I only take the important items inside. So here it is:

much needed items inside car for family long road trips

I will be sharing more of travelling tips and ideas as I go along my site and create a journal of our lives. Stay tuned and subscribe at my newsletter for me to inform you my latest info about family and life. Thank you! – Lai

6 thoughts on “How To Prepare For Long Road Trips With Your Toddlers And Kids – The Do’s & Don’ts

  1. I love your mom motto 🙂 Traveling with a toddler can be daunting especially if its more than a 2 hours ride. That’s why its better to be prepared so we can be ready whatever the trip may come to. I love your organising tips and thorough list. very helpful to parents talaga. Great read!

    1. Salamat Nessly I hope I helped you somehow by sharing my own way of doing things when long travelling with my kids. Thank you for your feedback =)

  2. Great post! I enjoyed reading this one. I love this tips. This is probably going to help my wife and I to prepare our upcoming long trip in a few months.. thanks again for the tips.

    1. Hi Dino thank you and you’re welcome!! My apology if it’s too long and I can’t shorten it since these are my true preparations – I really think a lot about it and packed it! Hehe! Thank you again I am grateful I helped you somehow.

    1. Thank you Zuri im very thankful for your feedback i hope i helped you with this if in future you will have your own family to assist and love. Have a great day!

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