What you need to know about taking road trips with a toddler

Car road trip camper van

Taking a long-distance road trip with a toddler can be a daunting prospect. Whether you’re making the popular trip from Cairns to Brisbane, or you’ve got a drive along Melbourne’s Great Ocean Road planned to show your family the sights, it doesn’t have to be a complete nightmare. A lot less expensive than air travel and with the potential to be just as fun, if you follow these tips you can make the most of your time on the road and arrive at your destination both safe and sane.

Preparation is key

When you’re travelling with a toddler the last thing you’ll want to worry about is the car, so you’ll want to make sure it’s ready to handle the trip. You don’t want to be winding your way down 243 kilometres of Australia’s most stunning coastline and find out your windscreen wipers don’t work properly, or be stuck by the side of the road in the rugged outback with an overheated engine. If you don’t think your car is up to the trip, look into getting a rental or at least ensure you have roadside assistance.

Don’t leave them alone in the car

It may go without saying, but don’t be tempted to leave your child alone in the car, even if it’s just briefly. With some of Australia’s hottest days reaching up to 43 °C (109 °F), leaving your sleeping toddler in the car while you quickly fill up with petrol can mean they’re left in dangerously high temperatures. Plus, it only takes a few minutes for someone to break into your car when you’ve parked up to take an emergency bathroom break.

Get involved with backseat playtime

If you’re travelling with another adult, sitting in the back with your toddler can help to keep them entertained. Pack plenty of snacks, books and toys to distract them, and have some car games prepared. New toys are always great for long trips as toddlers are often more keen to play with them than toys they already have.

Travelling in safety

Your number one priority during a road trip with a toddler is that they are strapped into comfortable car seat that’s suitable for their age group. Check that it’s installed correctly before you set off and that it meets Australian safety standards, as it is illegal for any child under the age of seven years to travel in a car without one.

Take plenty of breaks and split your trip

When you’re travelling with a toddler, it’s a good idea to spread a trip over a few days and look up places to stay on your route and fun things to do while you’re there. You can also travel for a few hours and stop in a city along the way for lunch or to visit a park or museum. It will help to tire them out and make the time spent on the road a little more peaceful.

Image by: PublicDomainPictures


Baby toddler road trip