Preparing Your Child for Their First Road Trip Adventure

Many couples shy away from travelling once they have children, but it doesn't have to be a reason to put travel plans on hold. Babies, toddlers and kids of any age are never too young to be introduced to the world, and there are many parents taking their children across the country and the world.

If travel broadens the mind, there's no reason why you shouldn't start your little ones early, and many children's first adventure is a road trip with their parents. Here are some top tips on how you can prepare your little ones for their maiden voyage on the open road:

Talk Them Through the Journey
To avoid any unnecessary issues once you start your road trip, make sure there are no surprises by
talking through your entire journey with your child beforehand. The more you make it sound like the epic adventure it is undoubtedly going to be, the more excited and more invested your little one is going to be, and it will be so much fun for everybody when you hit the road. One great way to do this is to print off some maps and highlight the route to give them a sense of the scope and point out what you will be doing at each point. They won’t be able to hide the excitement.

Pack Accordingly
A great way to get your child psyched for your road trip adventure is to pack your bags together, so you can talk about what they are going to need in relation to the weather forecast and what you are going to be doing whilst on your travels. You can even go a step further and surf the net for any last-minute stuff you might need for a holiday, whether it’s
these clothes, a new bag or some useful travel accessories such as water bottles and sunglasses. Either way, you’ll have fun packing that bag before you go away, and the little one will be raring to go from the moment the zips are closed.

Be Ready for Anything
A road trip adventure can be as planned or as spontaneous as you like, but one thing you should be 100% prepared for is if anything goes wrong - whether that’s with your car or with your child’s health. You don’t want to suffer a tyre puncture and find yourself in the wilderness with no way to reach out to get it fixed, so make sure you have the tools to put it right or have 
the contact details of your breakdown service and insurance company to hand if you can’t deal with the issue yourself.
If your little one suffers from any ailments - or even if they don’t - you should have plenty of medication available, as well as a first aid kit for any accidents. You never know when something might occur, so you should always be prepared. You can deal with issues and salvage your trip if you’re ready for anything, so plenty of prep time is required before you set off on your adventure.

Have Plenty of Entertainment on Board
It doesn’t matter how excited your little one is for the trip; there are inevitably going to be long stretches of boredom once you’re out on the open road. There’s only so much scenery that children can cope with before they
need to be stimulated in other ways. These can be colouring books, a pen, and paper, or you can go digital and take portable DVD players or laptops on board with you. At least that way they will be giggling at a Pixel film instead of moaning at you that they are bored of staring out of the window. There is also no better opportunity to have a sing-along than on a road trip, so get some playlists ready and prepare to sing your heart out.

Get Them Invested in the Trip
You have been planning this first road trip adventure for a while, so why not get your little one invested in the trip from the beginning, and build up the excitement as you go? One way to do this would be to have a countdown in place. Start the day with an excited burst of “one week to go” and so on, and see if you can incorporate your upcoming experience into your little one’s daily routine, whether that’s reading up and where you’re going, or by drawing up some maps. If your child is at school, there might even be some opportunities to talk about their trip in front of their class. It all goes towards them having an amazing time when the day comes to a head off.

Give Them Tasks for the Trip
A superb way to prepare your child for their first road trip is to give them tasks to complete once they’re on the trip. These can be things to look out for when you’re on the road (such as wildlife, trees, and cars) to documenting their experiences via photos, videos and keeping a journal. Not only will this be stimulating, educational fun for your little one, but you could potentially have many great keepsakes from your road trip when it comes to an end. Imagine how great it will be to have photo albums, videos to watch and a personal experience journal 
from your child’s first adventure? You’ll never get another chance, so take advantage of all these great options where possible.

Help Them Create a ‘To Do’ List
While the road trip will be planned out by the parents, it’s important to involve your little one in the decision-making process. You can do this by helping them create a ‘To Do’ list whilst on your road trip. This could include all manner of things, such as catching a sunset, driving off-road, visiting a theme park, or anything else that comes to mind. There is no reason why you can’t tick all the boxes and make sure your child’s first road trip adventure is one they’ll never forget.

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photo credit: Miradortigre Caminitos de Nueva Zelanda via photopin (license)


  1. Great advice, we take UK breaks, last September we went to Norfolk which was a five hour drive plus stops at services, as long as you pack entertainment and snacks it isn't to bad, I would like to take them abroad when we all have our passports, your holiday photos look amazing xxx

  2. We only visit my dad in Surrey he drives us their it's only a 3 hour drive in a car

  3. Adventures can be enthralling for all ages.

    Rachel Craig

  4. Wondering if you are considering some adventures for your family? Seems a nice idea. Would love to read about any family adventures you may have, plans for future adventures, etc.

    Rachel Craig

  5. great tips kids can be so unpredictable