Tips for road trips with young children


We often take road trips across the border and our road trips average about 4 hours door to door from Singapore to KL. I love driving and I pretty much don’t like to stop more than once (for a toilet break) – kills the driving flow. So here are my parameters:

-a) 1 (max 2) toilet break

-b)child must be strapped in car seat at all times during the drive

c) no eating at the hawker stalls at the rest stops – not if you want to enjoy the rest of your trip! Have you seen amount of flies INSIDE the netted food containers??!!!

d) minimal food crumbs

After countless trips (I believe B has clock in more than 50 road trips in her 5 years), this is our streamlined routine.

Optimal Time:

After lunch – this is to coincide with her afternoon nap, so that Daddy entertainment system can rest for 2 hours before starting.  Mummy doesn’t entertain – she’s the driver because it’s easier to drive 400km than to entertain! Muah!! HA! HA!

Entertainment Systems

I have the following entertainment systems in my car:

Radio & Daddy & Look at scenery

All 3 systems can work together. No compatibility issues.

I believe there is a time and place for everything and in my car, there is no place for iPads, Smartphone, DVD entertainment.


You can’t stave the kid. So you have to feed the little bugger during the drive because a well sated kid means more peace and sanity during a long drive.

I usually have a mixture of crap snacks & healthy stuff. We all need to enjoy some Twisties, Cheese Rings, chips without feeling guilty about feeding them to our kids and since B doesn’t get them on a normal day, I make it a treat during car rides (so that raises the value of an otherwise possibly boring car ride and makes up for being strapped in for 4 hours!). Anyway, a bit of crap snacks once in a while won’t hurt anyone and you don’t want your kid to be such a goody-two-shoes that she will be ostracized in school later on when she doesn’t even know what twisties are.

Avoid sugars: Sugar highs are a really bad idea when you are confined to a car!

Healthy Snacks:

  • Apple slices ( remember to slice them thinly)
  • steamed broccoli/ cauliflower florets
  • steamed carrot rings
  • steamed French beans (this is B’s latest favourite car snack because she harvests the little beans inside before eating the rest, and it becomes a game)
  • corn (great for killing time too – B loves plucking the kennels one by one)
  • Seaweed lavas (I am not sure if this is a healthy snack but it’s an easy one to eat)





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