Road Trip with A Toddler {One Year Later}

One year ago (almost to the day) we went on a road trip to Mount Gambier (South Australia) to spend time with family. This year we went again because my very clever brick laying brother built himself a house and got himself engaged to a great girl - so we decided to go while it's (relatively) easy before baby number 2 arrives.

I wrote about our previous trip last year... It was interesting to read back over these posts and compare what was different this time - most notable being our level of relaxation and not stressing about every little thing, but then again Miss M is a whole year older and there's a huge difference between one and a half and two and a half. So anyway, here's the previous posts from last year...

Road Trip with a Toddler - The Before

Road Trip with a Toddler - The After

So some main differences between then and now is that Miss M no longer naps - so we couldn't rely on her having a sleep for a chunk of the drive, and no more dummies and bottles to worry about! She packed her own backpack of toys, teddies and books (not all practical for the car, but for her to play with once we got there). Surprisingly this book is still one of her favourites, and keeps her busy for ages, so it came along again! She actually 'reads' books now to herself which is a bonus!

Minimal mess snacks were again a must - sandwiches, biscuits, muesli bars, water etc... and of course foolproof games and episodes of Ben & Holly and Peppa Pig on the iPhone. We made a deal with her that if she was playing games it was ok to hold, but for watching episodes we put it in the headrest.

A major difference this time was the toilet factor! She's been toilet trained for a couple of months now - but it was something we always had to keep in mind... No accidents luckily! My pregnant bladder needed frequent stops as well ;) Speaking of which...another struggle this trip was my 33 week belly in the way! Turning around to the back of the car or retrieving items from the floor was not easy let me tell you!

Miss M was old enough this time to teach her I spy, so that was fun, she loved it when she guessed it right (we did the colour version rather than the starting letter eg. "I spy with my little eye something the colour green" and gave her specific hints whether it was inside or outside of the car.)

On both trips (there and back) we stopped at the Morning Loaf Bakery in Keith (about 3 hours from Adelaide and 2 hours from Mt Gambier) and is one of the states best known country bakeries. We liked the kids play room so much it was the perfect place to stop both times.

Morning Loaf Bakery - Keith

We had a fantastic time in the Mount including;

  • The Blue Lake
  • The Valley Lakes playground
  • A spot of shopping on the main street
  • Chilling out at my brother's new place
  • A great meal at the South Eastern Hotel (which had an awesome kids playground - we couldn't get Miss M out!)
  • and Miss M's highlight of the trip - the jumping pillow at the Blue Lake Tourist Park
  • plus some great quiet time back at our accommodation.
The Blue Lake

Awesome playground at the Valley Lakes

There was this moment on the trip, when all three of us were sitting around the table having ice creams. And all of a sudden it hit me - we are like a real little family! Miss M is like a little person now, a person who you have conversations with, share special moments, and she's so much easier and more compliant, it doesn't feel like hard work all - the - time. She can do what we do and enjoy those special holiday treats. We were making her childhood memories and it was happening right in front of me!

Well I think that's it for family travel for us for quite some time...I can't even imagine doing a trip with a toddler and a baby! Have you attempted it before? How did you survive?

Lauren x


  1. We did loads of road trip with a toddler and a baby - but we're mad. It's doable! :-)

  2. We did a few road trips to Port Augusta when Lila was younger, will be interesting to see how she handles it now. She's usually pretty good in the car, so I'm confident it would all work out okay!

    1. Miss M was definitely easier this time that last year... Depends on the distance too I think!

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