Car Free Travel with a Toddler

After a long weekend trip to San Francisco, I truly understand just how liberating the car-free concept is with kids.  We flew—which honestly isn’t the greenest option,(see Rebecca’s post about it here) but then traveled by subway, bus, streetcar and trolley all through the city. 

For my two-and-a-half-year-old, riding public transport was as much of a thrill as any of our destinations.  He could fall asleep on our shoulders, look out the window and even wander the aisles without having to worry about being strapped into a carseat.  It cost just $18 for each of us to have a three day Muni Passport, which covered almost every form of transportation available to us in the city.  That’s far less than a rental car, gas and parking!  The picture below of our son on a vespa in his Aunt Pauli’s garage was the closest he ever got to car travel.


I realize that this trip wouldn’t have been as easy with a newborn in tow.  Since my son is potty trained and can sleep with us in bed, we just brought carry-on luggage and easily managed to take trains from the airport to get to my sister-in-law’s apartment (with her as our guide). We proudly let his potty seat dangle from our backpack as we strode through the airport–classy!  

If we had tried this trip a year earlier cloth diaper changes throughout the city would have been challenging, but we had such a great time we’re already trying to strategize about how to go again after the upcoming birth of our second child. 

In our own hometown being totally car-free would be a bit more difficult, but we have several dedicated commuters who successfully manage it with ease.  Rebecca’s family gets by with just one vehicle—in fact, she never even drives!  Read about her adventures here.  Also you might want to check out a great blog on the very same subject: Carfree with Kids.  


  1. Yay for carfree travel! Our daughter, who gets to go on train and bus all the time, still finds them to be exciting adventures!!

  2. I have read that flying is a lot greener then driving. ??? whose to say

  3. My 2 year old daughter loves travelling on public transport.

    It’s a never ending adventure and she can not stop looking out of the windows.

Speak Your Mind