- 10 Strategies for Long Road Trips with Kids
- 12 Rules for a Successful Family Road Trip
- Train Like a Marathoner
- Plan Your Route
- Let ’Em Watch “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”
- Don’t Overlook Audio
- Go Big on Snacks
- Don’t Schedule Pit Stops
- Find a Park
- Leave Early
- Respect Personal Space
- Embrace Games
- Go Long on Day One
- Always Choose to Drive
- 10 Strategies for Long Road Trips with Kids
- Don’t Plan Long Driving Days
- Add Buffer Time and Then Some
- Road Games Are Key
- Keep Everyone Fed
- Consider the Potty
- Prepare for Messes
- Rethink Your Changing Table
- Plan Park-and-Play Stops
- Update Classic Road-Trip Games
- Embrace the Chaos
- 11 Tips For Road Trips With Kids You’ll Be Happy You Know
- Expert Tips For Road Trips With Kids
- 11 Top Tips For Road Trips You’ll Be Glad You Know
- 1 Consider Leaving Very Early
- 2 Have Visual and Audio Entertainment
- Expert Tips For Road Trips With Kids
- 3 Bring Back-Up Entertainment
- 4 Plan For Road Trip Meals and Snacks
- 5 Schedule In Breaks Including The Occasional Fun Break
- Another Of My Favorite Long Road Trip Tips With Kids
- 6 Have Surprises In Your Back Pocket
- 7 Create “Self Service” Stations For Kids
- 8 Plan For Naps
- 9 Have PPE Accessible
- 10 Prepare For The Unexpected
- 11 Pack A “One Night” Bag
- FAQs About Road Tripping With Kids
- How Do You Make a Road Trip Easier For Kids
- What Should Kids do on a Road Trip With a Car
- Are Road Trips Good for Kids
- Final Thought About Tips For Road Trips With Kids
- 14 Tips to Enjoy Family Road Trips
- Plan Ahead of Time
- 1 Know Your Limits
- 2 Take a Practice Run
- 3 Let Kids Know What to Expect Ahead of Time
- 4 Know Your Route
- Pack Smart
- 5 Be Prepared
- 6 Have Your Kids Pack Their Own Activity Bags
- 7 Don’t Forget Yourself
- Find Fun on the Road
- 8 Keep Them Occupied
- 9 Pass the Time Together with Games
- 10 Never Underestimate the Power–and Timing–of Snacks
- 11 Speaking of Surprises…
- 12 Get Musical
- Put Your Focus on the Kids
- 13 Let the Kids Have a Say
- 14 Don’t Forget the Best Way to Keep Kids Happy on a Long Journey…
- Final Thoughts
- What You Should Do Next
- 1 Subscribe to my Newsletter
- 2 Register for my FREE 60-Minute Class
- 3 Enroll in my 7-Step Parenting Success System® Course
- About the Author
- Road Trip with Toddler – 9 Essential Survival Tips
- 1 Separate the kids
- 2 Drive at night
- 3 Plan your trip itinerary with kids in mind
- 4 Let the kids move
- 5 Stock up on healthy snacks
- 6 Play road games
- 7 Listen to kids’ music and audiobooks
- 8 Digital tablets films and games
- 9 Pack strategically
10 Strategies for Long Road Trips with Kids
Planning a road trip with kids can be both exciting and challenging. The idea of exploring new places and creating lasting memories is appealing, but the thought of keeping your little ones entertained and happy during long drives can be daunting. However, with the right strategies in place, you can turn your long road trip into a fun and enjoyable experience for the whole family.
First and foremost, make sure you have enough room in the car to accommodate everyone comfortably. A cramped space can quickly lead to cranky kids and a stressful atmosphere. Consider renting a larger vehicle or using a roof rack to create more space for luggage and snacks.
Another important strategy is to pack plenty of entertainment options. Keep a selection of books, games, and toys on hand to keep your children occupied during the journey. Remember to also pack headphones and tablets for each child, so they can listen to their own music or watch their favorite shows without disturbing others.
When it comes to food and snacks, be prepared. Pack a cooler with drinks and easy-to-eat snacks like fruit, yogurt, and granola bars. Having these items readily available will save you from making frequent stops at fast food restaurants and allow you to keep your little ones satisfied throughout the trip.
It’s also essential to plan for breaks along the way. Encourage everyone to stretch their legs, use the restroom, and get some fresh air. Look for rest areas, parks, or scenic spots where your children can burn off some energy. These breaks will not only help reduce the restlessness but also make the journey more enjoyable for everyone.
In addition to physical breaks, it’s important to consider mental breaks as well. Take turns with your spouse or partner driving so that one person can rest while the other takes charge. If you are traveling solo, consider stopping at a hotel for the night to get some much-needed rest before continuing your journey.
Another strategy to keep in mind is to involve your children in the trip planning process. Let them choose some of the destinations or attractions you’ll visit along the way. This will give them a sense of ownership and excitement, and they will be more likely to stay engaged and interested throughout the trip.
Lastly, be flexible and adaptable. Unexpected situations may arise, and your plans may need to change. Embrace the spontaneity and make the most out of any detours or unexpected discoveries. Remember, it’s not just about the destination, but also the journey itself.
Credit: Photo by Wisconsin DNR on Unsplash
12 Rules for a Successful Family Road Trip
Planning a family road trip can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be a challenging endeavor. Traveling with kids requires careful preparation and a well-thought-out strategy to ensure everyone has a great time. Follow these 12 rules for a successful family road trip:
1. Pack smart
Packing for a road trip requires careful consideration. Make sure to bring all the essentials like snacks, drinks, and entertainment for the kids. Don’t forget the chargers for devices and any necessary medications.
2. Leave early
Leaving early in the morning allows you to get a head start on the day and avoid rush hour traffic. It also gives you more time to reach your destination and allows for unexpected delays.
3. Plan for breaks
Long stretches of driving can be tiring for both kids and parents. Plan for regular breaks to stretch your legs, go sightseeing, or use the toilet. This will help prevent fatigue and make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.
4. Bring entertainment
Kids can get bored easily on long road trips, so be sure to pack some movies, games, or books to keep them entertained. You could also create a playlist of their favorite songs that can be played on the car stereo.
5. Stock up on snacks and drinks
Having plenty of snacks and drinks for the road can save you from frequent stops. Pack a variety of options that cater to different tastes and dietary restrictions.
6. Embrace technology
Devices like tablets and smartphones can be a lifesaver during a long road trip. Load them up with educational games, movies, and interactive apps that keep the kids engaged and entertained.
7. Enjoy the journey
A road trip is not just about the destination–it’s about the journey. Take the time to appreciate the scenic routes, stop at interesting landmarks, and make wonderful memories along the way.
8. Stay hydrated
It’s essential to stay hydrated during a road trip, so make sure to bring plenty of water bottles. Encourage everyone to drink regularly to prevent fatigue and stay alert.
9. Be flexible
No matter how well you plan, unexpected things can happen on a road trip. Be flexible and go with the flow. Embrace the detours and changes in the itinerary, and use them to create new and exciting experiences.
10. Take restful breaks
When stopping for the night, choose accommodations that offer relaxation and comfort. A good night’s sleep will help everyone recharge and be ready for the next leg of the journey.
11. Be prepared for whining
Let’s face it, kids will get bored and may start whining. Be prepared with distractions, games, or other activities to keep them occupied and prevent meltdowns.
12. Have fun!
Most importantly, remember to have fun! Road trips are an amazing way to bond with your family and create lasting memories. Enjoy every moment, no matter how long or short the journey may be.
Train Like a Marathoner
Just like a marathon runner would do, you need to be prepared for anything that comes your way during the trip. It’s always a good idea to have a variety of games and activities on hand, as well as snacks and drinks to keep everyone entertained and well-fed. A well-stocked cooler with plenty of water, juice, and cups becomes a roadside oasis for the whole family.
It’s also important to have a schedule in mind, but don’t be afraid to switch things up if needed. Just as a runner may adjust their pace during a race, be willing to take breaks when necessary and make stops at interesting places along the way. This can be a perfect opportunity to explore local parks or attractions and stretch your legs.
Another key aspect of “training” for a long road trip is to be prepared for the unexpected. Keep essential items like a first aid kit, blankets, and toilet paper easily accessible in case of accidents or emergencies. A portable potty for young children can also be a lifesaver on long stretches of road where rest stops are few and far between.
In addition, it’s important to manage expectations and avoid becoming overwhelmed or frustrated. Just as a marathon runner knows that they will face challenges along the course, remind yourself that there might be bumps in the road and that things won’t always go according to plan. Being flexible and adaptable can make the journey much more enjoyable for everyone.
Finally, don’t forget to keep the fun factor high. Play games, sing songs, and tell stories to keep everyone entertained. Consider bringing audiobooks or a portable DVD player to provide entertainment during longer stretches of the trip. With the right attitude and a little creativity, even the longest road trip can become an unforgettable family adventure.
Plan Your Route
When it comes to long road trips with kids, planning your route is essential. Taking the time to map out your course can mean the difference between a smooth journey and a chaotic one.
Firstly, look for things along the way that will interest your young roadtrippers. This could be anything from a special playground to a fun road stop with a unique attraction. Keeping them entertained and engaged can help prevent boredom and whining.
Next, make sure to choose rest stops strategically. Aim for places with clean facilities and ample space for the kids to stretch their legs and burn off some energy. Look for gas stations and rest areas with playgrounds or green spaces. These pit stops are perfect for quick ball games or just letting your little ones run around.
Be prepared for surprises along the way. It’s always a good idea to have snacks, wipes, and plastic bags on hand for any unexpected messes. Accidents happen, and having these essential items readily available will make dealing with them much easier.
If you have toddlers, it’s also important to plan for their special needs. Pack a duffle bag with extra clothes, diapers, and any other items that they might require. Having this bag within easy reach will save you from having to rummage through other luggage to find what you need.
For longer drives, consider bringing entertainment devices like tablets or portable DVD players. Load them up with movies, audiobooks, or games that your kids enjoy, and don’t forget to bring along headphones. This can be a great way to pass the time and keep everyone happy.
In addition to digital distractions, encourage your kids to look outside and appreciate the scenery. Point out interesting landmarks or talk about the different states you pass through. This can turn the drive into a learning experience and spark their curiosity about the world around them.
Lastly, be flexible with your schedule. While planning is important, it’s also important to remain open to unexpected detours or delays. Sometimes the journey itself is the adventure, and veering off course can lead to amazing discoveries and memorable experiences.
By following these tips and taking the time to plan your route, you can make long road trips with kids enjoyable for everyone. So, pack your bags, pick a destination, and get ready for days of fun and new adventures together!
Let ’Em Watch “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”
One of the easiest ways to keep your children entertained and avoid constant “Are we there yet?” questions is to let them watch their favorite movies or TV shows during long road trips. Pack a portable DVD player or a tablet with headphones so each child can enjoy their own movie or show. A movie like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is a great choice because it’s entertaining for children of all ages.
The beauty of letting your kids watch a movie is that it can occupy their attention for hours. They can really get caught up in the story and hardly notice the passing of time. Plus, movies like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” have a quick pace and plenty of humor to keep little ones engaged.
If you’re worried about your child getting car sick, you can always provide some motion sickness medication or, better yet, encourage them to look out the window at the passing scenery. You can make it a game by having them count different types of vehicles or spot specific landmarks.
In addition to movies, you can also bring along some books on tape or audiobooks. This is a great alternative for children who aren’t interested in watching movies or for times when you want to take a break from screen time.
Remember to pack some snacks to keep everyone’s hunger at bay. Healthy options like fruit and granola bars are a good choice, but don’t forget to indulge in some treats too! A road trip is the perfect time for a little extra indulgence.
Another tip for a successful road trip is to plan ahead and research rest stops and gas stations along your route. This way, you can take breaks as needed and stretch your legs. It’s also a good idea to have a plan in place for potential bathroom breaks, especially if you have young children who might need to use the restroom more frequently.
Of course, not all road trips go perfectly according to plan, so it’s important to be flexible and willing to adapt. Sometimes the best memories are made from spontaneous detours or unexpected discoveries along the way.
So, when you’re planning your next family road trip, let your kids watch “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” or any other movie they enjoy. It will provide a fun and restful experience for everyone involved.
Don’t Overlook Audio
When it comes to keeping children entertained on a long road trip, audio is a nice option that often gets overlooked. While movies and toys can be great distractions, sometimes a little peace and quiet can go a long way. That’s where audio comes in.
There are many options for audio entertainment during a road trip. One universal recommendation is to have a collection of favorite children’s books on tape or CD. These can be a great way to pass the time and keep kids engaged in a story. Whether you choose classic tales or something more current, there are plenty of options to meet every child’s interest.
If your children are willing to listen to something other than books, there are also many podcasts and audio shows geared towards kids. These can be a great way to introduce your children to new topics and help them learn something new during your trip. Some popular options include storytelling podcasts, science-based shows, and educational programs.
Another audio option that has become increasingly popular is giving each child their own set of headphones and a portable music player. This way, they can listen to their favorite music or audio books without disturbing anyone else in the car. Just make sure to set volume limits to protect their hearing.
Heres a pro tip: If you’re traveling with infants or toddlers, having a white noise machine or a CD of lullabies can be essential for helping them fall asleep. The gentle, soothing sounds can help drown out the noise of the road and create a more peaceful environment for naptime.
When it comes to audio equipment, it’s important to choose ones that are durable and easy to use. If you’re planning to use CDs, make sure to bring a CD wallet or case to keep them organized and safe from scratches. If you’re using a digital device, consider investing in a waterproof and shockproof case to protect it from spills and bumps. And don’t forget to bring extra batteries or a charger to ensure you’ll have enough power for the whole trip.
Audio entertainment can be a true road trip savior, especially on long stretches of highways where there may not be much to see outside the window. Whether you’re listening to a two-hour audio book or a playlist of your favorite songs, it can help pass the time and keep everyone in the car entertained.
So, don’t overlook audio when planning for a long road trip with kids. It’s an essential part of a survival guide that can help avoid boredom and keep everyone happy and entertained on the journey.
Go Big on Snacks
When it comes to keeping children entertained on long road trips, snacks can be a game changer. Having a variety of delicious and healthy snacks on hand can help prevent hunger-induced meltdowns and make the journey more pleasant for everyone involved.
First and foremost, make sure to pack a plentiful supply of fresh fruit. Apples, grapes, and oranges are great options that can easily be enjoyed on the go. These snacks not only provide essential vitamins and nutrients, but also help keep children hydrated during those long stretches between rest stops.
In addition to fruit, be sure to bring a selection of dry snacks. Granola bars, pretzels, and trail mix are all excellent choices that can be easily packed and consumed during the ride. These snacks are not only delicious, but also provide a much-needed energy boost during those seemingly never-ending drives.
If you’re looking to mix things up a bit, consider bringing some individual snack packs. Cheese sticks, yogurt cups, and individual servings of hummus or guacamole are all great options that can be easily enjoyed while on the road. These individual servings are not only convenient, but also help eliminate any potential disputes over who gets what.
When it comes to drinks, besides the essential water, having a variety of choices is key. Juice boxes, flavored water, and individual milk cartons are all great options that can help keep children hydrated and happy. And let’s not forget the caffeine! If you’re a coffee lover, consider packing a thermos of your favorite brew to help keep you alert during those early morning drives.
Lastly, don’t forget about the unexpected stops. When nature calls or you come across a particularly enticing playground, having a few snacks on hand can make these impromptu breaks even more enjoyable. So be sure to pack some extra snacks just in case!
Remember, snacks are not only a source of sustenance, but also a tool to keep children entertained and well-behaved during long road trips. So go big on snacks, and watch as the miles fly by with much more ease and tranquility.
Don’t Schedule Pit Stops
When it comes to long road trips with kids, it’s easy to think that planning frequent pit stops is essential. However, going against the norm might actually be the key to a smoother journey. By not scheduling pit stops, you allow your little ones to adapt to the situation and learn a bit of patience along the way.
Instead of having fixed bathroom breaks every few hours, let your child’s needs guide your decisions. This flexible approach can be a game-changer, as it avoids unnecessary stops and keeps everyone’s interest intact. If your child wants a quick toilet break or needs a snack, then it’s time to switch off the highway and find a suitable spot.
The fact is, most young children are not the best at holding their bladder for long stretches of time. However, by avoiding rigid schedules, you give them the chance to learn and adapt. It might take a bit of trial and error, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly they become willing to hold it in and wait for a more suitable place to stop.
Of course, accidents happen, and that’s okay. That’s why it’s important to be prepared. Make sure you have a bag packed with wipes, a change of clothes, and a plastic bag to contain any mess. Having these essentials on hand will save you the stress and embarrassment of dealing with a soaked car seat.
In addition to bathroom breaks, don’t be afraid to skip the specified meal times. If your child isn’t hungry when it’s time to stop at a restaurant, try having some portable snacks or sandwiches available in the car. This way, they can munch on something when they feel hungry, without having to wait for everyone else to be ready.
By not scheduling pit stops, you also avoid the constant temptation of screen time. Instead of relying on electronic devices to keep your child entertained during breaks, encourage them to look outside and enjoy the world around them. This not only reduces screen time but also helps them develop an appreciation for nature and their surroundings.
Another benefit of not scheduling pit stops is that it allows for more individual exploration. Let your child decide if they want to stretch their legs for a bit or just stay in the car. It’s important to respect their choices and give them some freedom to make decisions. This independence can help boost their confidence and make the journey more enjoyable for everyone.
So, next time you hit the road with your little ones, think twice before mapping out every pit stop. By being more flexible and letting go of rigid schedules, you might just discover a new and improved road trip survival plan that works for your family.
Find a Park
One of the best strategies for surviving a long road trip with kids is to find a park along the way. There are usually some great parks that can be easily accessed from major highways or cities, making it a nice opportunity for both sightseeing and giving your children a chance to run around and play.
When you’re planning your trip, look for parks that are not too far off the route you’ll be driving. This way, it won’t seem like too much of a detour when you want to make a stop. Having some options in different locations is always handy, as you never know when a child might need a break or wants to play.
If you have toddlers or younger children, finding a park that has a children’s playground can be a true vacation magic. It’s amazing how much energy they can burn off running around and playing on the swings and slides. Plus, it gives them a chance to interact with other kids, making those long miles in the car seem much shorter.
When you find a park that catches your interest, make sure to pack some essential gear, such as toys or balls that your children can play with. Having some options on hand will keep them entertained and make the park visit more enjoyable for everyone. If you’re prepared, you won’t have to scramble to find something for them to do when you get there.
Of course, if you’re looking for a short break or you don’t want to spend too much time at a park, there are other choices as well. Some parks have picnic areas with tables and benches, where you can have a nice meal or snack before continuing on your journey. This can be a good option if you’re traveling with picky eaters or if you want to save some money by not eating at a restaurant.
In addition to parks, there are also other accessible places that can be great for making stops. For example, museums, rest stops, or historical sights can be interesting for both children and adults. It’s all about finding something that sparks their interest and keeps them engaged during the trip.
Overall, finding a park along the way can make a long road trip much more pleasant for everyone. It provides a chance to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and enjoy the outdoors. So, next time you hit the road with your children, don’t forget to have a list of parks and other places ready, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful and enjoyable journey.
When it comes to long road trips with kids, leaving early can make a huge difference in the overall experience. By getting on the road before everyone else, you can avoid heavy traffic and long lines at popular rest stops or tourist attractions. It also gives you more time to rest and makes it easier to plan for unexpected delays, like bathroom breaks or detours.
Leaving early also means that your kids are more likely to sleep for a good portion of the trip. Toddlers in particular tend to doze off in their car seats, so taking advantage of their natural sleep schedule can help make the journey more restful for everyone.
Another advantage of leaving early is that you have more time to visit interesting places along the way. Instead of sitting in traffic, you can plan to stop at scenic viewpoints, historic sites, or fun attractions that your kids will enjoy. By leaving early, you can make the most of your time on the road and create lasting memories for your family.
When leaving early, it’s important to have a few essentials prepared. Make sure to pack a bag with snacks, drinks, and any other supplies you might need for the trip. Ziplock bags are a must for any messy situations, like spills or bathroom emergencies. Bring a portable DVD player or tablet with some of your kids’ favorite movies or TV shows to keep them entertained. Don’t forget to bring chargers and headphones as well.
Before you leave, it’s a good idea to check the latest weather and traffic updates. This will help you plan your route and avoid any potential delays. Use a GPS or maps app to find the most efficient highways and make sure to have a backup route in case of unexpected road closures or construction.
Leaving early also means that you’ll have time to take breaks and stretch your legs. Plan to stop at rest areas or parks along the way where your kids can run around and burn off some energy. Bringing a ball or frisbee can also help keep them active and entertained during these breaks.
If you’re driving with toddlers, it’s important to remember that they might get bored or restless during the trip. Bringing along some of their favorite toys or books can help keep them occupied. You can also play games or sing songs together to keep their interest and make the time go by faster.
When it comes to long road trips with kids, leaving early can make a world of difference. It allows you to avoid traffic, visit interesting places, and keep your kids entertained. So, if you want to have a more enjoyable and stress-free journey, make sure to plan ahead and leave as early as possible.
Respect Personal Space
When embarking on a long road trip with kids, it’s important to respect personal space to make the journey more enjoyable for everyone involved. This means understanding that each family member needs their own space and time to themselves, even in the confined space of a car.
One way to respect personal space is to let each person choose their own seating arrangement in the car. This can avoid any arguments or discomfort that may arise from being crammed next to someone for hours on end.
Another strategy is to provide each family member with a small bag or ziplock filled with items of their choice. This allows them to have their own personal belongings and entertainment on hand without having to share or ask permission to use someone else’s things.
It’s also a good idea to give everyone the power to control their own environment. For example, if someone wants to listen to music, let them use headphones instead of playing it out loud for everyone to hear. This way, each person can enjoy their own preferred entertainment without disturbing others.
Respecting personal space can also extend to avoiding unnecessary physical contact. While it may be tempting to reach over and tickle your child or playfully hit your sibling, it’s important to remember that not everyone enjoys physical touch. Always ask for consent and respect the boundaries and personal preferences of each family member.
In addition, providing opportunities for personal time is essential. This can be done by planning stops along the way where individuals can stretch their legs, use the restroom, and have some time to themselves. Whether it’s a quick sightseeing detour, a visit to a playground, or simply a break at a hotel, these breaks can help everyone recharge and avoid feeling trapped in the car.
By respecting personal space, everyone feels valued and heard. It’s not only about physical space, but also about emotional and mental space. Remember, what may seem like a small gesture can have a huge effect on someone’s well-being and overall enjoyment of the trip.
Respecting personal space also helps to avoid unnecessary tension and arguments during the journey. When everyone feels comfortable and capable of being themselves, whining and bickering are less likely to occur.
Lastly, letting each family member have a say in the itinerary and activities can make the trip more enjoyable. Allow each person to choose a destination or activity that they are interested in. This could range from visiting a historical landmark to stopping at a local fruit stand. By involving everyone in the planning process, it ensures that everyone has something to look forward to and creates fond memories.
In conclusion, respecting personal space is a vital strategy for long road trips with kids. It helps to foster a positive and harmonious environment where everyone feels comfortable and valued. By implementing these strategies, you’ll find that the journey goes by faster and memories are created that will last a lifetime.
One of the best ways to keep your children entertained during a long road trip is by embracing games. Games not only keep them occupied but also help pass the time and create lasting memories. Here are some game ideas to consider:
1. Road trip bingo: Create a bingo card with different objects or landmarks you might see along the way, such as a tire, a cow, or a sign for a specific town like Boston. As you drive, have your children mark off the items they spot.
2. I spy: This classic game is played by taking turns to spot an object inside or outside the car and giving clues to help the other players guess what it is. It’s a great way to keep everyone engaged while enjoying the scenic views.
3. 20 questions: Choose a person, place, or thing, and have your children ask up to 20 questions to try to guess what it is. This game not only keeps their minds active but also encourages logical thinking and problem-solving skills.
4. The alphabet game: Starting with the letter “A,” each person takes turns finding something that begins with the next letter of the alphabet. For example, “A” could be an apple, “B” could be a bear, and so on. See how far you can go!
5. Would you rather: Ask your children fun and thought-provoking “Would you rather” questions. For example, “Would you rather have no toys but unlimited ice cream or have lots of toys but no ice cream?” It’s a great way to spark conversations and get to know each other better.
6. Car scavenger hunt: Create a list of items that can be seen while driving, such as a red house, a giant tree, or a license plate from a specific state. Each child can have their own list, and the first one to find everything on their list wins.
7. The movie game: Take turns naming movies, starting with the last letter of the previous movie. For example, if someone says “Toy Story,” the next person could say “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” This game can go on for hours and is a great way to test your movie knowledge.
8. Mad libs: Bring along a mad libs activity book or print out some templates. Fill in the blanks with random nouns, adjectives, and verbs, and create hilarious and silly stories together.
9. License plate game: Keep track of all the license plates you see and try to find as many from different states as possible. If you reach a certain number or find all 50 states, consider rewarding the kids with a treat or a special activity.
10. Team storytelling: Start a story and take turns adding to it. Each person can only say one sentence at a time, so the story goes in unexpected directions. It’s a fun and creative way to pass the time.
Remember to take breaks during the road trip to stretch your legs, use the restroom, and have some snacks or meals. Alternatively, you can play short games during these breaks to keep everyone entertained.
Embracing games is a great way to make long road trips with kids more enjoyable and restful. Not only does it keep them engaged and entertained, but it also provides an opportunity for families to bond and create lasting memories together. So, pack some games and gear up for a fun-filled road trip adventure!
Go Long on Day One
When planning a long road trip with kids, it’s important to start off on the right foot. One way to do this is by going long on the first day of your journey. While it might seem tempting to break up the drive into smaller segments, trust me, it’s better to get as many miles under your belt as possible.
Bringing along a variety of activities can help keep your little ones entertained during the long stretches of driving. One option is to download an audiobook that the whole family can enjoy. This way, whether you’re sitting in stop-and-go traffic or cruising down the open road, you’ll have an engaging story to keep you company.
If your kids haven’t joined the audiobook bandwagon yet, there are still plenty of other options. Pack some favorite books, coloring pages, or small toys that can keep them occupied for hours. You can even create a special “road trip kit” with individual ziplock bags for each child, filled with surprises and items of their interest.
Another strategy for a successful long drive is to plan your stops strategically. While it’s important to take breaks and stretch your legs, aim to have longer stops in places that offer more than just a restroom and gas station. Research ahead of time and find parks, landmarks, or attractions along your route that could be fun for the whole family. By incorporating these interesting stops into your day, you’ll not only give your kids a chance to run around and let off some steam, but you’ll also make lasting memories as a family.
It’s also a good idea to plan for the unexpected. Whether it’s a flat tire or a sudden rainstorm, having a backup plan can save the day. Make sure to bring extra snacks, drinks, and any necessary medications, just in case. And don’t forget to have a few games or activities on hand that can be played in the car if you find yourself stuck in traffic or unable to make any stops.
One expert tip for long road trips with kids is to make the car ride feel like a special event. Bring pillows and blankets for added comfort, and consider setting up a mini movie theater in the backseat. With a portable DVD player or a tablet loaded with their favorite films, your kids will be entertained for hours. You could even plan a surprise theme night, complete with costumes, snacks, and a movie that matches the theme.
Of course, it’s important to remain flexible and adjust your plans as needed. If your kids are getting tired or restless, don’t be afraid to make an unscheduled stop to let them stretch their legs or have a quick game of catch with a ball. Remember, the goal is to arrive at your destination safely and happily, so if that means deviating from the original plan, so be it.
By going long on day one, you’ll set the tone for a successful and enjoyable road trip. Your kids will be engaged and entertained, and you’ll be prepared to handle any unexpected surprises along the way. So buckle up, hit the road, and get ready for an adventure that your family will remember for years to come.
Always Choose to Drive
If you have the option to drive instead of fly, it’s always a great choice when traveling with kids. Not only does it give you more flexibility and control over your schedule, but it also allows you to spend quality, uninterrupted time together as a family. Plus, it can be a handy way to save money on airfare and rental cars.
While long road trips with kids may seem daunting at first, with a bit of planning and some essential supplies, you can turn them into pleasant and memorable adventures. Here are some tips and strategies to make your trip go smoothly:
- Keep the kids entertained with books, games, and toys. Audio books are a great option, as they allow everyone to enjoy a story or learn something new while driving.
- Pack snacks and drinks to avoid unnecessary stops along the way. Having a cooler with water and other favorite beverages will keep everyone hydrated and satisfied.
- Plan regular breaks to stretch your legs, use the toilet, and have a quick meal. It’s important to keep everyone comfortable and avoid any discomfort or messes on long stretches of driving.
- Make sure to have a fully charged phone or GPS device as a back-up navigation tool. This will come in handy in case you encounter any unexpected detours or need assistance finding your way.
- Before hitting the road, familiarize yourself with the route and any potential scenic stops or attractions along the way. Surprise pit stops at national parks or unusual landmarks can add excitement and adventure to the trip.
- Consider driving during the quiet hours of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon, to avoid heavy traffic and make the journey faster and less tiring.
- If you’re traveling with older kids, involve them in the planning and navigation process. Let them take turns being the navigator, and give them the responsibility of finding interesting sights or restaurants along the route.
- Don’t forget to have essential items within easy reach, such as wipes, tissues, and hand sanitizer. This will help you stay prepared for any unexpected messes or moments that require cleanliness.
- Keep sibling arguments at bay by providing each child with their own space and entertainment. This could be as simple as giving each child a bag of activities, toys, or snacks to keep them occupied and happy.
- Last but not least, when making stops along the way, let the kids burn off some energy by taking short walks or playing at a nearby park. This will not only help them relax but also break up the monotony of sitting in a car for hours.
By following these tips and being prepared, long road trips with kids can be a lot more enjoyable for everyone involved. So, choose to drive and embark on an adventure that creates lasting memories.
10 Strategies for Long Road Trips with Kids
Going on a long road trip with children can be both exciting and challenging. It’s important to keep your little ones entertained and comfortable during those long miles, so that the journey becomes just as enjoyable as the destination. Here are 10 strategies to help you make the most of your family road trip:
|1. Plan ahead||Before hitting the road, make a plan of the route and any stops you might want to make along the way. Knowing the approximate time it will take and what attractions are available can help keep the whole family excited about the upcoming journey.|
|2. Bring snacks and water||A hungry and thirsty child can quickly become a whining child. Pack a variety of healthy snacks and water in easy-to-reach ziplock bags, so that you can quickly hand them out when hunger strikes.|
|3. Keep them entertained||Bring along some entertainment options, such as coloring books, puzzles, and audiobooks. You could also download their favorite movies or games on a tablet or smartphone to keep them occupied.|
|4. Play games||Create games that involve the whole family, such as “I spy” or a scavenger hunt. This will keep everyone engaged and make the time pass more quickly.|
|5. Take regular breaks||Children have shorter attention spans, so it’s important to take breaks and let them stretch their legs. Find pleasant destinations along the way, where they can run around and burn off some energy.|
|6. Have a back-up plan||Even with careful planning, things can go wrong. Prepare for unexpected situations by having a back-up plan in place, whether it’s an alternate route or a list of additional activities to do if the original plan falls through.|
|7. Pack a travel bag||Prepare a duffle bag with essentials like extra clothes, diapers (if potty-training), and wipes. This way, you won’t have to rummage through your main luggage every time you need something.|
|8. Bring a travel pillow and blanket||To make longer rides more comfortable, bring a travel pillow and blanket for each child. They can use them for napping or just having a cozy spot to sit in.|
|9. Keep tires fully inflated||One way to prevent unexpected issues on the road is to regularly check your tire pressure and ensure they are fully inflated. This will also improve fuel efficiency and make the ride smoother.|
|10. Make it educational||Taking a road trip can be a great opportunity for learning. Involve your children in the journey by giving them a map and asking them to guide you, or play “spot the state license plates” to help them learn about geography.|
Don’t Plan Long Driving Days
When traveling with kids on a long road trip, it’s important to avoid planning excessively long driving days. Sitting in a car for hours on end can be tiring and uncomfortable for children, and can lead to restlessness and crankiness. To make the journey more enjoyable for everyone, consider breaking up the trip into smaller, manageable chunks.
Instead of driving for hours on end, try to find attractions or activities along the way that you can stop and explore. This will not only give your children a chance to stretch their legs and burn off some energy, but it will also break up the monotony of the drive and make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.
One strategy is to aim for two-hour driving stretches at a time, with a break in between. This allows your kids to have a chance to run around and play, preventing them from getting too antsy and restless during the drive. It’s a good idea to research attractions or parks along your route and book accommodations near these stops, so you have a nice place to rest and relax while you explore.
Another tip is to enroll your kids in travel-friendly activities while you drive. Bring along books, coloring books, or activity packets that they can work on during the journey. Audio books or podcasts can also be a great way to keep them entertained and engaged. If your child is old enough, they can take turns reading stories or playing games with their siblings or parents.
Of course, it’s always important to be flexible and open to spontaneous stops or detours. Sometimes the best experiences are the ones that are unexpected. If you happen to come across a beautiful park, a roadside attraction, or a charming town, don’t be afraid to take a break and explore. It might just end up being the highlight of your trip!
When planning your driving days, it’s also a good idea to have some flexibility built in. While it can be tempting to try to cover as much ground as possible, it’s better to account for unexpected delays or longer breaks. This will help reduce the pressure to keep driving, and give you time to fully enjoy the journey.
Finally, it’s important to pack plenty of snacks, water, and other essentials for the road. Having a cooler full of drinks and snacks on hand can prevent hunger-induced tantrums and help keep everyone happy. Don’t forget to bring extra wipes or paper towels for any messes that may occur!
By following these strategies and keeping the driving days shorter and more enjoyable, you can make your road trip with kids a more pleasant and memorable experience for the whole family.
Add Buffer Time and Then Some
When embarking on a long road trip with kids, it’s essential to add buffer time to your schedule. Whether you encounter unexpected traffic, frequent bathroom breaks, or unforeseen meltdowns, allowing extra time will help reduce stress and keep everyone happy. As an experienced road trip enthusiast and mother of two, here are some strategies I recommend to make the journey more enjoyable.
- Plan for Delays: It’s almost inevitable that there will be delays along the way. Factor in additional travel time to account for traffic, construction, or any other unforeseen circumstances. This way, you won’t feel the pressure to rush and can maintain a more relaxed vibe.
- Pack Snacks and Drinks: To prevent hunger or thirst from becoming an issue, pack a variety of snacks and drinks. Individual portions of fruits, sandwiches, crackers, and water bottles are some options that work well. Pro tip: avoid sugary drinks as they can lead to hyperactivity and crashes later on.
- Create a Fun Playlist: Music is a universal mood booster. Make a family-friendly playlist with each person’s favorite songs. Singing along and sharing the joy of music can help pass the time and create lasting memories.
- Bring Entertainment: Keeping kids entertained during the journey is key to avoiding boredom and misbehavior. Consider bringing entertainment options such as audiobooks, handheld games, coloring books, or a portable DVD player.
- Have a Surprise Bag: Prepare a bag of surprise toys, games, or activities that you can hand out during moments of restlessness. These surprises can be a great distraction and keep the kids engaged and entertained.
When it comes to road trips, leaving room for unexpected stops and detours is a must. Children often have unique needs that can’t always be anticipated, so having extra time and patience is crucial. By implementing these strategies, you can create a more enjoyable and smoother journey for the whole family, ensuring lasting memories without the stress. Safe travels!
Road Games Are Key
When it comes to embarking on a long road trip with kids, having a variety of road games on hand can make all the difference. Road games are not only a great way to entertain the kids during the ride, but they can also help to prevent tantrums and keep their attention focused on something other than the long drive ahead.
So, if you’re planning a road trip with your little ones, here’s a list of road games that are sure to keep them entertained:
- I Spy: A classic game that everyone can enjoy. Take turns giving clues and guessing what the object is.
- License Plate Game: See if you can spot license plates from all 50 states. Keep a tally of each state you find.
- 20 Questions: Take turns thinking of an object and have the other players ask yes or no questions to try to guess what it is.
- Car Bingo: Print out bingo cards with various road trip-related items and see who can find them first.
- The Alphabet Game: Start with the letter A and try to find words on signs, license plates, or other cars that start with each letter of the alphabet.
- Would You Rather: Ask each other silly questions like “Would you rather ride a roller coaster or go on a water slide?”
- Memory Game: Take turns saying “I’m going on a vacation and I’m bringing…” and list an item. Each person has to repeat the previous items and add their own.
- Song Sing-Along: Create a playlist of your favorite road trip songs and sing along together.
- 20 Questions: Take turns thinking of an object and have the other players ask yes or no questions to try to guess what it is.
- The Alphabet Game: Start with the letter A and try to find words on signs, license plates, or other cars that start with each letter of the alphabet.
These road games are not only a fun way to pass the time, but they also help to keep everyone involved and entertained. So, before you hit the road, make sure you have a duffle bag packed with toys, games, snacks, and other entertainment options to keep the kids happy and occupied during the ride.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for some screen time entertainment, you can download movies or TV shows onto a tablet or use a portable DVD player. Just be sure to bring headphones or a headphone splitter so everyone can enjoy the movie without disturbing the driver.
Remember, long road trips with kids can be tiring and stressful, but with the right entertainment and some creative road games, you can make the ride a pleasant and enjoyable part of your vacation.
Keep Everyone Fed
When you are on a long road trip with kids, keeping everyone fed is essential for a pleasant journey. Here are some tips to ensure that everyone stays well-fed and happy:
- Plan ahead and pack a cooler with accessible snacks and drinks for the road. This way, you can avoid having to stop at every convenience store or rest area.
- Bring a variety of snacks that are easy for children to handle, such as fruits, granola bars, and crackers. Ziplock bags are handy for portioning out snacks.
- Prepare meals in advance and pack them in containers that can be easily eaten in the car. Sandwiches, wraps, and salads are all good options.
- Have a designated eating area in the car, such as a lap tray or a travel table. This allows children to sit comfortably and enjoy their meals without making a mess.
- Choose restaurants wisely during meal stops. Look for family-friendly places that offer kid-friendly menu options and a pleasant dining experience.
- If you do decide to stop at a restaurant, try to avoid peak meal times to minimize waiting and ensure a quicker service.
- Keep a stash of paper plates, napkins, and utensils in the car for those unforeseen meals or snacks on the go.
- Hydration is important, especially during long road trips. Make sure you have plenty of water and other drinks available to keep everyone refreshed.
- Don’t forget about treats and indulgences! Having some special snacks or desserts on hand can make the journey more enjoyable for everyone.
- Lastly, don’t forget to eat yourself! It’s easy to get caught up in taking care of everyone else and forget to nourish yourself. Take breaks and enjoy a meal or snack when needed.
By following these tips, you can ensure that everyone stays well-fed and satisfied during your long road trip. Remember, a well-fed family is a happy family!
Consider the Potty
When you’re on a long road trip with kids, it’s important to consider their needs, including bathroom breaks. Whether you’re driving through the wide open roads of Montana or the busy highways of Florida, you never know when your little ones will need to go. That’s why it’s handy to have a portable potty option available.
A portable potty can be a lifesaver, especially when there are limited restroom choices on the road. You can easily keep it accessible in the car by placing it in the console or the backseat. This way, whenever your kids need to go, you can quickly turn off at the next exit and let them take care of business.
One option is to bring a small portable potty seat that can fit over any toilet seat. This way, you can stop at rest stops or gas stations, and your child can use the bathroom without worrying about sitting on a dirty seat. Another option is to try a portable travel potty that has its own waste disposal system, so you don’t have to deal with finding a toilet at all.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – isn’t it easier to just have them use a normal bathroom? Well, yes, in an ideal world, but road trips aren’t always ideal. Sometimes, you’re in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming, or it’s the middle of the night and everything is closed. Having a portable potty lets you avoid these inconveniences and have peace of mind knowing your kids are comfortable.
Having a portable potty is especially useful if you’re traveling with a baby or a toddler who isn’t quite ready for the big toilet yet. It can also be handy if you have older kids who just can’t hold it as long as you’d like them to. Trust me, it’s better to have the option and not need it, rather than desperately searching for a bathroom and hitting every red light along the way.
Now, I’m not saying that a portable potty is the end-all, be-all solution. It’s still important to make regular bathroom breaks and encourage your kids to use the restroom whenever you stop for gas or food. This way, you can avoid any accidents and ensure everyone stays comfortable. But having a portable potty gives you that extra level of flexibility and peace of mind.
So, when you’re planning your next road trip, don’t forget to consider the potty. It’s a small investment that can make a big difference in your journey. Your kids will thank you, and you’ll thank yourself.
Prepare for Messes
When you’re traveling with children, messes are almost inevitable. Whether it’s spilled snacks, sticky fingers, or accidental spills, it’s important to be prepared for the mess that can occur during a long road trip. Here are some strategies to help you stay clean and organized:
- Pack plenty of wipes and paper towels to quickly clean up any messes. Keep them easily accessible within the car.
- Consider using seat covers and floor mats to protect your car from spills and stains.
- Bring along a large garbage bag or two for easy disposal of trash and wrappers.
- Encourage your children to dispose of their own trash and keep their belongings organized by providing them with individual bags or containers for their snacks and toys.
- If possible, plan regular rest stops or picnic areas along the way where you can clean up and take a break from driving.
- Consider packing a portable changing pad and extra diapers or pull-ups for younger children.
- Have a change of clothes easily accessible for each child in case of spills or accidents.
- Invest in a spill-proof travel mug or water bottle for each child to prevent spills in the car.
- Bring along plastic bags for wet or soiled items, such as wet swimsuits or dirty clothes.
- Consider bringing a small portable vacuum or dustpan and broom to quickly clean up any crumbs or dirt.
- Remind your children to be mindful of their surroundings and not to make unnecessary messes.
- If traveling with pets, bring along any necessary pet gear and cleaning supplies.
By preparing for messes ahead of time, you can ensure that your long road trip with children is as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Remember, messes happen, but with a little planning and organization, you can quickly deal with them and get back to enjoying the journey.
Rethink Your Changing Table
When you’re on a long road trip with kids, changing diapers can become a major challenge. Instead of wrestling with a traditional changing table in the backseat or having to find a clean public restroom every time you need to change a diaper, it’s time to rethink your changing table strategy.
One option is to call ahead to rest stops or gas stations along your route and schedule regular stops for diaper changes. This can help prevent messy accidents and keep everyone in a better mood. Another option is to register for a portable changing pad that folds up neatly and can be easily carried in a diaper bag. This way, you can change your little one’s diaper anywhere, without the need for a traditional changing table.
If you’re spending several days on the road, it’s likely that you’ll need to do laundry at some point. Instead of lugging around a separate bag for dirty clothes, consider packing a few extra plastic bags. You can separate dirty clothes from clean ones and easily toss the dirty bags into the nearest laundromat. This will help keep your car organized and prevent odors from spreading.
Entertainment is a must on long road trips, especially for keeping the kids occupied. Instead of relying solely on screens and individual devices, look for items that can provide entertainment for the whole family. Consider bringing a deck of cards, a travel-size board game, or even a portable DVD player that can be mounted on the back of the seat. This way, everyone can enjoy some screen time together and prevent any arguments over who gets to watch what.
While it’s important to keep the kids entertained, it’s also essential to have some quiet time during the journey. Pack a small cooler with healthy snacks and drinks, and encourage the kids to take turns being the snack supplier. This will not only prevent hunger meltdowns but also give each child a chance to demonstrate responsibility and leadership.
Surprise your kids with a few unexpected treats along the way. This could be anything from a new coloring book or a small toy to an activity book filled with puzzles and games. These little surprises will keep the kids excited and engaged throughout the trip.
To keep everyone’s minds sharp and prevent any meltdowns, consider playing some educational games while on the road. For example, you can have a “license plate game” where the kids try to spot as many different state license plates as possible. Or you can play “I Spy” using landmarks and attractions you pass along the way.
Make sure to sign up for the latest travel newsletters and check out the local tourist guides for each stop. This way, you can find interesting sightseeing spots, parks, or playgrounds where the kids can burn off some energy. They’ll be more likely to behave and listen if they know there’s something fun waiting for them at the next stop.
Don’t forget about your kids’ comfort during the journey. Bring along pillows and blankets to make the car ride more pleasant. If your child has a hard time sleeping in the car, consider using a sleep mask or playing soothing music through headphones to help them relax.
Lastly, remember that road trips can be messy, especially with kids. Pack some travel-size cleaning supplies, including wet wipes and hand sanitizer, to quickly clean up spills and messes. You never know when a rest stop toilet will be out of order or when your child will need to use the bathroom while you’re in the middle of nowhere.
By rethinking your changing table strategy and implementing these hacks, you can make your long road trip with kids a more enjoyable and stress-free experience. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you’ll be ready to hit the road and create lasting memories together.
Plan Park-and-Play Stops
When it comes to surviving long road trips with kids, one of the most effective strategies is planning park-and-play stops along the way. These stops allow children to get out of the car, stretch their legs, and release some pent-up energy, making the rest of the journey more pleasant for everyone involved.
Young children, in particular, can find long car rides tiring and may start whining or yelling if they are cooped up for too long. By incorporating park-and-play stops into your travel plans, you can alleviate the pressure and keep everyone’s spirits up.
Before you hit the road, look for suitable destinations where you can make these stops. Research parks, playgrounds, or attractions that are located along your planned route. Universal Studios, for example, is a popular family destination that features a variety of play areas for children of all ages.
Make sure to bring toys, games, and other activities that your children can enjoy while playing outside. Ziplock bags are perfect for keeping small toys organized, and they take up minimal room in your travel bags.
When you reach your park-and-play stops, encourage your kids to run around and burn off some energy. Consider setting some ground rules, like staying within a designated area and wearing comfortable clothes and shoes. This will ensure that everyone stays safe and avoids unnecessary messes.
If you have older children who may get bored easily, consider bringing a portable movie console or a tablet loaded with their favorite movies or TV shows. This can help keep them entertained during the long car rides between stops.
Remember, the key to a successful road trip with kids is planning. By incorporating park-and-play stops along the way, you can break up the monotony of long drives and make the journey more enjoyable for the entire family. So, plan those stops in advance, bring the necessary supplies, and watch how these breaks work wonders in keeping everyone happy and content during your travels.
Update Classic Road-Trip Games
Long road trips with children can be a challenging endeavor. The last thing any parent wants is to hear the dreaded “Are we there yet?” merely five minutes into the journey. To keep your little ones entertained and make memories along the way, consider updating classic road-trip games with a modern twist. Here are some fun and engaging ideas to try on your next adventure:
1. State License Plate Game: Instead of spotting license plates from different states, challenge your kids to find the license plate of each individual state and name it aloud. Keep a list or use a printable map to mark the progress.
2. Tire Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of different types of tires to spot along the way. Examples could include a truck tire, a motorcycle tire, or even a spare tire. The first child to find all the tires on their list gets a small prize.
3. Bring Waterproof Surprise Bags: These bags could contain small toys, activity books, or snacks. Each bag is labeled with a number, corresponding to a specific hour of the trip. At the indicated time, the child gets to open their surprise bag and enjoy the goodies inside.
4. 20 Questions: This timeless game is still a hit. One person thinks of an object, and others have to guess what it is by asking up to 20 yes-or-no questions. Switch roles after every round to keep the game going.
5. Sing-Along Playlist: Create a playlist with your children’s favorite songs and some classic road trip tunes. Let each family member take turns being the DJ and select a song. Sing along as you cruise down the highway.
6. The Park Bench Story: Start a story with one family member, and let each person contribute a few sentences until the tale reaches a satisfying conclusion. This activity keeps everyone engaged and sparks creativity.
7. COVID-19 Bingo: Print out a special BINGO card with unique COVID-19-related moments or items to spot during the trip. For example, hand sanitizer, face masks, or signs about social distancing. The first person to get five in a row wins.
8. Potty Break Challenge: Challenge your kids to see who can go the entire trip without needing a bathroom break. This game is especially fun for competitive siblings or when traveling with older children.
9. Alphabet Sign Game: Look for letters of the alphabet on signs, license plates, or billboards. Start with the letter A and try to find the whole alphabet in order. This game is a great way to practice letter recognition and keep young minds engaged.
10. Guess the Destination: Give each family member a chance to pick the next stop without revealing it to others. At the surprise destination, let them feel the excitement and see who guessed correctly.
By updating classic road-trip games, you can make any journey more enjoyable and memorable. These ideas provide hours of fun and keep the children entertained without relying on screen time. Let your creativity and imagination soar as you create new traditions and lasting memories with your family.
Embrace the Chaos
When it comes to long road trips with kids, chaos is often unavoidable. But instead of fighting against it, why not embrace it and make the most of it? These strategies will help you navigate the chaos and keep your sanity intact while on the road.
One solution is to plan for the chaos ahead of time. Before leaving Boston, gather all the necessary items to keep the kids entertained during the journey. Pack coloring books, crayons, small toys, and books to read. Don’t forget to bring their favorite pillow and blanket for extra comfort. It’s also a good idea to register a list of movies or TV shows that you can play on a screen in the car to keep them engaged.
Another strategy that works well is to embrace the chaos by fully embracing the advantages of being on a long road trip with your family. Use this time to bond with your spouse or partners and engage in conversations and games with them. You’ll save yourself the risk of nagging and tantrums by keeping the kids fully engaged with each other and the journey.
For younger members who may still be potty-training, plan for frequent stops along the way. Taking a two-hour break each time may help them feel fresh and reduce the risk of accidents. Bring wipes and waterproof disposable cups for emergencies. Embrace the chaos of the journey in this way and make it an adventure for everyone involved.
11 Tips For Road Trips With Kids You’ll Be Happy You Know
Traveling with kids can be a challenging experience, but with a few strategies in place, you can make it a fun and memorable adventure for the whole family. Here are 11 tips to help you have a successful road trip with your little ones:
1. Plan your itinerary wisely: Make sure to include attractions and stops along the way that are family-friendly and age-appropriate. This will keep the kids entertained and prevent boredom during the journey.
2. Bring plenty of snacks: Pack a variety of healthy and favorite snacks to keep the kids fueled and happy throughout the trip. Individual snack cups or containers can help avoid mess and make it easier for them to manage their snacks.
3. Create a schedule: Plan out your travel days and make sure to include breaks for meals, potty breaks, and time to stretch and run around. Having a schedule will help you stay organized and avoid any surprises along the way.
4. Pack toys and activities: Bring along some toys, games, and coloring books to keep the kids entertained during the journey. This will help alleviate boredom and keep them occupied.
5. Tell stories: Engage their imagination by telling stories during the drive. Let each family member take turns creating a story, or you can bring along some audiobooks or podcasts for the kids to listen to.
6. Make the car comfortable: Bring pillows, blankets, and extra layers of clothing to ensure everyone feels cozy and comfortable during the long drive. This also helps prevent crankiness and tantrums.
7. Be prepared for potty breaks: If you have a baby or a toddler, bring a portable potty or extra diapers for them. For older kids, be sure to plan ahead for rest areas or gas stations that have clean facilities.
8. Stay hydrated: Bring plenty of water and juice to keep everyone hydrated, especially during the summer months. Staying hydrated will help prevent fatigue and keep everyone feeling fresh.
9. Avoid deep hand-held electronics use: While it may be tempting to hand the kids a tablet or smartphone to keep them occupied, limit their screen time. Instead, encourage them to look out the window, play games together, or have conversations as a family.
10. Embrace the wonders of the journey: Road trips offer a unique opportunity to see new places and explore different destinations. Instead of focusing solely on the final destination, take the time to appreciate the beautiful scenery and attractions along the way.
11. Be patient and flexible: Remember that traveling with kids can sometimes be unpredictable. Be patient with their behavior and be willing to change your plans if needed. Embrace the unexpected moments and enjoy the quality time spent with your family.
By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable road trip with your kids. With a little preparation and a positive attitude, your journey will be filled with amazing memories that will last a lifetime!
Expert Tips For Road Trips With Kids
When it comes to road tripping with kids, parents know that it can be a challenging and tiring experience. However, with these expert tips, you can make the journey more enjoyable for everyone:
1. Plan ahead and be prepared. Taking the time to plan your trip and gather all the necessary gear will make a big difference. Make sure to bring plenty of snacks, drinks, and activities to keep your child entertained.
2. Keep your child’s preferences in mind. Every child is different, so it’s important to bring items and activities that your child will enjoy. Whether it’s their favorite toy, a new book, or their beloved blanket, having familiar items can help keep them calm and happy.
3. Bring a variety of entertainment options. Besides movies and audiobooks, consider bringing activity books, coloring supplies, and handheld games to keep your child engaged during the long rides.
4. Make frequent stops. Break up the trip by stopping at playgrounds, rest areas, or other attractions along the way. Letting your child stretch their legs and burn off some energy will make the journey more pleasant for everyone.
5. Have a backup plan. Sometimes, even with the best intentions, kids can become tired, bored, or restless. Be willing to adapt and have a backup plan in case of tantrums or meltdowns. This could include playing their favorite songs or a surprise treat.
6. Keep the journey fun and educational. Use the trip as an opportunity to teach your child about the places you’re visiting. Point out interesting landmarks, talk about the history or geography of the area, and encourage their curiosity.
7. Pack a healthy and delicious lunch. Instead of relying on fast food or gas station snacks, bring a packed lunch. Not only will this save money, but it’s also a healthier option that can be enjoyed at a scenic picnic spot.
8. Make memories along the way. Engage with your child and create lasting memories by playing road trip games, telling stories, or singing songs together. These special moments will make the journey feel shorter and more enjoyable.
9. Take advantage of technology. While limiting screen time is important, technology can be a great tool for keeping kids entertained during the journey. Download movies or educational apps that align with your child’s interests.
10. Finally, be patient and understanding. Road tripping with kids can be challenging, but try to remain calm and patient. Remember that the journey is just as important as the destination, and your attitude and behavior will greatly influence your child’s experience.
By following these expert tips, you can help make your road trip with kids go smoothly and create happy memories along the way. Happy road tripping!
11 Top Tips For Road Trips You’ll Be Glad You Know
When it comes to long road trips with kids, preparation is key. You want to make sure you have everything you need to keep your little ones entertained and comfortable throughout the journey. Here are 11 top tips to help you survive and make the most of your road trip experience:
1. Plan Ahead: Before hitting the road, map out your route and identify rest stops or parks along the way where the kids can stretch their legs and burn off some energy.
2. Pack Snacks: Hungry kids can quickly become cranky kids. Stock up on healthy snacks like fruits, so that you can avoid the temptation of unhealthy food options during the trip.
3. Bring Entertainment: Keep your children entertained with books, games, or movies. This will help pass the time and reduce boredom.
4. Make Regular Stops: Break up the trip by stopping every couple of hours to let the kids run around and get some fresh air. This also helps prevent them from getting restless and making a mess in the car.
5. Pack a Travel Pillow: A comfortable pillow can make all the difference in helping your child sleep during longer stretches of the journey.
6. Minimize Electronics: While electronics can be a great source of entertainment, try to limit their use. Encourage your children to interact with each other or play games that don’t involve screens.
7. Have Quiet Activities: Bring along quiet activities like coloring books or puzzles that won’t disturb other passengers in the car.
8. Be Prepared for Messes: Accidents happen, especially with younger children. Keep wipes and plastic bags handy to clean up spills and other messes quickly.
9. Embrace Surprises: Sometimes, the best memories are made from unexpected surprises along the way. Embrace these moments and let them add to the adventure.
10. Stay at Kid-Friendly Accommodations: Look for hotels or rentals that have amenities like a playground or pool to keep your children entertained when you reach your destination.
11. Think Safety First: Make sure that your car seats are properly installed and that your children are buckled up at all times. Also, be cautious about leaving cars idle with the windows open, as it can be a viable risk for theft.
By following these tips, your road trip with kids can be a pleasant and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. So, remember to plan ahead, keep your children entertained, and stay safe on the journey!
1 Consider Leaving Very Early
When embarking on a long road trip with kids, it’s important to consider leaving very early in the morning. By getting an early start, you’ll have multiple advantages and benefits for both you and your children.
Firstly, leaving early means that you can avoid the rush hour traffic and hit the road when it’s less crowded. This will help you get to your destination faster and make the journey smoother.
Secondly, leaving early allows you to take advantage of the kids’ natural sleep schedule. Many children are early risers, so putting them in the car while they are still sleepy can help make them fall back asleep and sleep for a few more hours. This way, you can cover a significant distance without them even realizing it.
Furthermore, leaving early gives you the opportunity to enjoy the quiet and peacefulness of the early morning. The roads are often less busy and you can enjoy a calm and serene drive as the world wakes up around you.
If your children are still too young to sleep for a few more hours, you can use this time to engage them in some quiet activities. You can bring books, toys, or coloring pages to keep them occupied. You can also listen to their favorite stories or play games together. This will make the journey more enjoyable for both you and your little ones.
Another advantage of leaving early is that it allows for multiple stops along the way. You can plan to stop at interesting destinations or landmarks, giving you the chance to explore new places and break up the long journey into smaller, more manageable chunks.
But beware of tantrums and potty-training needs. Leaving early may disrupt your child’s usual routine and lead to meltdowns or accidents. Make sure to bring extra clothes, snacks, and drinks in case of emergencies. Being prepared will help you handle any situation that may arise.
In conclusion, leaving very early in the morning is a perfect strategy for a long road trip with kids. It helps avoid traffic, makes use of their sleep schedule, allows for peaceful driving, and provides opportunities for multiple stops. So consider waking up before the sun rises and hitting the road with your little ones.
2 Have Visual and Audio Entertainment
Long road trips with children can be challenging, but having the right gear can make the journey much more enjoyable. Visual and audio entertainment are crucial to keeping young ones occupied and happy while on the road.
One option is to have a portable DVD player or tablet with headphones. This allows your children to watch their favorite movies or shows, keeping them entertained for hours. Just remember to bring enough batteries or a car charger to avoid any accidents if the battery runs out.
If your children are tired of watching videos, you can alternatively have them listen to audiobooks. Audiobooks are a great way to keep children engaged and entertained, especially during long drives. You can save some audiobooks at home, or subscribe to a service that allows you access to the latest releases.
Another option is to play games with your children while traveling. There are many games that can be played in the car, such as “I Spy” or “20 Questions”. These games not only keep children entertained but also encourage their creativity and critical thinking skills.
Having a variety of entertainment options is important, especially for young children who may get bored easily. Besides movies, audiobooks, and games, you can also pack coloring books, puzzles, or activity books to keep them busy.
Before your trip, it’s a good idea to know the places you’ll be traveling through. If you’re passing through beautiful landscapes or famous sightseeing spots, point them out to your children to make the journey more enjoyable and educational. You can also plan stops along the way, like scenic viewpoints or historic sites, to break up the drive and stretch your legs.
It’s true that long road trips can sometimes mean whining and messes, but with the right entertainment options, you can make the trip much more pleasant for everyone involved. So, be prepared and pack the necessary gear to keep your children entertained and happy during those long hours on the road.
Expert Tips For Road Trips With Kids
When it comes to road trips with kids, it’s important to have a plan in place to keep the whole family happy and entertained. Here are some expert strategies to make your journey a little easier:
1. Choose the right songs:
Music can work wonders in keeping kids entertained during long drives. Create a playlist of their favorite tunes and sing along together.
2. Make regular stops:
Break up the monotony of the drive by stopping at roadside parks or interesting places along the way. Let the kids stretch their legs and explore.
3. Pack a picnic lunch:
Bringing your own lunch can save time and money. Prepare some sandwiches and snacks before you hit the road.
4. Have a movie player handy:
If things get a bit tiring, let the kids watch a movie or their favorite TV show. This can buy you some quiet time.
5. Let them choose the next activity:
To avoid constant complaining, take turns letting each child choose the next activity. This way, everyone gets a chance to do something they enjoy.
6. Play classic car games:
Games like “I Spy” or the “License Plate Game” can keep kids entertained for hours. It also helps them practice observation and cognitive skills.
7. Keep a potty accessible:
If you’re traveling with a baby or a toddler who is potty-trained, make sure to have a portable toilet or training seat available. This will help avoid any accidents.
8. Bring extra clothes:
Kids can be messy, so it’s always a good idea to pack some spare clothes in case of spills or accidents.
9. Stay hydrated:
Keep a supply of water and cups in the car. It’s important for kids to drink plenty of fluids, especially during long trips.
10. Be prepared for the unexpected:
Despite the best-laid plans, things can sometimes go wrong. Have a first aid kit, snacks, and blankets on hand in case of emergencies.
Following these expert tips should help make your road trip with kids a smoother and more enjoyable experience for the whole family. Happy travels!
3 Bring Back-Up Entertainment
When planning a long road trip with kids, it’s essential to have plenty of entertainment options to keep them occupied. Even with the best-laid plans, there may be times when boredom sets in or the attractions you’ve planned to visit aren’t as exciting as you thought. That’s where back-up entertainment comes in.
One tried-and-true method is to bring along a cooler full of snacks and drinks. This not only keeps everyone fueled up for the journey but also provides a way to save money on those inevitable stops at fast-food restaurants or gas stations. Pack individual duffle bags or plastic containers with easy-to-eat snacks like fruit, crackers, and granola bars. For drinks, opt for juice boxes or water bottles that won’t cause a mess if spilled.
Another option is to bring along some favorite games or activities. Consider packing a deck of cards, a small board game, or travel-sized puzzles. These can be a lifesaver when stuck in traffic or waiting for a meal at a restaurant. You can also find printable activity sheets online or create your own with word searches, coloring pages, and dot-to-dots.
For those who enjoy listening to music or audiobooks, make sure to have a selection that everyone will enjoy. Create a playlist of favorite songs or download an audiobook or podcast series that will keep everyone engaged. This can be a great way to pass the time and even start some interesting discussions along the way.
Finally, don’t forget about technology. While it’s important to limit screen time, having a tablet or portable DVD player can be a lifesaver on a long road trip. Load it up with a mix of movies, TV shows, and educational content to keep everyone entertained. Just be sure to bring headphones or an audio splitter so that individual viewing doesn’t cause any conflicts.
By planning ahead and bringing along some back-up entertainment options, you can prevent the boredom that often comes with long road trips. Whether it’s enjoying snacks and drinks, playing games, listening to music or audiobooks, or using technology, having a variety of options will make the journey much more enjoyable for everyone involved.
4 Plan For Road Trip Meals and Snacks
When it comes to long road trips with kids, one thing you definitely don’t want to forget is planning for meals and snacks. Having the right food options on hand can make a huge difference in keeping everyone happy and entertained during those long hours on the road.
First and foremost, make sure you have a cooler or insulated bag where you can store perishable items like sandwiches, fruits, and drinks. This will allow you to pack healthier options and avoid relying solely on fast food or gas station snacks.
Consider bringing a variety of snacks that are both nutritious and delicious. Dole out snacks in small portions to keep children from getting too full or needing frequent bathroom breaks. Granola bars, trail mix, individual fruit cups, and string cheese are all great options that are easy to eat while sitting in the car.
To make mealtime easier, plan for simple and convenient meals that can be enjoyed on the go. Sandwiches, wraps, and pre-made salads are all great options that can be prepared ahead of time and easily eaten in the car. You can also consider stopping at a park or rest area for a picnic-style lunch to let the children stretch their legs and enjoy some fresh air.
If you have a DVD player in the car, bring along some of your children’s favorite movies to keep them entertained during the journey. Alternatively, you can download movies or shows onto a tablet or smartphone ahead of time. Just make sure to bring headphones for each child to keep the noise level down.
Don’t forget to pack plenty of water and non-perishable drinks, as staying hydrated is important, especially in the summer months. Encourage everyone to drink regularly and make stops at gas stations to use the restroom and stretch their legs.
Lastly, take advantage of Google Maps or other navigation apps to find nearby restaurants or grocery stores along your route. This way, if you’re running low on snacks or need a break from the car, you can easily locate places to grab a meal or stock up on supplies.
Planning ahead and having a variety of meals and snacks on hand will not only keep everyone fueled for the journey but also make the long hours on the road more enjoyable. With the right gear and a solid plan in place, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle any hunger or boredom that comes your way!
5 Schedule In Breaks Including The Occasional Fun Break
When planning a long road trip with kids, it’s important to schedule in regular breaks to keep everyone happy and refreshed. This not only allows for necessary pit stops, but also helps to break up the monotony of sitting in a car for hours on end.
One strategy is to plan for shorter breaks every two hours or so. During these breaks, make sure everyone stretches their legs, uses the restroom, and gets a drink of water. It’s also a good idea to have some snacks on hand to keep hunger at bay.
In addition to these regular pit stops, it’s a great idea to schedule in some fun breaks along the way. Research the attractions and landmarks along your route and plan to visit a few of them during your trip. This can add a sense of adventure and discovery to the journey, and give everyone something to look forward to.
Spontaneous breaks can also be a lot of fun, especially if you have the time and flexibility. If you pass by a beautiful mountain range or a charming small town, consider pulling over and exploring for a while. You never know what hidden gems you might discover!
Of course, it’s important to have a back-up plan in case your spontaneous detour doesn’t go as planned. Keep some travel games, toys, or audiobooks in the car to keep kids entertained during longer stretches of driving. This can help prevent the dreaded chorus of “Are we there yet?” from echoing throughout the car.
Another wise strategy is to bring along a cooler filled with drinks, snacks, and even some sandwiches. This way, you can enjoy a picnic lunch at a rest stop or a scenic viewpoint, rather than having to rely on fast food or expensive highway restaurants.
Remember, the key to successful road trips with kids is to keep them engaged and entertained. By scheduling in regular breaks and occasionally adding some fun and spontaneous detours, you’ll not only make the travel time seem shorter, but you’ll also create unforgettable memories for the whole family.
Another Of My Favorite Long Road Trip Tips With Kids
When it comes to long road trips with kids, being prepared is key. One of my favorite tips is to always be packed and ready for surprises. Recently, during a two-hour drive, my kids found a plastic magic wand and became so excited to play with it. It was a small item that hardly took up any space in our car, but it kept them entertained for the entire trip.
Another thing I always make sure to have on hand is a potty-training seat. You never know when a bathroom break will be needed, and having this little tool can prevent a lot of stress and hassle. Plus, it’s much more convenient than trying to find a rest stop or gas station every time someone needs to go.
Keeping the kids entertained during long road trips can be a challenge, but there are plenty of activities you can pack to help with that. One thing my kids love is a portable DVD player. We have a selection of their favorite movies and TV shows that they can watch in the car. It’s a great way to keep them entertained and also gives us some peace and quiet.
Another activity that has become a road trip staple for us is a “surprise bag.” I pack a small bag with a variety of toys, books, and games that the kids have never seen before. When they start getting antsy or bored, I can pull out the surprise bag and let them choose something new to play with. It keeps them interested and excited about the journey.
Besides being prepared with activities and surprises, it’s also important to plan ahead for stops and breaks. I always like to research the route beforehand to find interesting places to visit along the way. This could be a local park, a scenic viewpoint, or even a historical landmark. It breaks up the monotony of the road and gives the kids something to look forward to.
Finally, one more tip that has saved us many times is to have a travel binder or folder with important information and documents. This includes our hotel reservations, contact information, maps, and any other relevant details. It’s much easier to have everything in one place rather than trying to search for it in the chaos of a road trip.
Overall, long road trips with kids can be challenging, but with a little planning and preparation, they can also be enjoyable and memorable. By keeping them entertained, providing surprises, and having some planned stops along the way, the journey becomes as much a part of the adventure as the destination.
6 Have Surprises In Your Back Pocket
Long road trips with kids can sometimes be challenging, but with some smaller surprises and ideas up your sleeve, you can keep them entertained and make the journey more enjoyable for everyone. Here are some strategies to consider:
- Prepare a playlist of their favorite songs: Create a playlist of their favorite songs or audio books so they can listen to them during the drive. This will keep them excited and engaged.
- Play “I Spy”: This classic game is perfect for keeping the whole family entertained. Take turns giving clues and guessing what the object is. It’s a great way to pass the time and keep everyone engaged.
- Plan surprise stops at interesting attractions: Research and plan surprise stops at interesting attractions along the way. It could be a museum, a park, or a unique landmark. This will break up the drive and provide an opportunity for some fun and exploration.
- Bring along some new books or toys: Surprise your kids with new books or toys that they haven’t seen before. This will keep them entertained and excited throughout the journey.
- Have a photo scavenger hunt: Create a list of items or places for your kids to find and take photos of during the trip. They can mark off each item as they find it, and it’s a great way to keep them engaged and observant of their surroundings.
- Get creative with snacks: Pack a variety of snacks that your kids love, such as fruits, crackers, or granola bars. This will not only keep them satisfied but also provide a nice distraction during the drive.
By having surprises in your back pocket, you can create a sense of excitement and anticipation for your kids. They’ll be excited to see what’s coming next and it will make the long road trip feel more like an adventure. So, gather some surprises and get ready for a memorable family vacation!
7 Create “Self Service” Stations For Kids
When it comes to long road trips with kids, one of the biggest challenges is keeping them entertained and occupied. One way to alleviate this is by creating “self service” stations for your kids. These stations allow them to enroll themselves in activities and choose their own entertainment, making the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
Here are a few ideas for self service stations:
- Snack Station: Stock up on a variety of snacks like fruit, granola bars, and crackers. Place them in an easily accessible area, so your child can grab them whenever they feel hungry.
- Entertainment Station: Fill a bag with coloring books, crayons, small toys, and travel games. Let your child pick and choose from this selection to keep themselves entertained during the trip.
- Reading Station: Gather a few books that your child enjoys and keep them in a designated spot. Encourage your child to read whenever they feel like it.
- Music Station: Create a playlist of your child’s favorite songs and keep it ready to play. Alternatively, bring along some audio books for them to listen to.
- Pillow Station: If your child enjoys having a pillow during car rides, give them the option to bring their own or provide one for them. This will make the journey more comfortable for them.
Having these self service stations in place will make it easier for your child to find what they need without constantly asking you for snacks or entertainment options. It will also give them a sense of independence and allow them to take charge of their own entertainment.
Before leaving on your road trip, try to schedule stops at interesting places along the way. Research destinations in advance and let your child choose the places they want to visit. This will make the journey more exciting and give them something to look forward to.
Remember, traveling with young children can be challenging, but with a little planning and preparation, it is possible to have a smooth and enjoyable road trip. By creating self service stations and letting your child take charge of their own entertainment, you can make the journey more fun for everyone involved.
8 Plan For Naps
When it comes to long road trips, planning for naps is essential to keep everyone in the car happy and rested. Here are some ideas to help make naptime on the road easier:
|1.||Bring a cozy blanket and pillow to provide a comfortable sleeping environment for your child.|
|2.||Keep a quick and easy snack like fruit on hand so your child can have a little something to eat before napping.|
|3.||Try to schedule the road trip around your child’s usual naptime. This will help them fall asleep more easily.|
|4.||If your child doesn’t usually nap in the car, try taking a short break to let them stretch their legs and burn off some energy before getting back on the road.|
|5.||Consider using a screen or portable DVD player to play their favorite movies or TV shows. This can help keep their attention and make them more likely to fall asleep.|
|6.||Try asking your child to pick out their own special road-trip toy or stuffed animal to bring along. Having something familiar from home can help them feel more comfortable and relaxed.|
|7.||Plan for potty breaks and diaper changes. Be sure to bring extra clothes and supplies in case of accidents.|
|8.||Use a portable white noise machine or download a white noise app on your phone. This can provide a soothing and familiar sound environment for your child to nap in.|
By following these tips, you can help ensure that naptime on the road is a peaceful and restful experience for everyone!
9 Have PPE Accessible
When you’re traveling with kids, especially during a pandemic, it’s important to have personal protective equipment (PPE) readily available. You never know when you might need it, so having it easily accessible can save you a lot of stress and time.
Make sure to pack enough face masks, hand sanitizers, and disinfecting wipes for everyone in the family. Keep them in a bag or container that’s easy to reach. You can even designate a small pouch or pocket on the back of the front seats to store the PPE.
Having PPE accessible also means having it visible. Kids are curious and may start playing with the masks or wipes if they find them. This could lead to contamination or just a big mess. To avoid this, make sure the PPE is stored in an area that’s out of reach for children, but still visible for adults.
If you’re traveling with a baby, pack some extra masks and wipes specifically for them. Changing diapers and feeding a baby on the go can be messy, so having a quick solution to clean up is a must.
Another important aspect of having PPE accessible is to prepare for unexpected surprises. You never know when a pit stop will be required, and finding a clean toilet on the road can be a challenge. Having disinfecting wipes handy can help you handle this situation with ease.
In addition to PPE, it’s a good idea to have a first aid kit and any necessary medications easily accessible too. Accidents can happen, and having the right gear to handle them can make a big difference.
Overall, having PPE accessible during a road trip is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of your family. It allows you to quickly respond to any unexpected situations and maintain a clean and healthy environment.
10 Prepare For The Unexpected
When you’re traveling with kids, it’s definitely a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected. Here are some tips to help you handle any surprises that might come your way:
- Bring along some favorite songs or audio books to keep your children entertained during long stretches of the journey.
- Make sure you have a potty break plan in place, especially if you’re traveling through areas with limited restroom facilities.
- Have a nice selection of healthy snacks on hand to keep your kids fueled and happy during the trip.
- Research and name individual destinations along your route to break up the monotony of long drives.
- Be prepared for whining and tantrums by having a surprise activity or toy handy to distract and calm your child.
- If your kids get motion sickness, consider packing some over-the-counter medication in case they need it.
- Always have a first aid kit with you in case of any minor injuries or illnesses.
- Bring a pillow and blanket for each child to make them feel more comfortable and encourage napping during the journey.
- Plan for spontaneous stops and detours to explore interesting sights or attractions along the way.
- Finally, make sure you have a backup plan in case of any major issues, such as car trouble or food poisoning.
By preparing for the unexpected, you can make your long road trip with kids go smoother and enjoy the advantages of the journey.
11 Pack A “One Night” Bag
When planning a road trip with kids, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for unexpected circumstances. One strategy that can help is to pack a “one night” bag with all of the essentials you might need if you have to stay overnight somewhere unexpectedly. This can be particularly helpful if you’re traveling through unfamiliar areas or if you haven’t fully planned out your itinerary.
Recently, during our road trip from Boston to Montana, we found ourselves in this exact situation. We had planned to reach a certain destination by a certain time, but due to some unforeseen road closures, we weren’t able to reach it as planned. We didn’t want to keep driving late into the night with tired kids, so we decided to find a hotel and regroup for the night.
Having a one night bag already packed made things much quicker and easier. We were able to simply grab the bag and head to the hotel without having to search through our suitcases for clothes and toiletries. It also helped keep our hotel room neat and organized since we didn’t have to unpack and spread our belongings everywhere.
In our one night bag, we made sure to include a change of clothes for each family member, pajamas, toiletries, and any necessary medications. We also packed some entertainment options for the kids, such as a portable DVD player and a selection of their favorite movies, books, and art supplies. Additionally, we included some snacks and drinks to keep everyone satisfied throughout the night.
Having a one night bag ready to go can also be helpful if you encounter any unexpected behavior issues with your kids during the trip. Sometimes, a change of scenery and some quiet time in a hotel can help reset their behavior and give everyone a chance to regroup.
Overall, packing a one night bag is a simple but effective strategy for long road trips with kids. It gives parents peace of mind knowing that they have everything they need to handle unexpected situations, and it ensures a more enjoyable travel experience for everyone. So, before you hit the road, be sure to pack a one night bag and be ready for any detours or surprises along the way!
FAQs About Road Tripping With Kids
Traveling long distances on the highway with kids can be a challenge, but with some planning and preparation, it can also be a fun and memorable experience for the whole family. Here are some frequently asked questions about road tripping with kids:
Q: How can I keep my kids entertained during a long road trip?
A: There are many ways to keep your kids entertained on a long road trip. One option is to bring along their favorite movies or audiobooks to listen to. You can also play games together, such as “I Spy” or the license plate game. Bringing along toys, coloring books, and activity kits can also help keep them occupied.
Q: How often should we take breaks during a long road trip?
A: It’s important to take regular breaks during a long road trip to give everyone a chance to stretch their legs, use the bathroom, and have a snack. A good rule of thumb is to plan for a break every two hours or so, but it can vary depending on the needs of your family.
Q: What should I do if my child gets carsick?
A: If your child is prone to carsickness, there are a few strategies you can try. Encourage them to look out the window at the horizon or a fixed point in the distance to help reduce motion sickness. Avoid giving them heavy or greasy foods before the trip, and consider providing them with a small snack, like fruit, to help settle their stomach.
Q: How can I make sure my kids are comfortable on a long road trip?
A: Comfort is key on a long road trip. Make sure your kids have comfortable seating and plenty of legroom. Provide them with pillows and blankets for added comfort, especially if they plan on sleeping during the trip.
Q: What are some ways to keep my kids engaged with the scenery along the way?
A: Encourage your kids to look outside and point out interesting things they see along the way, like landmarks, mountains, or unusual wildlife. You can also plan to stop at scenic overlooks or national parks to give them a chance to explore and appreciate the beauty of nature.
Q: How can I help prevent my kids from getting bored?
A: Boredom can be a challenge on long road trips, but there are many ways to prevent it. Bring along a variety of entertainment options, such as books, puzzles, and electronic devices. You can also play interactive games together, or listen to an audiobook or podcast as a family.
Q: What should I do if my child has a meltdown during the trip?
A: It’s not uncommon for kids to have meltdowns during long road trips, especially if they’re tired or bored. If this happens, try to stay calm and patient. Take a break if possible, and redirect their attention to something more positive, like listening to their favorite music or playing a game together.
Q: How can I make sure my kids are safe during the trip?
A: Safety should always be a top priority when road tripping with kids. Make sure everyone is properly buckled up in their seats, and consider using car seats or boosters for younger children. Observe traffic laws and drive defensively to reduce the risk of accidents.
Q: What should I do if we encounter bad weather or road conditions during the trip?
A: It’s important to be prepared for unexpected weather or road conditions during a long road trip. Before you start your trip, check the weather forecast and road conditions along your route. If you encounter bad weather or dangerous road conditions, consider taking a break or finding an alternate route if possible.
Q: Is it possible to plan a road trip with kids spontaneously?
A: While it’s always a good idea to plan ahead, it is possible to have a spontaneous road trip with kids. Keep a bag packed with essentials like snacks, drinks, and extra clothes, and be open to making changes to your itinerary if needed. Just be sure to have a general idea of where you’re going and how long it will take to get there, so you can make sure you have enough time and resources.
With these tips and strategies, your road trip with kids is sure to be a memorable and enjoyable adventure for the whole family!
How Do You Make a Road Trip Easier For Kids
When it comes to long road trips with kids, it’s essential to think about strategies that can make the journey more enjoyable and easier for everyone involved. Whether you’re going on a two-hour drive or a giant road trip from Boston to California, these strategies can help keep the kids entertained and prevent any potential meltdowns.
|1. Plan ahead:||Before you hit the road, make a plan of the route and the stops you’ll be making along the way. This way, you won’t have to think about where to go or how long it will take, and you can easily keep the kids informed about how far away the next destination is.|
|2. Pack plenty of snacks:||No road trip is complete without snacks, especially for kids. Pack a variety of healthy options, such as fruits, granola bars, and cheese sticks. This way, you can keep their hunger at bay and avoid having to make frequent stops.|
|3. Bring entertainment:||Make sure to pack plenty of toys, books, and games to keep the kids occupied during the journey. This will not only help pass the time, but it will also prevent them from getting bored and restless.|
|4. Have a potty plan:||If you have young kids who are not yet potty trained, it’s important to have a plan for bathroom breaks. Bring a portable potty seat or be willing to stop at rest stations along the way. Make sure to also pack wipes and hand sanitizer for cleanliness.|
|5. Choose the right car seats:||For families with young children, having the right car seats is a must. Make sure the seats are comfortable, easily accessible, and properly installed. This will help keep the kids safe and prevent any accidents.|
|6. Think beyond the screens:||While technology can be a great option for keeping kids entertained, it’s also important to think beyond screens. Encourage activities that don’t involve electronics, such as playing games, reading books, or listening to music.|
|7. Make frequent stops:||Even if you’re on a tight schedule, it’s important to make frequent stops to stretch the legs and let the kids burn off some energy. This will help prevent them from getting restless and improve their behavior during the journey.|
|8. Make the seats comfortable:||Ensure that the kids’ seats are comfortable by providing them with pillows and blankets. This will help them relax and potentially sleep during the journey, making it more pleasant for everyone.|
|9. Involve the kids in the planning:||Let your kids be a part of the planning process by giving them a say in the itinerary or allowing them to choose some of the activities along the way. This will make them feel more engaged and excited about the trip.|
|10. Be prepared for anything:||Even with proper planning, road trips can have unexpected surprises. Be prepared for anything that might come your way, whether it’s a detour, bad weather, or a sudden change of plans. Flexibility is key.|
What Should Kids do on a Road Trip With a Car
When it comes to long road trips with kids, keeping them entertained and occupied is key to a smooth journey. It’s important to provide activities that are not only enjoyable, but also capable of keeping their attention for extended periods of time. Here are some possible ideas to keep your little ones busy and happy during your road trip:
In addition, here are some advantages to keep in mind when planning a road trip with kids:
- Flexibility: With a car, you have the freedom to stop and explore whenever you come across something interesting.
- Cost-Effective: Road trips can be a budget-friendly vacation option, especially if you pack snacks and meals and avoid expensive flights and hotel stays.
- Convenience: Having your own vehicle means you can bring along all the essentials and necessities for your kids.
- Quality Time: Road trips allow for uninterrupted quality time with your family, creating lasting memories that everyone will cherish.
- Exploring the Unknown: Road trips often take you off the beaten path and into areas you may never have visited otherwise, opening up new experiences and adventures.
So, don’t forget to plan ahead and be prepared with plenty of activities and entertainment options for your kids. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your road trip is a fun and enjoyable experience for the whole family!
Are Road Trips Good for Kids
When it comes to keeping children entertained and engaged, road trips can be a fantastic option. Not only do they provide an opportunity for families to explore new places and create lasting memories, but they also offer a range of benefits for kids.
One of the biggest advantages of road trips is that they allow children to sleep comfortably in the car. This means that little ones can catch up on much-needed rest and wake up feeling refreshed. The ability to sleep while traveling can make longer stretches on the road more bearable for everyone.
Besides sleep, road trips have been proven to be healthy for kids in other ways as well. Being in a confined space for long periods of time encourages children to engage in activities other than sitting in front of a video game or television console. This can lead to greater creativity, as kids find new ways to entertain themselves without relying on technology.
Additionally, road trips provide ample opportunities for learning. Each new destination offers a chance to learn about different cultures, history, geography, and more. Parents can take advantage of this by planning educational sightseeing stops along the way, such as museums, national parks, or historical landmarks.
The unplanned surprises that come with road trips can also have a positive impact on children. They help kids develop problem-solving skills and adaptability, as they learn to deal with unexpected changes in their travel plans. Furthermore, road trips can teach kids essential life skills, such as reading maps, navigating, and planning routes.
Furthermore, road trips offer a unique opportunity for family bonding. Spending hours together in the car allows for meaningful conversations and quality time that may not happen as frequently in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Road trips encourage families to connect and create lasting memories together.
For those who worry about messes and potty breaks, road trips have a solution for that too. Parents can pack a duffle bag with extra clothes, wipes, and other essentials to handle any unexpected accidents or spills. Additionally, road trips provide plenty of opportunities to stop at gas stations or rest areas for bathroom breaks, stretching legs, and grabbing a quick snack.
Another advantage of road trips is that they allow children to stay connected with friends and family. With technology and mobile devices, kids can easily keep in touch with loved ones from anywhere in the country. Enroll them in online classes or activities that they can participate in during the trip to help them stay connected and engaged.
Overall, road trips can be a fun and enjoyable way for families to travel. They provide an opportunity to explore new places, bond with loved ones, and create lasting memories. So, if you’re planning a long family road trip, don’t hesitate to hit the road and enjoy the many benefits it offers both kids and adults.
Final Thought About Tips For Road Trips With Kids
First and foremost, pack a bag of entertainment options. Books, games, and toys can all help to keep children entertained during the ride. But don’t forget about the adults too – bring along some podcasts or audiobooks to listen to during those restful moments when the kids are asleep in the back seat.
Another tip is to have a plan for pit stops along the way. Research some interesting places to visit or scenic spots to take photos and schedule them into your itinerary. This will help break up the monotony of driving and keep everyone engaged and excited about the trip.
Of course, it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected as well. Bring plenty of snacks and drinks, as well as a first aid kit and any necessary medications. Make sure to pack extra clothes and blankets in case of spills or unexpected weather changes.
If you’re traveling with multiple children, try to assign each child their own bag or duffle to pack their belongings. This will not only alleviate any arguments over sharing, but also give them a sense of responsibility and ownership over their things.
One of the most challenging aspects of road trips with kids is keeping them entertained for long periods of time. Consider bringing along a portable DVD player or tablet loaded with their favorite movies or TV shows. This can be a real life-saver during those times when the boredom starts to set in.
Another popular option is to play games together as a family. From classic car games like “I Spy” to the latest road trip apps and games, there are plenty of options to choose from. This will not only keep the children entertained, but also help pass the time and create lasting memories.
Finally, don’t forget about the importance of safety. Make sure each child has a properly fitted car seat or booster seat, and that the adults in the front seat are wearing their seatbelts. Regularly remind everyone to stay buckled up and avoid any unnecessary distractions.
So, whether you’re embarking on a huge cross-country adventure or just a short weekend getaway, these tips will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable road trip with your children. With a little planning and preparation, you’ll be well on your way to creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
14 Tips to Enjoy Family Road Trips
Family road trips have been a beloved tradition for many years. They offer a chance to explore new places, bond with our loved ones, and create lasting memories. However, traveling long distances with kids can sometimes be challenging. To make your family road trip a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone, here are 14 tips to keep in mind:
1. Plan Ahead: Before hitting the road, take some time to plan your trip. Research your destination, choose interesting places to visit along the way, and create a rough itinerary.
2. Pack Smart: Make sure to pack essentials such as snacks, drinks, spare clothes, and any necessary medications. Having these items easily accessible will save you from making unnecessary stops.
3. Bring Entertainment: Long hours in the car can be challenging for kids, so be prepared with multiple entertainment options. Bring books, toys, games, and even a portable DVD player or tablet with pre-downloaded movies or shows.
4. Take Breaks: Plan regular breaks to give everyone a chance to stretch their legs, use the restrooms, and grab a snack. This will help avoid restlessness and provide opportunities for sightseeing along the way.
5. Keep a Flexible Schedule: While it’s good to have a rough itinerary, be open to detours and unplanned stops. Sometimes the best memories are made when we go off the beaten path.
6. Embrace Technology: Utilize navigation apps like Google Maps to find the best routes and real-time traffic updates. This can help you avoid delays and keep the journey smooth.
7. Share the Driving: If possible, share the driving responsibilities with your partner. This allows both of you to rest when needed and keeps you fresh for the entirety of the trip.
8. Play Car Games: Car games, such as “I Spy” or the license plate game, can keep the kids entertained and engaged during the journey. It’s a fun way to pass the time and bond as a family.
9. Create a Comfortable Environment: Bring pillows, blankets, and their favorite stuffed animals to make the car feel cozy and inviting. This will help kids relax and even take a nap during long drives.
10. Have Healthy Snacks: Avoid relying solely on sugary treats and junk food. Pack a variety of healthy snacks that will keep everyone energized and maintain their mood throughout the trip.
11. Take Advantage of Rest Areas: Rest areas often offer amenities such as playgrounds or picnic areas. Take advantage of these stops to let the kids play and burn off some energy.
12. Involve Kids in Route Planning: Let the kids feel involved by giving them options to choose from when deciding on places to visit or where to eat. This gives them a sense of ownership and makes the trip more enjoyable.
13. Make Potty Breaks a Priority: When traveling with toddlers or kids in the process of potty-training, make frequent restroom stops a priority. This avoids any accidents and keeps everyone comfortable.
14. Enjoy the Journey: Remember, the road trip is not just about reaching the destination, but also about enjoying the ride. Take in the scenery, play your favorite music, and cherish the moments shared with your family.
By following these tips, you can turn your family road trip into an amazing adventure that will be remembered for years to come. Safe travels!
Plan Ahead of Time
When it comes to taking a long road trip with kids, planning ahead of time is key. Taking the time to prepare and organize can make the difference between a smooth and enjoyable journey or a chaotic and stressful ordeal.
First and foremost, make sure you have all the necessary items packed and ready. From snacks and drinks to entertainment and comfort items, think about what your children will need during the journey. Don’t forget to bring extra clothes, especially if you have younger kids who may have accidents or spill drinks.
Beyond the usual items, it’s a good idea to pack a few surprises. Small toys or activities can be great for capturing their attention and keeping them engaged during the long drive. Consider buying a new coloring book or some small puzzles to keep them entertained.
Another important aspect of planning ahead is mapping out the route and making necessary stops along the way. Use websites or apps to find interesting parks or landmarks you can visit during the trip. This will not only break up the monotony of the journey, but it will also give your kids something to look forward to.
If you’re traveling through a particularly long stretch of road, it might be a good idea to plan an overnight stop. Booking a hotel in advance ensures that you have a place to rest and recharge before continuing on your journey.
It’s also crucial to plan for bathroom breaks and potty-training needs if you have younger children. Make sure to choose rest stops or gas stations that have clean bathroom facilities. If you’re potty-training, bring a portable training seat or seat liners to make the process easier.
Additionally, plan for meals and snacks along the way. Carry a cooler with drinks and healthy snacks like fruit, cheese, and granola bars. This will prevent the need to stop at every fast food restaurant you come across and keep everyone healthier and happier.
Lastly, consider the power of technology and entertainment. Load up your tablet or smartphone with movies, games, and educational apps to keep your kids engaged and entertained. Just make sure to set limits and have some non-screen entertainment options available, as too much screen time can be tiring and detrimental to their behavior.
By planning ahead of time, you’ll ensure a smoother and more enjoyable road trip for everyone involved. So take the time to organize your journey, make choices that accommodate your children’s needs and interests, and don’t forget to have fun along the way!
1 Know Your Limits
When planning a long road trip with kids, it’s important to know your limits and be realistic about what you can handle. Traveling with children can be challenging, so it’s a good idea to set some boundaries and establish rules before you hit the road.
First, consider the length of the trip. If you’ve never taken a long road trip with your children before, it might be best to start with a shorter journey to see how they handle it. This way, you can gauge their reaction and adjust your plans accordingly.
Next, think about your destination and the sights you want to see along the way. It can be tempting to try and pack in as much as possible, but remember that traveling with children is different from traveling alone or with other adults. They may not have the same endurance or interest in sightseeing, so it’s important to plan accordingly.
Instead of rushing from one tourist attraction to the next, consider taking breaks at parks or other kid-friendly destinations where they can run around and play. This will help break up the trip and give them a chance to burn off some energy.
Another important factor to consider is the restful breaks. It’s a great idea to plan some overnight stays at hotels or motels along the way. This will give everyone a chance to get a good night’s sleep and be well-rested for the next day of travel. Plus, many hotels offer amenities like swimming pools or continental breakfasts that kids will enjoy.
When it comes to snacks and meals, be sure to pack plenty of options. This will save you time and money compared to stopping at fast food restaurants or gas stations each time someone gets hungry. Pack a cooler with sandwiches, fruit, and other healthy choices, and be sure to have plenty of water on hand to stay hydrated.
Keeping kids entertained on a long road trip is crucial, so bring along plenty of activities and toys to keep them occupied. Consider packing items like coloring books, puzzles, and travel-sized board games. You might also want to invest in a portable DVD player or electronic devices that can keep them entertained with movies or games.
Don’t forget about comfort! Bring pillows, blankets, and other cozy items to make the car ride more pleasant. You might also want to have a designated “rest stop” every few hours where everyone can stretch their legs and take a break from the car.
Lastly, it’s important to be prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise. Pack a first aid kit in case of minor injuries, and be aware of any unusual travel advisories or safety concerns in the areas you’ll be visiting. It’s also a good idea to have a map or GPS handy in case you need to make any detours or find an alternate route.
By taking these steps and knowing your limits, you can alleviate some of the stress and ensure that your road trip with kids is a pleasant and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Happy travels!
2 Take a Practice Run
3 Let Kids Know What to Expect Ahead of Time
One of the most effective strategies for a successful road trip with kids is to let them know what to expect ahead of time. By preparing them for the journey, you can minimize whining and meltdowns along the way.
Before you hit the road, sit down with your children and explain the trip in detail. Let them know how long the journey will take, whether it’s a two-hour drive or a full day on the road. Talk about the stops and sightseeing spots you plan to visit along the way, such as a bathroom break or a quick visit to a scenic lookout.
Make it clear that there will be times when they need to remain seated and occupied, even if they’re feeling antsy or bored. Encourage them to bring books, games, or other devices to keep themselves entertained during these times. Alternatively, you can prepare a car activity bag with coloring books, puzzles, and travel-sized games to keep them engaged.
Another key aspect to discuss is the availability of food and drinks during the trip. Let them know that you’ll have snacks and drinks handy, but remind them that they should ask before helping themselves. Explain that it’s important to stay hydrated and have something to eat if they start feeling hungry.
While on the road, make sure to provide regular updates on the progress of the journey. Let them know how many miles are left and estimated time of arrival. This will help them visualize the progress and remain interested in reaching the final destination.
For example, on a road trip from New York to Boston, you can say, “We’ve spent about three hours on the road, and we’re about halfway there. Only a few more hours to go before we reach Boston!”
It’s also important to discuss the concept of rest stops and the importance of taking breaks to stretch their legs and use the bathroom. Let them know that these breaks are necessary to keep everyone comfortable and prevent anyone from getting cranky.
By preparing your children for the road trip and letting them know what to expect, you can avoid many of the common challenges that come with traveling long distances. These simple strategies will help keep everyone entertained and make the journey feel much more manageable.
4 Know Your Route
When it comes to long road trips with kids, knowing your route is essential. Planning your route ahead of time can help you find the best places to stop, including restrooms, parks, and attractions. It’s also important to know where hotels or accommodations are situated along the way, in case you need a break from driving.
By knowing the recent traffic updates, you can avoid any unexpected delays or detours. This will prevent unnecessary frustration and help you stay on schedule. Having a clear understanding of the road ahead will also allow you to plan multiple stops for stretching, meals, and bathroom breaks.
If you have multiple kids in the car, knowing the route can also help you plan activities and entertainment. For example, you can research nearby attractions or parks that your kids might enjoy. You can also look for restaurants with play areas or interesting sights that might grab their attention.
Another reason to know your route is to be aware of viable places to rest or eat. If you’re traveling with a baby, you’ll need to know where you can find changing stations, restrooms, and places to nurse or feed. If you have a newly potty-training toddler, you’ll want to make sure there are plenty of toilet options along the way. And if you have older kids, knowing where you can find coffee or snacks will be a huge relief for you and your partner.
In case of any messes or spills along the way, knowing the route can help you identify suitable places to stop and clean up. Make sure to pack wipes, trash bags, and towels for easy clean-ups. Don’t forget to bring extra clothes for your little ones, just in case they get wet or dirty.
Knowing your route also means knowing the rules of the road. This way, you can navigate any tolls or highway systems effortlessly. It’s also essential to be aware of any construction zones or areas with slow traffic, so you can plan accordingly.
Steve, our resident road tripping expert, recommends using Google Maps or other reliable maps apps to help you navigate. These apps will provide real-time traffic updates and alternative routes, making your journey more efficient.
Overall, knowing your route is about being prepared and knowing what to expect. It allows you to manage your time effectively and keeps everyone in the car happy. So, before you embark on your next road trip with kids, take the time to map it out and make the necessary plans. It will make a huge difference in how smoothly the ride goes.
When going on a long road trip with kids, it’s important to pack smart and be prepared for any situation that may arise. Here are some tips to help you pack smart:
1. Register for a waterproof travel organizer: This will come in handy for storing all the essentials your child may need during the trip, such as snacks, drinks, toys, and extra clothes. It’s also a great way to keep everything organized and easily accessible.
2. Pack a blanket and pillow: Make sure to bring a cozy blanket and pillow for your child to make their ride more comfortable. It’ll also come in handy if they want to take a nap during the journey.
3. Choose travel-friendly toys and games: Rather than packing bulky toys, opt for smaller, portable options that can keep your child entertained during the trip. Think coloring books, puzzles, or travel-sized board games.
4. Plan meals and snacks ahead of time: Pack a cooler with ready-to-eat meals and snacks to avoid frequent stops at fast food restaurants. This will not only save you time but also ensure your child has healthy options to choose from.
5. Bring a portable potty-training solution: If you have a young child who is still in the process of potty-training, consider bringing a portable potty or toilet seat adapter. This way, you won’t have to rely on finding a restroom in unfamiliar places.
6. Pack a variety of drinks and snacks: Be sure to bring a mix of healthy snacks and drinks to keep your child satisfied throughout the journey. This will help prevent any mid-ride hunger or thirst-induced meltdowns.
7. Prepare a backup supply of essentials: Accidents happen, especially when traveling with kids. Make sure to pack extra clothes, wipes, diapers (if needed), and any medication your child may require.
8. Bring entertainment devices: To keep your child entertained during the trip, consider bringing a tablet, portable DVD player, or handheld gaming console. Load them with their favorite movies, shows, or games to make the time fly by.
9. Create a travel itinerary: Before hitting the road, plan out your route and stops. This will give you an idea of how long the journey will take and help you choose child-friendly places to visit along the way.
10. Don’t forget the bathroom essentials: Keep a toilet paper roll, hand sanitizer, and wet wipes easily accessible in case of bathroom emergencies or unexpected stops.
Remember, packing smart can make a big difference in your road trip experience with kids. By following these strategies, you’ll be well-prepared for any surprises that may come your way, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable ride for all.
5 Be Prepared
When going on a long road trip with kids, it’s important to be prepared for any situation that may arise. Here are some tips to help you stay one step ahead:
- Make sure to pack all the essentials, such as snacks, water, and extra clothes. This will help avoid any sudden stops or surprises along the way.
- Also, don’t forget to bring some entertainment for the kids. An audiobook or a travel game can be a great way to keep them occupied and entertained during the long stretches of the drive.
- Wisconsin recently picked as one of the places in the country to have some amazing sightseeing drives, and it’s always a good idea to plan some stops and scenic routes in advance to break up the monotony of the road-trip.
- Be prepared for any hiccups along the way by having a back-up plan. For example, if the tire goes flat or the car breaks down, having a roadside assistance service can be a real life-saver.
- Lastly, be mindful of the current COVID-19 situation and any travel restrictions or guidelines in the states you’ll be passing through. Make sure to register for any required permits or deposits, and don’t forget to bring hand sanitizer and masks for everyone in the car.
By being well-prepared for your long road trip with kids, you can ensure a smoother and more enjoyable journey for the whole family.
6 Have Your Kids Pack Their Own Activity Bags
When it comes to keeping kids entertained on a long road trip, one of the best strategies is to have them pack their own activity bags. This gives them a sense of autonomy and allows them to choose the things that will keep them occupied during the journey.
Before the trip, set aside some time for each child to gather their favorite toys, books, and games. Encourage them to think outside the box and include some surprises that they might not have thought of initially.
Activities that can be done anywhere are ideal, such as coloring books, puzzles, and magnetic games. You can also suggest some options for entertainment, like portable DVD players or tablets loaded with movies and songs.
Make sure they pack a small bag or backpack to keep everything organized. This will make it easy for them to find what they want and keep their activity area tidy.
It’s also a good idea to have a power strip or adapter with multiple slots, so they can easily charge their electronic devices if needed.
By having their own activity bags, your kids will feel more invested in the trip and have a greater sense of ownership over their entertainment. This can come in handy if you need to make an unscheduled stop, as they will have something to keep them occupied while you take care of business.
Plus, having their own bags means that each child can choose activities that suit their specific interests and age level. This helps avoid arguments over shared toys, as each child will have their own set of entertainment options.
Another benefit of having the kids pack their own activity bags is that it allows for some spontaneous fun along the route. They might discover a new interest or have an idea for a game that the whole family can enjoy.
Of course, as the parent, you should still have some backup options just in case. Keep a supply of snacks, books, and other surprises in your own bag, so you can pull them out when needed.
So, before your next long road trip, make sure to involve your kids in the packing process and have them create their own activity bags. It’s a great way to keep them entertained and create lasting memories of a fun-filled journey!
7 Don’t Forget Yourself
When planning a road trip with kids, it’s easy to get so focused on their needs that you forget about yourself. But remember, taking care of yourself is just as important. After all, if you’re not happy and relaxed, it’s going to be difficult to maintain a positive attitude and keep the kids entertained during those long hours on the road.
First and foremost, make sure you take breaks for yourself. It can be as simple as stopping at a rest area to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Use this time to do something that you enjoy, whether it’s reading a chapter of a book, listening to an audiobook, or simply enjoying the quiet for a few minutes.
Another important aspect is to plan some things that you enjoy doing as part of the trip. If you’re a fan of history, make sure to include a visit to a historical site or museum on your itinerary. If you enjoy the outdoors, plan a picnic or a hike in a scenic area. Remember that this trip is for everyone, including yourself.
In case you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed during the trip, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your copilot. If you’re traveling with a partner or friend, share the responsibilities of parenting and driving. This will give you some time to decompress and take a break from being constantly “on”.
And don’t forget to pack a duffle bag with some essentials just for yourself. Fill it with items that will keep you comfortable and entertained, like a favorite book, a journal to write in, or a puzzle to solve. Having something to occupy your mind and keep you engaged during those long driving hours can be a game-changer.
Lastly, don’t forget to take care of your physical and mental health. Make sure to eat healthy snacks and meals along the way, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. It’s also a good idea to practice some deep breathing or relaxation techniques to help you stay calm and centered.
Remember, you deserve to enjoy this trip just as much as your children do. So, take some time for yourself, plan activities that you love, and prioritize your well-being throughout the journey.
Find Fun on the Road
When it comes to long road trips with kids, finding ways to keep them entertained and happy is essential. One great solution is to find fun activities that can be done on the road. Here are some ideas to make your journey more enjoyable:
Cups: Bringing along a stack of disposable cups can provide hours of entertainment. Kids can use them to build towers, play tic-tac-toe, or even organize impromptu puppet shows.
Switch Seats: For longer trips, it’s often a good idea to let your kids switch seats with each other or with a parent. This change of scenery can keep them from getting too restless and make the drive feel less monotonous.
Books and Maps: Pack a selection of age-appropriate books and maps to keep your kids engaged. Encourage them to follow the route and learn more about the places you’ll be passing through.
Outside Breaks: Plan regular stops at parks or rest areas where your kids can stretch their legs and run around. Being outside can have a refreshing effect and make the journey more enjoyable for everyone.
Toilet Tripping: Make sure to stop for bathroom breaks even if your kids claim they don’t need it. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and the advantages of not having any unexpected accidents far outweigh the inconvenience of frequent stops.
Snacks and Fruit: Bring a variety of snacks and fruit to keep hunger at bay. Ziplock bags are a convenient way to portion out individual servings, making it easier for everyone to enjoy a quick bite in the car.
The Latest Technology: If you have a tablet or smartphone with you, load it up with kid-friendly apps and games. This can be a great way to keep your kids entertained, especially during longer stretches of the trip.
The Photo Game: Create a photo scavenger hunt for your kids to enjoy. Give each child a list of things they need to find or take a picture of during the trip. This adds an element of excitement and keeps their minds engaged.
Activity Kits: Bring along activity kits that include coloring books, stickers, and other crafts. These kits can provide hours of entertainment and help alleviate boredom.
Music and Audiobooks: Create a playlist of your kids’ favorite songs or bring along audiobooks for them to listen to. This can help pass the time and make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be better equipped to handle long road trips with kids. Remember to be flexible and open to unexpected stops and detours. Sometimes, the best adventures are the ones that happen off the beaten path.
8 Keep Them Occupied
When it comes to long road trips with kids, keeping them occupied is essential to maintain your sanity and ensure a smooth journey. Here are some strategies to help you keep your little ones entertained:
- Prepare a bag of activities: Before leaving home, pack a bag full of toys, coloring books, puzzles, and other age-appropriate activities to keep your children engaged during the drive. Make sure to choose activities that are not too loud or messy and are accessible for individual play.
- Bring snacks and drinks: Snacks and drinks are essential to keep hunger and thirst at bay. Pack a variety of healthy and easy-to-eat snacks in ziplock bags to save time and avoid any surprises. Don’t forget to bring a water bottle for each child.
- Play interactive games: Encourage your children to join in on interactive games such as “I Spy” or the “License Plate Game” to keep them engaged and entertained. These games can also help them learn and enhance their observation skills.
- Have a portable DVD player or tablet: If your children love watching movies or shows, having a portable DVD player or tablet can be a lifesaver during a long road trip. Load it with their favorite movies or series to keep them entertained for hours.
- Listen to audiobooks or music: Audiobooks or music can be a great way to keep your kids entertained and engaged while driving. Choose age-appropriate audiobooks or music that they will enjoy and that can help calm any restless energy.
- Plan frequent stops: Break up the journey by planning frequent stops at parks, rest areas, or other interesting places along the way. Giving your children a chance to stretch their legs, run around, and explore can make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.
- Create a travel journal: Encourage your children to document their road trip adventure by creating a travel journal. Provide them with a blank notebook and some art supplies to draw, write, or paste souvenirs. This activity can also help them learn about different places and cultures.
- Engage in sing-alongs: Singing along to your children’s favorite songs can be a fun and interactive way to keep them entertained during the drive. Create a playlist of their favorite tunes and encourage everyone to join in. It’s a great way to bond as a family and pass the time.
By implementing these strategies, you can ensure a more enjoyable and restful road trip with your children. Remember, the key is to be prepared, provide options for entertainment, and embrace the spontaneity that comes with having kids in the car.
9 Pass the Time Together with Games
When you’re on a long road trip with kids, it’s essential to have a selection of games packed and ready to go. These games can help pass the time and keep everyone entertained. Here are some fun and interactive games that you can play together:
- I Spy: This classic game is a great option for passing the time. One person picks an object in the car or outside, and everyone else takes turns asking questions to guess what it is. The first person to guess correctly gets to choose the next object.
- License Plate Game: This game is perfect for long road trips across the country or state. The goal is to find license plates from as many different states as possible. Keep a list or a map and mark off each state as you spot them. It’s a great way to learn about different parts of the country while having fun.
- 20 Questions: In this game, one person thinks of an object, and everyone else gets to ask yes or no questions to try and guess what it is. The catch is that they only get 20 questions to figure it out!
- The Alphabet Game: This game is a great way to keep everyone engaged and looking out their windows. Start with the letter “A” and try to find things outside that start with each letter of the alphabet, in order. For example, you might see an airplane for “A,” a ball for “B,” and so on. It’s a fun challenge that will keep everyone entertained.
- The Story Game: This game is all about creativity and imagination. One person starts a story with a sentence, and then each person in the car takes turns adding a sentence to continue the story. You’ll be amazed at the wild and funny tales that come from this game!
These games are just a few examples of the many strategies you can use to pass the time and keep everyone entertained during a long road trip. Before hitting the road, make sure to plan ahead and have a variety of games ready. It’s also a good idea to have some wipes or a magic eraser on hand to clean up any messes or spills that may occur during the games.
10 Never Underestimate the Power–and Timing–of Snacks
One of the most effective strategies for keeping kids entertained and happy during long road trips is to have plenty of snacks on hand. The power of snacks should never be underestimated, especially when it comes to keeping children occupied and satisfied.
When planning a road trip with kids, it’s important to pack enough snacks to last throughout the journey. Bring a variety of snacks, including both healthy options and special treats, to cater to different tastes and preferences. It’s also a good idea to pack snacks that are easy to eat on the go, such as pre-cut fruits, granola bars, and individually packaged snacks.
The timing of snack breaks is crucial. Instead of giving snacks out immediately, consider using them strategically to break up the trip into smaller segments. For example, you could offer a snack after a certain number of hours on the road or after completing a specific activity or game.
In addition to providing sustenance, snacks can also be used as a form of entertainment. Pack some snacks that require a bit of work or involvement to eat, such as trail mix or snacks that need to be assembled. This can keep kids engaged and occupied for longer periods of time.
Snacks can also be used as a tool to manage various situations that may arise during a road trip. For instance, if a child starts to feel restless, offering a snack can help redirect their attention and provide a much-needed distraction. Similarly, if a child becomes upset or starts to have a tantrum, offering their favorite snack can help to calm them down.
Another great way to use snacks is as a reward for good behavior or completing a task. For example, if a child is willing to try a new game or toy, they can earn a snack as a reward. This creates a positive incentive for kids to actively participate and behave during the trip.
Snacks can also be helpful in managing potty breaks. Sometimes it can be challenging to find a rest stop with clean toilet facilities, especially when traveling in remote areas. Having snacks on hand can be a lifesaver in these situations, as they can temporarily alleviate the pressure and keep kids occupied until a suitable restroom can be found.
Ultimately, never underestimate the power of snacks when it comes to keeping kids happy and content during long road trips. They can provide sustenance, entertainment, and a sense of comfort for children of all ages. So, before hitting the road, make sure to stock up on a variety of snacks to ensure a more enjoyable and restful trip for everyone involved!
11 Speaking of Surprises…
One of the best things about road trips is the element of surprise. Without the pressure of set schedules and strict itineraries, parents have the flexibility to make unexpected stops and detours along the way. And when traveling with kids, surprises can be a game-changer!
For example, imagine driving past a sign for a theme park or a national park that you didn’t even know existed. Instead of sticking to the plan, why not take a little detour and explore what wonders await? It’s moments like these that can turn a regular road trip into an unforgettable adventure.
But surprises don’t always have to be grand. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a big impact. Before leaving for your trip, consider packing a surprise bag for each child. Fill it with small toys, games, or books that they haven’t seen before. This way, whenever you sense a tantrum coming or if the kids start to get restless, you can pull out a surprise from the bag to keep them entertained.
Another surprise hack is to create a “special stop” along the way. Let’s say you’re driving through the mountains and you spot a beautiful lookout point. Pull over and tell the kids that this is a special stop just for them. Take a few minutes to enjoy the view together or have a mini picnic. Not only does it break up the monotony of the road, but it also gives everyone a chance to stretch their legs and take in some fresh air.
Speaking of surprises, make sure to plan some surprises for yourself too. Maybe there’s a restaurant or a park that you’ve always wanted to visit but it wasn’t included in the original itinerary. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and make those last-minute choices. After all, a road trip is all about the journey and the unexpected adventures that await.
Lastly, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter before you hit the road. We’ll send you regular updates with road trip hacks, fun games to play while driving, and links to exclusive discounts on hotels and attractions. Trust us, it’s the perfect way to make your trip even more exciting and hassle-free.
12 Get Musical
Music has the power to make any long road trip more enjoyable, especially when traveling with kids. Subscribe to a music streaming service and create a playlist with your children’s favorite songs. Make sure to include the latest hits that they love, as well as some throwback choices that you can all enjoy together.
Before you hit the open road, plan out your musical itinerary. Consider creating a special “road trip” playlist that includes songs about traveling, the states you’ll be driving through, or even songs featured in road trip movies. This will add an extra layer of excitement to the journey and keep everyone entertained along the way.
Music can also be a great way to turn those tiring moments into special bonding experiences. If your kids are getting restless, crank up the volume and have a sing-along. Let them take turns picking songs or playing DJ for a while. It’s amazing how much a little music can transform the mood in the car.
If you’re bringing older children along, consider playing a musical game. Steve’s Spring Surprises is a fun option; it’s a game where one person starts a song and the next person has to continue with a song that starts with the last word of the previous song. This game not only keeps everyone entertained, but it also helps with memory and creativity.
Of course, don’t forget to bring some headphones for moments when you’d rather enjoy the silence or when your children are napping. This way, you can still listen to your own music without disturbing anyone. Also, keeping wipes and a small trash container handy will help you maintain a clean and organized car despite the messes that might occur during the trip.
Music has the power to turn an ordinary road trip into an extraordinary one. It can make the journey more enjoyable, help create special memories, and keep everyone entertained along the way. So, make sure to plan ahead and bring along the power of music on your next family adventure.
Put Your Focus on the Kids
When it comes to long road trips with kids, it’s important to remember that the focus should be on the family. Rather than trying to rush through the journey to reach your destination, take time to enjoy the moments with your children. Here are some strategies to keep everyone entertained and happy:
- Download audiobooks or podcasts that are suitable for the whole family, which can be a great way to pass the time during stretches of the road trip.
- Bring along games and activities that can be played in the car, such as travel-sized board games or magnetic puzzles.
- Pack a variety of snacks to keep young children fueled and occupied. Fruit, granola bars, and plastic containers of cut-up veggies are quick and easy options.
- Make sure to plan regular stops along the way, especially if you have younger children who may need frequent bathroom breaks. This will help prevent tantrums and keep everyone comfortable.
- If potty training is still a work in progress, come prepared with a portable potty or plastic bags to handle unexpected bathroom emergencies.
- Limit screen time by bringing along devices that can only be used for a set amount of time. This will help prevent tired eyes and also encourage more interactive play.
- Take advantage of the journey by making it a learning experience. Encourage your children to notice and learn about the different landmarks and scenery along the way.
- Keep a camera or smartphone handy to capture moments on the road trip. This can be a fun activity for the whole family and also create lasting memories.
- Consider bringing along an extra adult, such as a grandparent or family friend, if possible. This can help share the responsibility and make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.
- Remember to remain flexible and open to unexpected situations. Road trips can be full of surprises, so it’s important to go with the flow and embrace whatever comes your way.
By putting your focus on the kids during a long road trip, you can turn what might seem like a daunting task into a memorable and enjoyable experience for the whole family.
13 Let the Kids Have a Say
When planning a long road trip with your children, it’s important to involve them in the process. Letting the kids have a say in the trip can make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
Provide your children with a map and let them help choose the route. Whether it’s a scenic route or a more direct one, letting them be a part of the decision-making process can make them feel involved and excited about the journey.
Letting the kids choose some of the stops along the way can also be a fun way to break up the trip. They can pick out interesting landmarks or attractions that they want to visit, and you can plan the stops in advance or even on the go. This way, the children will have something to look forward to during those long stretches of driving.
If you have multiple children, let each one pick a favorite toy or game to bring along in their smaller duffle or backpack. This way, they’ll have their own entertainment and won’t have to rely on their siblings for entertainment.
Accidents can happen on long road trips, so it’s a good idea to be prepared. Pack a plastic bag or a waterproof container to throw any trash or messes into. Also, keep some wipes and towels handy to clean up any spills or accidents that may occur. It’s always better to be prepared and avoid any unnecessary hassle.
Another way to involve the kids is to let them be the “navigator”. Give them a map and have them guide the way. They can help you look for the next rest stop or suggest a nearby park for a quick break. This will not only keep them engaged but also give them a sense of responsibility.
When it comes to meals, let the kids help plan the snacks and meals for the trip. They can choose their favorite snacks, and you can make a list and pack them in advance. This way, they’ll have something they love to munch on during the journey, and it will also save you from having to hear “I’m hungry” every other mile.
Lastly, let the kids document the trip. Provide them with a disposable camera, or let them use their phone or tablet to take pictures and videos along the way. They can create their own travel journal or even make a post-trip photo album. This way, they’ll have something to look back on and memories to cherish.
By involving your children in the planning process, you’re not only making the trip more enjoyable and exciting for them but also teaching them important skills like decision-making and responsibility. So, let the kids have a say and watch them become more engaged and excited about the long road trip ahead!
14 Don’t Forget the Best Way to Keep Kids Happy on a Long Journey…
When it comes to long road trips with kids, one of the best ways to keep them happy is by providing them with plenty of entertainment. While there are several strategies that can be employed, there is one that stands out as being the most effective. And that is…
The use of electronic devices, such as tablets or smartphones, can be a huge lifesaver during long journeys. With these gadgets in hand, kids can stay occupied for hours on end. Whether they are playing games, watching movies, or listening to music, electronic devices can provide endless entertainment.
But before you throw a tablet in front of them and hope for the best, it’s important to be prepared. Make sure you have downloaded their favorite games, movies, and TV shows ahead of time. This way, you won’t have to rely on an internet connection while on the road. It’s also a good idea to bring along an extra charger or two, as long drives can quickly drain a device’s battery.
When it comes to younger kids, bringing along a portable DVD player can be a great option. This allows them to watch their favorite movies without the risk of them getting motion sickness from looking at a smaller screen for too long. Plus, if your car has a DVD player built-in, you can also play movies that the whole family can enjoy together.
Another item that can greatly enhance the entertainment experience for kids is a giant headphone splitter. This allows multiple kids to listen to the same movie or show at the same time, without the need for separate headphones. It’s a great way for siblings to bond and enjoy the journey together.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to have a variety of entertainment options available. Consider bringing along coloring books, puzzles, or handheld games. These can be a great way to pass the time and keep kids engaged without relying solely on screens.
When it comes to long road trips with kids, the pressure to keep them entertained can be daunting. But with the right preparation and a few key items, you can ensure that the journey is enjoyable for the whole family. So don’t forget to pack those entertainment essentials and get ready for a fun and memorable adventure!
When it comes to long road trips with kids, being prepared is the key to a successful journey. Taking the time to plan your itinerary and have a backup route in mind can alleviate some of the stress of getting lost or taking a wrong turn. Having multiple snacks and drinks packed, such as fruit and pre-packaged snacks, can also help keep hunger at bay and avoid any tantrums.
Another helpful strategy is to have a variety of entertainment options for the kids. Bringing books, games, and portable devices like tablets can keep them occupied during the long stretches of driving. Don’t forget to pack headphones and a back-up charger to keep the devices running.
Family-friendly music and audiobooks are another great way to make the journey more enjoyable. Having a playlist of everyone’s favorite songs or picking out a few audiobooks to listen to can help pass the time and keep everyone entertained.
When it comes to sightseeing along the way, having maps or using Google Maps to find interesting stops can make the trip more memorable. Planning a few stops at unusual landmarks or scenic viewpoints can break up the monotony of the long drive.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated and take regular breaks, especially if you’re traveling in hot weather. Having a cooler with water and other beverages can help keep everyone refreshed. And don’t be afraid to pull over and stretch your legs whenever everyone starts feeling tired or restless.
Finally, it’s important to remain flexible and adaptable during the trip. Unexpected delays and changes in plans can happen, so it’s best to go with the flow and make the most of the situation. Remember to embrace the fact that the journey itself is part of the vacation experience.
By following these strategies, you can help make long road trips with kids more enjoyable for everyone involved. Whether it’s having the right snacks and entertainment options, staying prepared with maps and back-up chargers, or being open to spontaneous sightseeing, a little planning goes a long way. So, pack your bags and hit the road – amazing adventures await!
What You Should Do Next
Now that you have taken all the necessary precautions and have planned your road trip with kids, here are some further tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey:
1. Be prepared for the inevitable whining and nagging: Even on the most pleasant of road trips, kids will usually find something to complain about. Instead of losing your temper, try to understand their perspective and address their concerns.
2. Bring along entertainment: To keep your kids entertained and distracted during long distances, bring a portable DVD player or tablet loaded with their favorite movies and TV shows. If you have a baby, make sure to pack some toys and books to keep them occupied as well.
3. Consider open communication: Encourage your kids to talk and share stories during the ride. This will not only make the journey more enjoyable, but it will also help you bond as a family.
4. Pack some ziplock bags: Ziplock bags come in handy for various purposes, such as storing snacks, keeping wet wipes or tissues, and even being used as makeshift vomit bags in case someone gets car sick.
5. Make frequent stops: Plan for regular bathroom breaks, especially if you have children who are potty-training. It’s also a nice opportunity to stretch your legs and grab a coffee or snack.
6. Bring a waterproof duffle bag: Accidents happen, especially when traveling with kids. Having a waterproof duffle bag allows you to store dirty clothes or wet items without worrying about them causing a mess or odor in your car.
7. Pack a first aid kit: It’s always a good idea to have a basic first aid kit on hand in case of minor injuries or illnesses. This way, you can address any issues promptly and avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital.
8. Stay flexible with your schedule: While it’s important to have a rough plan in advance, don’t be afraid to adjust it as needed. Unexpected delays or detours can happen, so be prepared to adapt and make the most of it.
9. Have a backup plan: In case of any unforeseen circumstances, such as car trouble or severe weather conditions, make sure to have a backup plan in mind. Research nearby hotels or attractions that you can visit instead of getting stranded.
10. Keep the kids well-fed and hydrated: Hungry and thirsty children can easily cause chaos. Pack plenty of snacks and drinks to keep them satisfied along the way. Just be sure to avoid sugary drinks, as they can cause energy spikes and crashes.
By following these tips, your road trip with kids is sure to be a memorable and enjoyable adventure. Safe travels!
1 Subscribe to my Newsletter
If you’re a parent embarking on a long road trip with kids, I have a helpful guide just for you. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive my best tips and strategies for keeping your children entertained and happy during those long stretches on the road.
As a parent myself, I understand the challenges of road-tripping with little ones. It can sometimes seem like a daunting task, but with the right preparation and a few tricks up your sleeve, you can make the experience more enjoyable for the whole family.
In my newsletter, you’ll find ideas for entertaining your children without relying on devices or screens. I’ll provide suggestions for engaging activities, such as audiobooks that the whole family can enjoy, and games that will turn the journey into a fun-filled adventure.
I’ll also offer tips for packing the perfect road trip duffle bag, filled with healthy snacks, water, and choices for lunch. Plus, I’ll share advice on how to handle common challenges like whining, nagging, and sibling behavior.
Whether you have toddlers or older children, my newsletter is designed to help you plan and navigate your road trips with ease. I’ll also provide recommendations for popular roadside attractions and playgrounds, so you can make the most of your journey.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to receive my road-tripping tips and tricks. Subscribe to my newsletter now and be sure to check out the other featured articles and resources on my website. Trust me, you’ll love the memories and adventures you’ll create as a family!
2 Register for my FREE 60-Minute Class
Are you looking for the latest and true secrets to make your next road trip with kids a breeze? If you’re tired of the messes, the fights, and the endless “are we there yet?” questions from the backseat, then this class is for you!
In this 60-minute class, I will share with you the top 10 strategies that will make your next road trip with your kids a pleasant and restful experience. From games and books to deep maps and destination stops, I will show you how to keep your children entertained and engaged throughout the entire journey.
One of the first tips I will provide is how to pack a “restful bag” for each child. This bag will include a comfortable pillow, a soft blanket, and some of their favorite books or toys. This will ensure that they are fully equipped and capable of finding a nice and restful spot to relax during the trip.
Another tip you will learn in this class is how to handle the younger kids who may need more attention. I will show you some great games and activities that will keep them busy and entertained, so you can focus on the road ahead. Plus, if you’re worried about messes, I will also teach you a clever way to pack snacks in ziplock bags to minimize spills and messes.
By the end of the class, you will have a clear idea of how to plan your route, the advantages of using Google Maps and GPS, and the best options for stops along the way. You will also gain insights into creating lasting memories and making the most of your time together as a family.
Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to make your next family road trip a breeze. Register for my FREE 60-Minute Class now and get ready to hit the road with confidence!
All you need to do is enter your email address and zip code below, and you’ll receive a confirmation email with all the details.
3 Enroll in my 7-Step Parenting Success System® Course
When it comes to long road trips with kids, having a plan in place can make all the difference in maintaining your sanity. That’s why I highly recommend enrolling in my 7-Step Parenting Success System® Course before leaving for your journey.
With this course, you’ll learn essential strategies and techniques to make your road trip with kids more manageable and enjoyable. We’ll cover everything from creating a detailed itinerary to finding the best stops along the way.
One of the key lessons in the course is how to make those long drives more entertaining for your little ones. We’ll explore various ways to keep them engaged, such as playing games, listening to audiobooks, or watching a movie on a portable DVD player. Trust me; this course has helped countless parents turn their chaotic car rides into peaceful journeys.
Another important aspect we’ll address in the course is the art of planning bathroom breaks and rest stops. We’ll discuss techniques for finding accessible and child-friendly restrooms along your route. Plus, I’ll share my secret tip for locating those giant rest stops with playgrounds, perfect for giving your kids a chance to stretch their legs and burn off some energy.
Moreover, I’ll teach you how to navigate the “Are we there yet?” question that every parent dreads. We’ll delve into strategies for keeping your kids engaged and distracted while eagerly awaiting your arrival at the destination. From playing interactive car games to encouraging conversation, you’ll have a toolbox full of ideas to combat the impatience and boredom that often accompany long car rides.
Additionally, I’ll provide valuable tips for packing healthy snacks and keeping your young ones fueled throughout the journey. You’ll learn what foods to bring, how to properly store them, and clever ideas for making healthy fruits easily accessible for everyone in the car.
And if you ever find yourself in a bind or unsure of what to do, my course also includes access to a support group where you can connect with other road-tripping parents. This way, you can share your experiences, exchange tips, and get advice from people who have been in your shoes before.
So, before you hit the road, take a step back and look ahead. Enroll in my 7-Step Parenting Success System® Course, and you’ll be better prepared for whatever challenges may arise during your long road trip with kids. Trust me, your future self will thank you!
About the Author
Quintia has been a road-tripper all her life. Born and raised in the mountains of Wisconsin, she has always had a special place in her heart for the open road. With years of experience under her belt, she knows all the ins and outs of long road trips with kids.
Quintia and her partner have two children, five and two years old. They love to pack up the car and set off on new adventures whenever they can. Quintia firmly believes that road trips are the perfect way to create lasting memories with your family.
Quintia understands the pressure that parents can feel when it comes to planning and executing a successful road trip. She knows that surprises and unexpected stops are par for the course. But with a little bit of preparation and the right strategies in place, road trips with kids can be a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
In this post, Quintia shares her top 10 strategies for long road trips with kids. Whether it’s choosing the right books and activities to bring along, or finding the best places to stop and stretch their legs, she has you covered. Quintia also understands the challenges that come with potty-training and younger kids, so she offers tips to prevent any bathroom breaks from turning into disasters.
Quintia is a big advocate for open communication and quality time during road trips. She believes that listening to your children and giving them attention can make all the difference. She also knows the importance of breaks and snacks to keep everyone happy and energized.
Quintia started roadtrippers. com as a way to share her love of road trips with fellow parents. She believes that all families should have the opportunity to create special memories on the road. Whether you’re a seasoned road-tripper or a newbie, Quintia’s tips and tricks will help make your next journey unforgettable.
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Don’t forget to register for Quintia’s special webinar on road trips with kids during the COVID-19 pandemic. She will share tips and strategies to keep your family safe and entertained on the road, even during these unusual times. We hope to see you there!
Featured image: Quintia on a road trip with her family, enjoying the scenic views and making unforgettable memories.
Note: Please bring your own snacks, wipes, and back-up games for the webinar. Bathroom breaks and potty-training emergencies may occur!
Road Trip with Toddler – 9 Essential Survival Tips
Traveling long distances with a toddler can often be challenging, but with some careful planning and preparation, you can make the journey more enjoyable for both you and your little one. Here are nine essential survival tips to help you navigate your road trip successfully:
Bring a variety of entertainment options: To keep your toddler occupied and happy throughout the trip, pack a bag with their favorite books, toys, and games. This will prevent boredom and reduce the chances of them becoming fussy or demanding your attention constantly.
Don’t underestimate the power of snacks: Food can work wonders in distracting a cranky toddler. Pack a mix of healthy snacks, such as fruits and granola bars, as well as some special treats to keep them excited about the journey.
Plan for frequent pit stops: Toddlers have small bladders and can’t hold their urine for long periods. Make sure to plan for regular bathroom breaks and take advantage of scenic rest areas along the way. This will also give your little one a chance to stretch their legs and burn off some energy.
Have a stash of wipes: Wipes are a parent’s best friend when it comes to cleaning up messes on the go. Whether it’s spilled drinks, sticky hands, or messy faces, having wipes readily available will make your life much easier.
Utilize technology when needed: While it’s always good to limit screen time, a long road trip might be the perfect occasion to relax the rules a bit. Consider downloading some age-appropriate apps or movies on a tablet to keep your toddler entertained during the journey.
Make sure to bring comfort items: Whether it’s a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or pacifier, having familiar items from home can provide your toddler with a sense of security and comfort in an unfamiliar setting.
Engage your toddler in conversation: Take the opportunity to bond with your little one during the trip by engaging them in age-appropriate conversations. Ask them about their day, favorite things, or whatever comes to mind. This will not only keep them occupied but also stimulate their language development.
Play interactive games: Counting cars, spotting different colors, or playing “I spy” are great ways to keep your toddler engaged and entertained. These games also help them develop their cognitive skills while having fun.
Take breaks for physical activity: Whenever possible, stop at parks or playgrounds along your route to allow your toddler to run, climb, and play. This will help them burn off excess energy and make the next leg of the journey more bearable.
By following these essential survival tips, your road trip with a toddler can become a memorable adventure. Remember to be flexible and patient, as unexpected challenges may arise along the way. With the right preparation and mindset, you and your family can have a fun and successful journey together.
Depositphotos. com / Quintia
1 Separate the kids
One strategy that can greatly help on long road trips with kids is to separate them if possible. Forgetting the fact that siblings can hardly go a few hours without arguing or annoying each other, having some space between them can help prevent some behavior issues.
Each child should ideally have their own seat and space in the car. This can be easily planned by picking a car with enough seating for everyone. If you are heading out in a car that doesn’t have enough seats, consider bringing a waterproof blanket or sheet to separate the kids. This way, they can each have their own defined area.
Alternatively, if you are traveling in a vehicle with a larger passenger area, you could also consider using the middle seat to separate the children. This can be done by moving one child to the middle seat and placing a spare seatbelt or strap between them and the child in the back seat.
Having space between the children can help minimize the likelihood of arguments and keep everyone in a more positive mood during the trip. It allows them to have their own space and reduce the chances of them annoying each other.
Furthermore, separating the kids can also be a good strategy to prevent them from asking for spontaneous bathroom or food stops. If they are separated, they may be less likely to influence each other’s needs and desires along the trip.
Overall, separating the kids during a long road trip can be a universal strategy to reduce conflicts and create a more peaceful atmosphere. It allows each child to have their own space and helps prevent any unwanted delays or distractions that may arise from their interactions. So, before you hit the road, make sure to plan and consider how to separate the children to keep the journey as smooth as possible.
2 Drive at night
Driving at night can be a great strategy for long road trips with kids. While it may not be the most ideal option for everyone, it can offer some unique benefits and make the journey more enjoyable for both kids and parents. For example, my wife and I usually pack everything we need for the trip before heading out. This way, when we leave at night, we don’t have to worry about wasting time in the morning getting everything together.
One of the main advantages of driving at night is that it allows kids to sleep during the journey. Kids tend to get tired after a long day of activities, whether it’s sightseeing or exploring attractions. Driving at night gives them the opportunity to rest and recharge their energy for the next day.
Another benefit is that the roads are usually less crowded at night, which means smoother and quicker travel. There are also fewer distractions, so you can focus more on the road and remain alert. In addition, the cool night breeze can be quite soothing and make the drive more pleasant for everyone.
While driving at night, we keep our five-year-old son, Steve, busy and entertained with several activities. For example, we bring along some snacks, books, and games to keep him occupied. We also have a tablet with a screen and headphones so he can watch his favorite shows or movies. This helps to keep him happy and engaged during the journey.
One important thing to remember is to take breaks and stretch your legs every few hours. This not only ensures everyone is comfortable but also prevents fatigue and keeps drivers alert. We usually plan our stops ahead of time, using maps or GPS to find suitable places to stop for restrooms, food, and stretching.
|Another advantage of driving at night is that it can save you money on accommodations. If you’re willing to give up a night in a hotel, you can cut down on expenses. Instead, you can set up a cozy and comfortable sleeping area in the car for everyone. We bring along blankets, pillows, and even a small duffle bag with some essentials like wipes and a change of clothes.|
|Driving at night also has the added benefit of avoiding traffic jams and road construction. This means a smoother and faster journey, with fewer delays. We’ve had instances where we took a detour and stumbled upon some unusual places or attractions that we wouldn’t have discovered during the day. It’s these unexpected adventures that make road-tripping even more exciting!|
One important thing to note is that not all kids may be comfortable with night driving, especially younger ones. If your child gets easily car-sick or has trouble sleeping in moving vehicles, driving during the day might be a better option for you. It’s important to consider your child’s needs and preferences when making this decision.
Overall, driving at night can be a great way to make long road trips with kids more enjoyable and less tiring. Just make sure to plan ahead, pack everything you need, and stay alert while on the road. Remember to take breaks and keep your child entertained. With these strategies in place, you’re sure to have a successful and memorable road trip!
3 Plan your trip itinerary with kids in mind
When it comes to planning a long road trip with kids, it’s important to consider their needs and interests. Taking the time to think about what will keep them happy and entertained will mean a more enjoyable journey for everyone.
First, it’s a good idea to plan some stops along the way. This allows for breaks and stretching of legs, which is especially important for young children who may have trouble sitting still for long stretches of time. Research the latest attractions and destinations along your route – you may be surprised at what you find! Including a visit to a zoo, amusement park, or children’s museum can provide a welcome distraction and a chance for some fun family bonding.
Another strategy is to bring along some entertainment items to keep the kids occupied during the drive. Books, coloring books, and portable gaming consoles are all great options. For younger children, consider bringing some quiet toys or activities that can help them relax and stay calm.
Depending on your destination and the length of your trip, it may be worth considering staying at child-friendly accommodations. Some hotels offer special amenities for families, such as cribs, high chairs, and even themed rooms. Doing a quick search online or making a call to the hotel can provide you with the necessary information.
Don’t forget about meals during the journey! Having some snacks and drinks on hand can help alleviate hunger and keep everyone happy. It’s also a good idea to plan for meal stops along the way. Look for family-friendly restaurants or pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at a park.
If you’re traveling with a potty-training child, make sure to provide enough bathroom breaks along the way. Pack a portable potty and plan for regular stops at rest areas or gas stations. This will help avoid any uncomfortable situations and keep your little one feeling comfortable.
In addition to the physical aspects of the trip, it’s important to consider the mental well-being of your children. Keeping them engaged and entertained will help prevent boredom and reduce the likelihood of them getting restless or acting out. Consider playing games together, such as “I Spy” or the license plate game, or bringing along audio books or their favorite music.
Finally, don’t forget to remind yourself of the fact that you’re on a family vacation. While it may be tempting to try to pack in as much sightseeing as possible, it’s important to find a balance between seeing the sights and allowing for downtime. Remember that the journey is just as important as the destination, and embracing a slower pace can lead to more enjoyable memories for everyone.
In conclusion, with a little bit of planning and preparation, a long road trip with kids can be a fun and memorable experience. By considering the needs and interests of your children, providing entertainment and breaks along the way, and finding a balance between sightseeing and downtime, you can ensure a happy and enjoyable journey for the whole family.
4 Let the kids move
When you’re on a long road trip with kids, it’s important to give them opportunities to stretch their legs and move around. Sitting in a car for hours on end can be tough for little ones, so planning regular breaks can make a big difference.
One option is to stop at rest areas or parks along the way, where the kids can run around and play. If you’re worried about keeping track of everyone, try giving each child a plastic bracelet with your phone number written on it. That way, if they wander off, someone can easily reach you.
Another solution is to plan sightseeing stops along the route. This gives the kids a chance to explore new places and burn off some energy. Look for interesting landmarks or attractions nearby that the whole family will enjoy.
If you’re traveling with older kids who can handle longer distances, consider letting them take turns being the navigator. Give them a map or have them use a GPS device to guide the way. This not only keeps them engaged but also teaches them important skills.
When it comes to meals, try to pack healthy snacks and fruit that the kids can easily eat in the car. This avoids the temptation of fast food and keeps everyone feeling good. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water and wet wipes to clean up any messes.
To keep everyone entertained during the drive, consider downloading audiobooks or podcasts that the whole family can enjoy. This is a great way to pass the time and have some quiet moments. If your kids are into screens, you can also let them watch movies or play games on a tablet or portable DVD player.
Remember to have some surprises up your sleeve to keep things interesting. This could mean small toys or books that the kids can open as a reward for good behavior. It’s also a good idea to have a selection of car-friendly games or activities, like scavenger hunts or magnetic puzzles.
Lastly, be prepared for unexpected stops or delays. This could mean having extra diapers or a change of clothes on hand. It’s also a good idea to have a first aid kit and some basic medication for anything that comes up. Better to be safe than sorry!
5 Stock up on healthy snacks
Whether you’re hitting the road for a few hours or embarking on a cross-country adventure, it’s always a good idea to stock up on healthy snacks for the journey. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your snack itinerary:
1. Register your devices: Make sure you have plenty of electronic devices and chargers accessible to keep everyone entertained and excited during the trip.
2. Avoid sugary drinks: Provide water and fruit juices instead of soda or other sugary drinks to avoid the effect of sugar on kids’ energy levels.
3. Pack plenty of fruit: Fruits like apples, bananas, and grapes are easy to handle and don’t require refrigeration, making them ideal for long drives.
4. Subscribe to a streaming service: Having access to movies and TV shows can help pass the time and keep kids engaged.
5. Keep the bathroom in mind: Plan stops at parks or attractions where a bathroom is available to give everyone a chance to stretch their legs and take a break from sitting in the car.
By stocking up on healthy snacks, you can ensure that everyone stays well-fed and energized throughout the trip, avoiding the temptation to stop at fast-food restaurants or convenience stores for unhealthy options. Plus, having a supply of nutritious snacks lets you make those memories on the road and keep everyone fueled up for the next adventure!
6 Play road games
When it comes to long road trips with kids, entertainment is essential. While devices like tablets and smartphones can be handy to have as a back-up for keeping the kids happy and entertained, it’s also nice to have some non-electronic options to mix things up. Road games can be a great way to pass the time and keep everyone engaged during the journey.
Here are some road game ideas to consider:
1. The Alphabet Game: This classic game involves finding words that begin with each letter of the alphabet in order. Start with “A” and work your way to “Z”. It’s a fun way to challenge the kids (and yourself!) and it can last for hours if you’re driving through a lot of towns and cities.
2. I Spy: Another classic game, I Spy is perfect for kids of all ages. Choose an object, like a red car or a stop sign, and give clues to help the other players guess what it is. This game can keep kids entertained for quite some time, especially if you’re passing by interesting sights along the way.
3. 20 Questions: This game requires one person to think of an object, place, or person, and the others take turns asking yes-or-no questions to try and guess what it is. It’s a great game to stimulate critical thinking and keep everyone engaged.
4. License Plate Game: The goal of this game is to spot license plates from as many different states or countries as possible. Keep a tally of which plates you’ve seen and see who can find the most. It’s a fun way to learn geography and makes the drive feel like a scavenger hunt.
5. Guess the Song: If you’re a musical family, this game is perfect for you. Take turns playing a few seconds of a song and see who can guess the title and artist the quickest. It’s a great way to discover new music and keeps everyone entertained, especially during long stretches of road.
6. Would You Rather: This game involves coming up with silly or thought-provoking scenarios and then asking players which option they would choose. For example, “Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?” It’s a fun way to spark conversations and get to know each other better.
Remember, road games are not only enjoyable but also have advantages over relying solely on devices for entertainment. They encourage interaction, foster creativity and imagination, and can help make the road trip more memorable.
Next time you’re planning a long road trip with kids, be sure to pack some road games along with your survival essentials. They’re a great way to pass the time, avoid screen-time pressure, and make the journey more pleasant for everyone.
7 Listen to kids’ music and audiobooks
If your kids are getting antsy and tripping over each other in the back seat, it might be time to put on some kids’ music or audiobooks. This can be a great way to keep them entertained and distracted during long stretches of driving. Make sure to bring along a case of their favorite CDs or load up an audio playlist on your phone or tablet.
Audiobooks are especially great for older kids who can follow along with a story. They can get lost in the narrative and forget about the hours passing by. Classics like Harry Potter or The Chronicles of Narnia are always a hit. For younger kids, try some fun and interactive children’s stories.
One advantage of audiobooks is that they can be enjoyed by the whole family. Instead of everyone having their own screen or device, you can all listen together and discuss the story as it unfolds. It’s a great way to foster connections and make the trip feel like a shared experience.
Kids’ music is another option to consider. There are plenty of catchy tunes and educational songs that can keep your little ones entertained. From nursery rhymes to children’s pop music, there’s something for everyone. And don’t be afraid to join in on the singing – it can keep everyone’s spirits up and make the trip feel more fun.
Remember to bring headphones for the kids, especially if you’re traveling with toddlers who are still learning about volume control. This way, they can enjoy their music or audiobook without disturbing the whole car. And if your little ones are potty-training, always be prepared with a quick stop and the necessary supplies.
So whether you’re hitting the open road or just going on a shorter trip to a nearby park, don’t forget about the power of entertainment. Kids’ music and audiobooks can be a real lifesaver during long road trips. They can keep your children engaged, alleviate the pressure to constantly entertain them, and help make the journey feel like a fun and educational adventure.
8 Digital tablets films and games
When it comes to keeping kids entertained during long road trips, digital tablets can be a lifesaver. Whether you have a portable DVD player or a giant tablet, these devices make it easy to keep little ones occupied and quiet while you drive through the mountains or across miles of highway. Here are some perfect films and games to keep them occupied during the journey:
- Quintia: This recent article, “10 Strategies for Long Road Trips with Kids”, has plenty of great tips and hacks for road-tripping with kids. For example, packing a cooler with lunch and water can be a great solution for spontaneous tantrums or when the next meal is still a long way off.
- Magic Roadtrip: This full-length film follows a group of young roadtrippers as they embark on a magical journey to a hidden destination. Along the way, they experience deep forests, exciting destinations, and encounters with magical creatures. It’s a great way to keep younger kids engaged and entertained.
- Quintia’s Journey: This digital game allows kids to join Quintia on her road trip adventure. They’ll have to solve puzzles, collect items, and make choices that will affect the outcome of the story. It’s a fun and interactive way to keep their minds engaged during the long drive.
- Mountain Explorers: This game takes kids on a virtual hiking adventure through the mountains. They’ll explore deep valleys, climb steep cliffs, and discover hidden treasures along the way. It’s a great way to introduce them to the wonders of nature without leaving the car.
- Gone Country: This film follows a city-dwelling family as they embark on a road trip across the country. Along the way, they discover the beauty of the open road, the joy of spontaneous detours, and the magic of small-town destinations. It’s a heartwarming film that will inspire kids to appreciate the simple pleasures of a road trip.
- The Lost Console: This game is the perfect solution for older kids who love console gaming. They’ll be able to immerse themselves in a deep and interactive virtual world, solving quests, battling enemies, and leveling up their characters. It’s a great way to pass the time during long stretches of highway.
- Pleasant Memories: This film is a collection of beautiful road trip destinations from around the country. From the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest to the colorful deserts of the Southwest, kids will get a glimpse into the amazing sights that await them on their own road trips. It’s a great way to get them excited about future adventures.
- Partner in Crime: This game is a multiplayer digital adventure that can be played by kids and their parents. They’ll work together to solve puzzles, unlock secret doors, and discover hidden treasures. It’s a great way to bond as a family and create lasting memories on the road.
With these films and games, the hours on the road will fly by and your kids will be entertained and engaged the whole time. Whether it’s a long drive or a short trip, having a digital tablet or portable DVD player with a selection of films and games is a viable and convenient solution for keeping kids happy and making the journey more pleasant for everyone.
9 Pack strategically
When it comes to packing for a long road trip with kids, it’s important to pack strategically. Consider the needs of each child and pack accordingly. Here are a few recommendations to consider:
First, it’s always a good idea to bring some snacks and drinks to keep the kids from getting hungry or thirsty. Individual fruit cups, ziplock bags of pretzels or crackers, and juice boxes are all great options that can easily be passed around in the car.
Next, it’s important to pack some entertainment to keep the kids occupied during the long hours on the road. Consider bringing books or audiobooks for them to enjoy. If your kids are into movies, bringing along a portable DVD player or tablets loaded with their favorite movies can also be a great option.
For younger kids who are potty-training, it’s a good idea to have a portable potty or extra diapers on hand. This can help to avoid any unexpected bathroom stops and keep the road trip going smoothly.
Another handy item to pack is a blanket or travel pillow for each child. This can help them stay comfortable and easily take a nap when needed.
When it comes to packing clothes, it’s important to consider the weather at your destination and pack accordingly. Make sure to have extra layers, such as a light jacket, in case the weather changes. It’s also a good idea to pack some extra clothes in case of any spills or messes.
If you have multiple kids, consider packing each child’s clothes in a separate ziplock bag. This can help to quickly and easily find each child’s clothes without having to dig through a large suitcase.
Lastly, consider packing a small bag of toys or activities for each child. This can help to alleviate boredom and keep them entertained during the journey. Simple items like coloring books, stickers, and travel-sized games can all be a hit.