Road Trips with Kids : Top Tips for Families On the Road

by Laura Wallis | Follow Her on Twitter Here

road trips with kidsHeading out for a road trip with kids? Hitting the open road can seem appealing until you realize you are stuck in this metal box with your kids for who knows how long!?

Here are a dozen of our top tips for taking on a road trip full speed ahead!

  1. Let the kids help plan. If it’s more than a day, show them what towns you will be staying in and let them choose the hotel and dinner destination (within reason).
  2. Make a road trip playlist. Let each family member pick five top songs and have your most iTunes savvy member create a playlist that you play on random. While driving guess who picked each song. Winner chooses the next snack stop!
  3. [easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”0843107596″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51gq0S0sbeL._SL160_.jpg” width=”116″]Pack snakes, wipes and napkins. Of course you already thought of this, but packing healthy and fun snacks will help cut down on stops. It’s much better to stop at a rest stop and run around for your bathroom break than go sit in a restaurant and eat. Because eating in the car is one of the best ways to pass the time!
  4. Include frozen juice boxes and bottles of water. Road trips can get hot and melted drinks will be cool and refreshing.
  5. Wrap everything. There’s something magical about unwrapping things, whether it’s a pack of gum or a DVD you borrowed from the library. I stock up on DVDs of both old and new favorites, wrap them up and let the kids alternate choosing. Same with snacks. Sure they’re just pretzels, but the anticipation of wondering what’s in the wrapping can be an awesome distraction.
  6. [easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B004GVYD98″ locale=”us” height=”134″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51oBl4l9CIL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]Choose car-friendly art supplies. (And wrap them of course!). Here are some of our favorites.
  7. Resurrect old favorite road trip games: the license plate game, I Spy, Mad Libs, Name that Tune, Auto Bingo, Questions and more.
  8. Get a book on tape. Choose a book that will appeal to a wide variety of ages. Think classics or mysteries.
  9. Stop frequently and get the wiggles out. At that rest stop where you’re having your picnic, use it as a chance to run around. Play tag, have relay races, chase bubbles or throw a Frisbee around.
  10. [easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B004SY3FEW” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51k7Dnl0dIL._SL160_.jpg” width=”159″]Switch up the seating arrangements. Having your own spot can seem like a good idea, but different siblings sitting by different ones can promote friendly interaction. Same with you and the driver! Switch frequently to avoid road burnout.
  11. Play guessing games. Again, these are oddly fun to kids. When you back out of the driveway, have everyone predict what time you will hit landmark A or town B. Record the answers. Whomever wins gets to pick the next guess, whether it’s how many times you’ll hear a Justin Bieber song between now and your destination to who is going to be first to ask “Are we there yet?”
  12. Staying at a hotel? Pick one with a pool. Then to avoid having to unpack your entire car, pack one overnight bag that has PJs, swimsuits and a change of clothing for everyone in the family.
  13. Give in and let them use their iPods all the way up I-5! If you are the passenger, use the quiet time as a great excuse to catch up on a month’s worth of magazines or get started on that beach reading.

What’s your favorite road trip distraction!? Would love to hear any tips you have to make road trips with kids easier and more fun!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcy July 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Great suggestions! Its true unwrapping things is fun!
I think its fun to pack the car with pillows. Then kids can enjoy stacking them and sleeping in the car in different ways (always buckled in of course). Schedule potty breaks when you get in the states that have more desert or open fields. And do warnings “Twenty minutes to next bathroom, please go now.” Bring a medium to large cooler and keep it stocked with food. You can use this during days of the trip where you don’t want to go to a restaurant or you want to save money at amusement parks.

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Laura Wallis July 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Yes! Kids at every age love unwrapping things, right? Love the pillow idea!

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