I’ve given ideas for how to pass the time on a road trip, but I know that roadtripping with kids is really a whole different story! It can be exhausting trying to keep little ones entertained for long stretches on the road, so I wanted to come up with a few suggestions on how to make the whole process a little easier.
1. Take breaks.
Of course, the first step is to adjust your expectations and realize that everything may take a little longer with kids in tow. In fact, you may be able to avoid melt downs by letting the kids take short breaks out of the car every few hours. So, though the trip may take longer, you’ll save your sanity! (And that’s probably worth it.)
2. Bring fun treats.
Though sugar can make kids get rowdy, it might be a good idea to give your kids some of their favorite snacks while on the road. I think it would be fun to have them all come to the grocery store with you and pick one or two items to look forward to on the trip. Then you can keep them as your “secret weapon” to bribe them into good behavior later on 🙂
3. Rent some new movies.
When all else fails, movies save the day! But think about renting or buying some new movies that you’ve all been anticipating watching — that way you can guarantee that the kids will be captivated!
4. Have learning time.
Though treats and movies are fun, you could also try using the travel time as a chance for your kids to learn something. With all of the educational apps out there, you’ll definitely be able to find some free ways to teach your kids about math, science and more. You could also have family trivia sessions to pass the time.
5. Listen to an audiobook.
If your kids are a bit older, they might get enthralled with an audiobook. The key is to pick something light and action-packed. Think “Harry Potter,” not “Gone With the Wind.”
6. Be spontaneous.
Though it’s a cliche phrase, having “joy in the journey” will help make the trip fun even before you get to the destination. You can do this by being spontaneous as you drive. I once went on a family trip where we each got to randomly call out one place we wanted to stop along the road. It could be a place to get ice cream, a random gift shop, a lookout point, a cool photo op — anything! Your kids will be entertained just looking out the window waiting for their big moment to call out “Let’s stop right here, mom and dad!”
7. Make it mess-free.
With snacks and drinks being eaten on the road, things could get a little messy. But if you’re prepared, you can minimize the damage on your car and make life a whole lot easier. Try pre-packaging food, have plenty of paper towels on hand, buy some wet wipes, and consider these
plastic childrens’ trays for snack time. It’ll make things more fun for the kids, too!
8. Get some new entertainment.
Though technology can provide hours of fun, you’ll want to think about some entertainment that allows the kids to unplug, too. Buy some cheap tote bags and let the kids fill them up at the dollar store with things like activity books, coloring books, stickers, notepads and the like. They’ll be excited about their new “toys,” and you won’t be breaking the bank!
9. Try some classic road trip games. This
cute book is chock-full of family games to keep entertained while on the road. You might even learn some new ones yourself!
10. Get to know each other.
Road trips are a great time to get to know each other better — after all, you’re packed in a very tight space with no escape! And even if you’re traveling with family, there are plenty of things you can still learn about each other. Ask your kids about what they want to be when they grow up, who their best friends are, what they’re favorite food is, etc. Though you might think you already know the answers, they could surprise you!