Taking a road trip with kids can seem like a daunting task but don’t let that keep you from taking an adventure. Preparation is key and using these tips can help make your road trip a success.
If you have kids, you know they can be eating machines. Don’t let them get hangry, make sure you have plenty of snacks and cold drinks on hand. This will help you so that you don’t have to make last minute stops and purchase expensive fast food or gas station snacks. Here are some our favorite semi-healthy road trip treats.
- String Cheese
- Peanut butter crackers
- Teddy Grahams
Pro Tip: Make sure you have a garbage bag for all of those wrappers
Every long trip we took since the kids were young (3, 1) I would make them activity bags which they now come to expect and are excited for each trip. I get them a new backpack and fill it with activities that will keep them occupied while on the ride. This can include coloring books, travel games, and small toys. Here are some of my favorites that will keep them busy:
- I-Spy Travel Card Game
- Travel Hangman
- Magnetic Travel Drawing Board
- Kids National Geographic Travel Atlas
- Sip and Snack Cup
- Travel Bop It
- Paw Patrol Look & Find Book
It will come to a point where you will lose your patience or just need a little bit of quiet so you can concentrate on the road and will resort to giving kids their devices and that is OK. Preload them with games, books, and downloaded movies and songs if you won’t have internet access available. If you have unlimited data or a hotspot through your vehicle, you don’t necessarily have to worry about offline options.
EXPECTED THE UNEXPECTED
Don’t expect the trip to always go perfectly. There will be issues along the way and all you can do it make the best of them. It could be a lost binky, running out of gas, or pulling away with your RV steps still out. Yes, this happened to us on our most recent trip – thank you to the tractor trailer driver who continuously flashed your lights at us until we realized what was going on and pulled over. Nine times out of ten the error can be corrected. It will either be a learning experience or provide you with lots of laughs, if you’ll let it.
MAKE FREQUENT STOPS
Although the adults may feel comfortable driving 8-10 hours a day, it can be too much for the kids. The kids will need several bathroom stops, meal breaks, time to run around and burn off energy, so plan accordingly We always take meal breaks outside of the vehicle by sitting at a picnic table at a rest stop or making it and eating in the camper. Use travel aps to find nearby parks, science museums and take 1-2 hours and explore a new place so kids can blow of steam.
To pass time while traveling, we like to participate in family games like 20 Questions, Would You Rather, and I Spy, they can all be real conversation starters. We also choose podcasts, audiobooks or playlists that the whole family can enjoy. Also use this time to plan your next stop and discuss what your favorite part of the trip is so far, what you would like to do next, etc. Another fun thing we did on our last trip was tongue twisters, this provided lots or laughs.
The most important thing to remember is to remain flexible. The point of the trip is to make memories, and you don’t want those memories to be of you screaming or the kids crying on the way to your destination. As clique as it sounds – it’s about enjoying the journey. Enjoy the togetherness you have with your family, count your blessings, all while wearing earplugs if needed lol.