Road tripping as a family can be an extremely rewarding and memorable experience. It can also be stressful. I’ve been traveling with littles for years. My oldest is an adult now, I have one teenager and two elementary school boys. Here’s some of my favorite tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way for surviving long road trips with children in tow.
Road Trip Hacks for Parents
- Stock Up on Snacks and Bottled Water Before Hand. You’ll save so much time and money doing this. Bottled water and drinks can cost up to $3 at a gas station or convenience store.
- Say Yes to Electronics. Road trips are not the time to say no to electronic use. Kids need things to keep themselves occupied during long road trips. I like to pack tablets and portable dvd players. In order to save your own sanity you might want to consider saying yes to electronics.
- Pack A Travel Bag For Each Kid. I fill them with colored pencils, books, construction paper, and activity books. I also let them bring a stuffed animal, a blanket and pillow for the car. A word to the wise: don’t pack crayons if you’re traveling to a warmer climate, they will melt. Colored pencils are a great alternative instead.
- Avoid Gas Stations for Potty Breaks. The kids will be less apt to beg for convenience food and drinks. Opt for rest areas instead.
- Take Mini Pit Stops. I’m a big fan of road side attractions and love every chance I get to stretch my feet along the way. Stopping at road side attractions breaks up the trip and lets kids get out some of that bottled up energy. I plan my trips out and Google road side attractions in some of the major cities we will be passing through.
- Stop at Welcome Centers. This has always been a lot of fun for my kids. They like to pick out brochures and pack them in their travel bags as souvenirs.
- Make It Fun. Play games together. There’s so many different road trip games out there. Remember this is a great bonding experience for the entire family.
- Crossing State Lines Fun. I sometimes stock up on dollar store toys before we hit the road. Grab some cheap toys and some brown paper bags and fill them with playing cards, gum, candy bars, colored pencils, cheap toys, ect. As you pass each state line hand them these pre-filled brown paper goodie bags. They will really look forward to crossing each state line!
Did I miss something? I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a note in the comment section below.