Are you planning a road trip with your kids this summer? Don’t let the anxiety get to you, there are plenty of ways to make everyone happy and have fun while driving in the car. We have family road trip tips that will ensure everyone will have fun!
We know how it can be, stuck in a car for hours, heck even minutes can make you want to pull your hair out. I never thought I would be the parent to say, “If you don’t stop, then I’m going to turn this car around!”
And of course that almost never happens and the kids are still yelling at each other to stop looking out each other’s window.
They are some things that we have done for our road trips-long and short, with our kids that have made the ride less boring for kids, and a lot more enjoyable for parents.
Pin so everyone will have the best road trip ever
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Road trip activities for the kids
There are a lot of fun activities your kids can do in the car. Don’t be afraid of a little mess, it’s going to happen. But, don’t worry we have some helpful tips to organize your car and keep it tidy during road trips. We have your back.
Here are some fun and creative ideas.
Bring their favorite books to read– If your kids are old enough to read this is great to keep your kids minds stimulated.
Let them draw on your car– Wait what?! Yeah, don’t worry it’s washable. Have them draw on the car’s windows with these awesome washable window crayons and markers. Your kids will be so confused but think you’re a cool mom.
Make A Busy Bag– You can put small fun items in these bags- small or backpack
- Printable activities
- Play dough
These are just a few things you can put into your kid’s busy bag, your kids enjoy the road trip. Have fun with it, think of things that they will definitely keep them entertained.
Cookie sheet and magnets– This one your little ones can play with for a long time. It’s cheap and simple. You can even spray paint the cookie sheet with chalk paint and give them some chalk and magnets- BOOM double duty activity tray. Get some reusable stickers [link] for this too and let them use their imagination.
No Mess Coloring Books– Like a sweet melody to your ears isn’t it? No mess coloring books are every parent’s best friend and favorite type of activity for the car ride and at home.
Fun road trip accessories for the parent and the kids
I have always loved taking road trips. Something about driving in a car with your family all cozied up in a car, and enjoying the scenery, making memories, it’s the best.
While planning your trip, it is important to make sure that you are comfortable, so that’s not all you’re thinking about while your driving. That is also key to keeping your kids happy and not complaining about their butts hurting.
These will make your trip more fun and a lot more comfortable; for you and your kids.
Car desk for kids– These are genius! Your kids will have everything they need for their road trip right there so no need to keep pulling over every 15 minutes to get them something they have dropped or another activity to do. This fits large and smaller tablets, deep cup holder, pockets on the side to store snacks, stuffed animal, books anything your kids will need. You can also fold it up and zip it so it stays to make it easy to get the kids in and out.
Seat belt pillow– There is nothing like trying to sleep in the car and your head keeps bopping around and your neck starts hurting. I know with my oldest he’s in a boost seat so there’s really no hear support for him to lean on. So he has a hard time sleeping because it’s so uncomfortable. They are cute and also gives them something to cuddle with.
Traveling pillow– Are also comfortable to use. This supports your neck very well and keeps it from flopping around. Comes in kids and adult size.
Car Charger With 4 Ports-This is a life-safer! Yes, my kids have tablets and the world would end it they died during a road trip. This is perfect because you can use the charger in the front seat and the backseat while plugged into the car port. It has 4 USB ports plus and two normal outlet plugs so you can charge 6 different things at once! Perfect for a big family!
Back Seat Organizer– These are great for babies 0-18 months. This can hold a tablet so they have something fun to watch. It also holds all their accessories like pacifier, diapers, wipes, bottle and everything else. This is perfect for my twins.
Soft Blanket Pillow– This blanket turns into a pillow making it super easily compactable, and conventient to travel with. It has a backpack clip and a travel handle belt to put on your luggage. The soft comfy blanket makes any road trip cozy.
First Aid Kit– I know this isn’t exactly a fun item, but you can never be too safe, especially on a trip with your family. This FDA approved first aids kit has everything you need. Recently upgraded to medical grade products. Duarable and compact bag to fit in your glove compartment or any other small areas.
Head phones– Are ones you and your kids will love. These wireless headphones have a share-port so your kids can share or you can share with your child. They can listen to the same movie, music, and watch the same video. No more whining for not being able to hear what the other one is listening to. They are are also made with comfortable padding. This company gives a portion of their profits to bully preventions and also helps keep the Earth clean for our kids.
Travel tips for kids and newborn
If this is your first time going on a road trip with your kids, you are probably feeling scared, nervous, anxious, and wondering if you’re insane for wanting to do this. I’m sure everyone you have told that you’re going on a family vacation has told you that you’re brave and or crazy. Well, they are right.
BUT, you will have so much fun and your kids will create amazing memories on their road trip. Even if they are too young to remember they will have pictures to look at, and you will have stories to tell.
My family’s first vacation was with our first son at the age of 5 months. We planned to drive from Colorado, to Wyoming, through Idaho, to Oregon (stayed a few days), to California (for a few more days), then back to Colorado. The best vacation I have ever had !
So how did we do it while breastfeeding and not going crazy? Oh, did I mention that my first son was a HORRIBLE sleeper? This was my biggest worry. I was worried he was going to be fussy through out the whole ride, and not sleep in hotels since it wasn’t what he was used to.
Before we started driving we made sure that we had everything that we needed for him within reaching distance. I had the diaper bag in the back seat next to his car seat. Since he was still exclusively breastfeeding I had my breast pump up front with me.
I kept the same schedule as we had at home. I would pump even if he wasn’t crying for a bottle and sleeping (if it was time to feed), and store it a bottle and put it in a foil lined cooler to keep it fresh. He would usually wake up in time before it spoiled.
At times I would pump when he would cry for food so we wouldn’t have to pull over and feed. The pump I used had a battery compact so I could pump using the battery instead of needing to plug it in, (just remember to pack extra batteries).
Although, there would be times where we would stop and enjoy the new town we never been in before and stretch, and I could feed then too.
Strong Mom Tip: Try planning a vacation with no itinerary. We had no time frame or schedule, this made it so much more relaxing a stress-free. We were able to do what we wanted when we wanted. If something looked fun to do like pull over and go to a beach off the coast, then that’s what we did.
Now we have 3 more kids 5 and under. Since our very first road trip, traveling has changed a bit, there’s more planning on how to keep our kids entertained on the road and finding ways to reduce the bickering between them.
They need to be entertained all the time, so finding fun activities for them to do has to be top priority to make the trip a successful one.
One item that is a must have or no one will be happy is their Fire Tablets. I know all the talk about screen-time and trying to limit it, we get that and agree that there should be a limit… something we should probably work on.
But this tablet is our favorite! There are so many free learning apps, over 3500- reading, games, videos, and cartoons. It’s completely parental control so you can set a timer to turn it off, limit what they do and watch on the tablet. Your child can use the tablet anywhere even if there is no wifi. You can download movies and have them watch movies on the tablet as well, now that’s a great road trip.
Family Road trip games
Slug Bug– Keeping it old school. Your kids will love this one, because they get to hit each other LOL. Just kidding, well not really they do hit but not hard and in a playful manor. Every time you spot a Volkswagen Beetle you hit the other person’s arm.
The License Plate Game– You see what state the license plate is from, whoever has the most wins. Fun for kids that can read. You can even turn it into a BINGO game.
The ABC Game– This is a fun way to help teach your kids the alphabet and help them to remember the alphabet and what letter the object starts with. You go down the alphabet and find something out the window that starts with the letter. A, you can find an airplane. A good game to get the kids looking out the window and appreciating the drive and nature.
I’m Going On A Picnic– This is a fun game for the whole family where you don’t need anything, just need to know your ABC’s. How you play is the first person says “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing (something that starts with A) an Apple. Then the next person repeats but also adds on something with the letter B. So, I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing an apple and butter. The first person who forgets the items loses. The one who can remember all items wins. A fun way to work on your memory… I’d be the first one out!
Story Time– This one may be for older kids. Someone starts the story with one word and another person adds one word to the story and everyone keeps adding a word and have fun seeing how it turns out.
Rhyming Game– One person starts with a word. Everyone goes around taking turns rhyming with that word, and it has to be a real word. The first one to stump or say a fake word is kick out of the game.
The Quiet Game– This classic I’m sure everyone knows. Everyone in the car sees how long they can stay quiet. The first one to talk is out. This is perfect for kids when you need quiet time. Bribing with a winning prize might help it last longer!
Spelling Bee– This can be fun and good to get your kids to think in the car. Whoever spells the word wrong loses.
Read Out Loud– Find funny, interesting, or scary stories to tell and read aloud.
Funny Phrases– Use the letters from a license plate you see and make a funny phrase out of the letters. Example BND, “Butt Naked Dog”. Make it challenging by adding the numbers.
Hide and Seek Alphabet– An alphabet board to teach your younger child their colors, letters, shapes, and numbers by having fun. You can make it a fun memory game. Each button has a fun illustration good for matching letters with words too.
Scratch Notebook– A mess free coloring notebook for kids. The paper is black and when they color your kid will have fun seeing the colors pop as they draw.
Magnetic Game Board– This set comes with 12 retro game boards that the whole family can have fun with. Magnetic making it easy to play and not lose pieces. Fun quiet games to play.
Water Doodle Mat– This travel size mat is a mess free drawing and coloring mat. It comes with a pin that just needs water, and your kids can see the magic happen when they draw.
Buckle Toy– This is perfect for your little ones 6 months to preschool. This toys helps with eye and hand coordination, buckling, colors and counting. A fun plush toy with hide and seek flaps and a zip pocket for them to play with and store things in.
Town Maze Magnetic Board– A STEM toy that helps them problem solve, eye and hand cordination. This will keep the engaged for a long time.
Leap Frog Go With Me Back Pack– This is a back pack toy your child can take everywhere with them. It includes 7 activities to help with writing, letter sounds and names, drawing, animals, and reading. You can never go wrong with a Leap Frog toy.
Melissa and Doug Reusable sticker book– Kids love stickers and what is even better? Stickers that are reusable! This set comes with three different themes having 5-6 different page scenes each. Making it fun for them to use their imagination with placing their stickers and creating a story.
Nintendo Switch– All I can say is I wish we had these when we were younger. This does so much. You can play on your own, with someone else, can hook it up to your hotel TV and have 2 person player. Any kid that love video games will for sure love this. My two older sons are almost 6 and 4 and already LOVE video games. Perfect for any road trip.
Headrest DVD Player– You can’t go wrong with bringing movies on the road trip. This DVD player lets the kids watch the same movie or their own separate movie so no fighting! Now that sounds amazing! Or if you have one child the passenger can use the other one.
Snacks For the trips
My family and I are all about the snacks especially on a road trips. We know it can be hard to think of healthy snack besides all chips and crackers ( which we love too…). Sometimes you just want other options though. We have put together a great road trip snack list just for you!
Strong Mom Tip: Use a tackle box to have your kids snacks in. Get one with removable dividers. This way you can put different types of snacks all in one place and they have a good varity to pick from.
Yummy Food To Pack
- String Cheese
- Cookies- graham crackers, waffers, animal crackers etc.
- Granola bars
- Fruit snacks
- Make your own mini muffins, brownie bites, breakfast bars
- Trail Mix- have fun and create your own
- Peanut butter- because it goes with so much
- Gold fish
- Juice box
- Bring gum for who can chew gum for those higher elevation areas
- Fruit and veggie pouches
- Veggie Straws
Amazon also has amazing snack boxes that will be perfect to bring on your trip. You’ll get a box full of your favorite snacks all packed in one box enough for the whole family. Check out all their options!
Car Organizing tips
There is nothing like enjoying your road trip because everything is organized and has a spot in the car. If you’re like us all the clutter can eventually get to you and make you feel overwhelmed; that’s the last thing you want to feel on your fun family vacation.
Here are some awesome car organizing ideas from other moms:
Fun and clever ideas Blah Blah Blahg has-utilize every area in your car.
Mommy Over Work has very clever ideas even a cozy changing area for your baby
Check our Forever Free By Any Means for great car organizing and cleaning tips.
The Crazy Coupon Lady has very clever ideas to keep your car clean. You must check it out.
These are great ideas to keep everyone happy and organized. When I say everyone I mean Mom, because happy mom happy life.
We hope this gives you hope for your next road trip. You have nothing to stress about, it really is a lot of fun and your kids will think so to.
If you found this helpful please share with your mom friends who may be scared to travel with their kids too.