Home >> Family Activities >> Tips for Surviving Road Trips with Kids
Tips for Surviving Road Trips with Kids

It’s the time of year where families gather to celebrate. Sometimes, that means having to get in the car and take a trip to see some long-distance family members. With a young child this can be daunting and make a very long trip, but not anymore! With our easy tips and tricks, your kids can be entertained from the time you buckle up, allowing a more seamless, less stressful road journey.

Before You Leave

Make sure you pack everything you need the night before otherwise, you’ll be running around like crazy and not only stressing yourself out but your little one too. In addition to the packing essentials, also pack their favorite toys, some snacks, books, and even CDs. Extra blankets and a small pillow to make sleeping in the car comfortable will also be helpful.

Taking a few kids with limited space? If you can, renting a minivan might be of use. The kids have more space (and therefore less chance of fighting.)

Get a good night’s rest the night before! Many parents think a sleepy child will just sleep during the trip – wrong! It will only make for an uncomfortable, cranky child and a long trip ahead. A well-rested child will have a much more pleasant trip.

Get Enthusiastic!

Get your child excited about where you are heading. Mention all the fun things that are at your destination and who they will get to see and play with. Show pictures or have phone calls with whom you are visiting. Ask your child what they want to bring to show family/friends and have them help pack in anticipation of the trip ahead.

Get Snacks (But Make Them Healthy!)

Sugary treats might keep your child happy for a short while, but it will also keep them wired, which is frustrating when you’re strapped to a car seat. Go for healthier options like carrot sticks and apple slices. Save treats for closer to the destination.

Choose Toys Wisely Too

You don’t really want to be packing Legos on a road trip. Some magnet toys you can write and erase with are great as are drawing toys like Aquadoodle. Stuffed animals are good too. Stay away from anything with lots of pieces.

Also try games like I Spy. It’s a classic, but it works for a bit! If you are traveling with a partner, switch driving time to get in the backseat with your little one for a bit to keep them occupied and play something together.

Turn on Their Favorite Music

While it might not be your favorite tunes, singing along in the car will make your child very happy! You can even choose read-along CDs that tell their favorite stories. It’s not something you want to necessarily listen to in the car and of course, we’re not saying you should do this the whole trip, but a half hour here and there will make things easier for them! If you want something nice and calling, don’t be afraid to switch to the classical channel to let Beethoven and Haydn help lull your child to sleep.

Allow for Screen Time

A portable DVD player or tablet may be of use in situations like these. Limit it to one movie or about an hour of game/video time, especially in younger kids. You wouldn’t want them attached to it the whole trip. The screen time will keep them stimulated and make nap times harder.

Plan for Stops

Google Maps may say you’ll get to your destination in six hours but plan for a bit longer than that with kids. There will be less stress if you plan this accordingly. Stop for short breaks and long ones too. Look at your route ahead of time and see what is nearby. If you happen to pass a park and the weather is good, let the kids let off some steam there. If you stop for lunch, make sure you leave some time afterward for a bathroom break, otherwise, you’ll end up stopping again in 20 minutes time!

There May Be Tears!

Despite all the efforts to make this a comfortable and fun trip, you may get tears and cries from a little one who does not want to stay in their seat. Know that they are fine and safe, and as long as they are fed and not wet, then they are okay. You are doing everything right!

We hope your next road trip goes smoothly! Have any tips for us about traveling in the car with kids? Let us know in the comments, and we will share them!


the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial