Road tripping with kids can seem daunting, so here are some tips for a smooth ride!
They say timing is everything. That couldn’t be more true when it comes to road tripping with kids. In my experience, leaving bright and early before the sun is up works great. I often buckle them into their car seats still in their pajamas. Though they don’t always fall back asleep, I’ve found that sleepy haze keeps them mellow for the initial part of our drive.
Traveling during nap time is also a safe bet, though as any mom will tell you, there are never guarantees!
I always like to pack snacks to avoid unnecessary stops. I try to keep the snacks as choking hazard-free as possible. Some great options are yogurt or apple sauce squeeze packs. Cheerios, Goldfish, or cut up grapes and blueberries in mess free cups (these are great) are another favorite at our house.
Also be sure to pack sippy cups with water and milk (and if there are any sleep-time necessities like a blanket, be sure to have that too)!
Not all toys and games are created equal when it comes to travel. Here I’m sharing some that consistently work for us!
Magic Doodle Boards. I picked up a couple of these for under $8 each at the grocery store. They are a mainstay in our car even when we’re not traveling. They are easily stored in the pocket of the seat in front the kids, and they are a lifesaver when traffic hits and our ETA is extended!
Toy Flashlight Projector. I found some Disney-themed ones (Mickey and Friends; Princesses), similar to these, in the Target Dollar Spot for $3 before our most recent trip. Because we left before the sun was up, the kids had a blast projecting their favorite characters all over the dark car. They also made for great entertainment in the hotel room.
Other toy tips for road tripping with kids.
- Stock up on new items before the drive. The novelty of something new is more likely to keep them entertained. As you can see by my examples, they don’t need to be pricey at all!
- Don’t take toys with lots of small parts. The kids will inevitably drop them and they’ll be impossible to grab while you’re driving.
Imagination Games. This isn’t a toy but rather a game. My kids and I love playing “safari.” I play the guide and introduce them to the continent we are on. Then we go along pretending to spot animals. Though I initially used it as a fun way to teach them about what animals are found where, it quickly become a game of how could “spot” the most outrageous animal. Like did you know Antartica is home to wild iridescent vampire polar bears? I even crank up the air-conditioning to full blast for extra effect. They love it! Whether you use it as a teaching moment or just something to pass the time, they’ll be using their imaginations and having fun!
Electronics. I use these as last resort and save them for the final portion of our drive when they’re starting to get antsy. Video game time is limited at our house, so anytime they’re allowed to play feels like a real treat!
Want even more travel tips? Check out this post too!