11 Tips For Road Trip Success With Kids!! Preventing "Are we there yet?" and Maximising Family Fun & Connection!

11 Tips For Road Trip Success With Kids!! Preventing "Are we there yet?" and Maximising Family Fun & Connection!

FUN FAMILY ROAD TRIPS WITH KIDS, WE SAY YES!!

If you're a parent, there's a good chance you've gone on a road trip with your kids. And if you're like me, you've probably had mixed results. Some trips have been great, while others have been complete disasters. So, what's the secret to a successful road trip with kids? I'm glad you asked! In this post, I'll share my top tips for making your next road trip with kids a success. Buckle up! It's time to hit the open road!

1. Snacks

While snacks and drive thru takeaway meals might be easy to find when on the road, filling up on lollies and junk food while trapped in a small space together is never going to end well, so always best to plan ahead and bring your own supplies!

If you think you have packed enough snacks…. pack some more! Just like us, kids seem to eat more while sitting in the car.

We try to bring fresh veggies, fruit, sandwiches, dry cereal, granola bars, yoghurt pouches and other food that will last a good part of the day. Sliced cheese, kabana, salami, carrots and crackers also our go to for a car ride with kids. We keep all our food in a cooler bag or esky with ice packs to keep things fresh.

2. Reusable Water Bottles

Not only do I bring some filled with cooled water, but I also have been known to bring a spare empty water bottle or two and fill it up as needed with either more water, juice boxes, drive thru drinks, etc. to prevent spills, or at least limit the amount of spillage.

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3. Planned toilet & play breaks

We try and plan our toilet breaks at locations where the kids can get out and play or stretch their legs by going for a little walk or run if possible. Sometimes it means pulling off the fwy and into a small country town, it adds a little extra time to the overall travel, but it helps break the trip up and make it feel more like apart of the holiday.

When travelling with small kids they sometimes cannot wait until the next rest stop or gas station. So, make sure to pack some toilet paper and or wipes in the glove box so if you do need to have an emergency roadside pit stop you are not searching the car for a spare napkin! Don’t forget to pack the hand sanitizer too!

4. A Bag of Fun Car Activities!

For every family car ride, you need to have some entertainment for the kids. Each kid gets to bring their backpack for their books, toys, pencils, markers, stickers, puzzle books and colouring books, etc. We also bring a clipboard so the kids have a hard surface to colour/draw on. There are some staples that we always bring and for a really long drive I add in some new things usually from a dollar store for something new to discover.

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5. Road Trip Games!

You may often wonder how to entertain a child on a long car ride? Well, games can help. Car travel with kids can be a great opportunity for kids to play some car ride games. Our kids love playing games that involve us in the front seat too. Our favourites are Travel Bingo (click for our free printable!), I Spy, Scavenger Hunts, Spotto! and the Alphabet Game.

There are also some great games that the kids can play in the car and they also bring them inside at your destination. Our favourite is our Would You Rather? Expansion deck!

6. Talk!

So often our lives are crazy busy and we just don’t stop. We like really long car rides because we actually have to stay in a tight space with each other. Listen to the story your kids are talking about and ask trigger questions that get them more involved with the conversation, it’s one of the best parts of a car trip with kids. They are only little for so long, so listen to them!

Spark conversation easily with Social Seeds Conversation Card Game, perfect for engaging both kids and parents alike in meaningful and fun convo! It's not often the kids get your undivided attention so make the most of the opportunity to engage in a long conversation with them.

7. Electronics for the Car Ride

Yep, sometimes mum and dad need a little downtime on car trips with kids. When this time comes, that’s when we pull out the electronics! They can watch movies, tv shows and play games all on Ipads or android devices. We pre-download movies onto the devices from Netflix or Disney before we leave so wifi is not required. Small portable gaming consoles would also be perfect!

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8. Small Blanket & Pillow

We usually bring a small blanket for each of them, cover them up so they can snuggle with and maybe actually have a nap or two along the way. It was actually easier to travel with them when they were babies and smaller since they napped so often. The older they get the less they sleep, but they still love the comfort of their blankets.

9. Are We There Yet? 

It never fails, 15 minutes into the trip, kids start to ask this question on long road trips with kids! We measure how much time is left with metrics kids can understand, like the number of movies, after lunch, when it’s dark, or after we start to see mountains. Things they can grasp for time because taking a 12 hour car ride can be extremely long for kids!

10. First Aid 

Carry a good first aid kit and medication if your kids get car sick – make sure you dose them up before you hit the road, not once they feel unwell. Carry a plastic bucket (with a lid) and plenty of wet wipes just in case.

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11. Postcards & Treasure Hunts!

A fun way to pass the time is to collect postcards at each town you drive through. Buy a book of stamps before you leave and the kids can post them off on the spot.

Another option is to create a treasure list of things to find at each stop!

I hope these tips have inspired you to get out, adventure and explore with your loved ones. What are you waiting for? Get packing!!

Are you going on a road trip these school holidays? Let me know where you will be adventuring in the comments below, I’m always looking for new places to visit with my family!

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