Road trip hacks help make road trips one of the best parts of summer. Learn how to beat boredom and rock your next family adventure!
One of the best parts of summer is loading the family up into the car, blaring good music, chowing down on your favorite snacks, and taking your family on a road trip.
Road trips are a great way to spend quality time with your family and make your vacation about more than just your destination. However, when children are involved road trips can be an adventure all on their own!
Whether your destination is 1 hour away or 10, these hacks will keep your family happy and stress-free during your next road trip.
Road Trip Hacks for Food:
Pick up a few cheap plastic shower caddies from the Dollar Store before you leave. They are perfect for holding packed or drive-thru kid’s meals so that little hands can handle their meals on the go. Fill up everyone’s shower caddie and then pass them out. When everyone is done eating dump the trash and stash them for your next meal.
Pack portioned snacks before you go for easy handouts while driving down the road. Trail mix, crackers, goldfish, and other small snacks work perfectly if you’re using snack sized zipper bags.
Before your trip grab some yarn and let your kids create their own snack necklaces with cheerios, pretzels, and any other snacks that will go on a necklace that you want your kids to have. Make as many snack necklaces as you will need for the trip. They can have their snack necklaces whenever they want, just make sure that they know that when they are gone there are no more snacks until dinnertime.
If you don’t pre-pack portions for each child, take a pack of paper cups. They are perfect snack containers for small hands, and they keep kids from getting sticky fingers. We take 3 oz. for smaller snacks and 9 oz. for chips.
Road Trip Hacks for Health and Safety:
Always take a pack of baby wipes, even if you’re traveling with older kids. They are good for everything from quick cleanups to wiping hands if there isn’t any soap in a bathroom.
Create medicine kits and place them in gallon size Ziploc bags. Create one for each ailment that you might encounter such as car sickness, allergies, cold and flu, and cuts and bruises. Label each bag with a sharpie and keep them handy for when you need them. Make sure you remember necessary items like wipes, alcohol pads, and sick bags!
If you are parking and leaving your car in an unfamiliar city then you may find that it’s hard to remember where you parked it. You can actually use the Google Maps App to keep track of where you parked. Before leaving your car open map setting and click ‘Save My Location.’ Whenever you are ready to leave open the app and click on your saved location and let the map lead you right back to your car.
Road Trip Hacks for Boredom:
Pack a bin of toys and books for each child for the road. Make it a surprise bin with new items, or let them pick some favorites to enjoy on the road. Let them have control over their own bin, and let the child learn some responsibility along the way.
Use construction paper and string to make a simple banner with the names of the cities you will drive through during your trip. As you pass through each city pull that city off the banner so that your kids can keep track of how much further they have to go.
Fill a few brown paper bags with small toys and snacks. Write a time on the outside of each bag, for example, 2:12 pm. If you kids behave from until 2:12 pm then they get to open a goodie bag. This will give your kids an incentive for good behavior and also give them something new to entertain themselves every hour or so while you travel.
Audio books can change your life…and your journey. Download a couple age-appropriate books for your crew before hitting the road. We’ve spent hours with nothing but the sound of the narrator guiding us down the road. Even better? Once you’ve listened to a story together, you’ve got something to talk about at your destination.
Set goals for device time. Instead of handing out the electronics as soon as the trip starts, set time limits or benchmarks for getting a device. In our family, we are about an hour from a state line either way we go. They know we have to cross a state line to get devices, and don’t beg for them. This means we have time to talk, sing, and read, and the batteries don’t die as quickly!
Pack colorful pipe cleaners as a quick, easy, and creative toy for kids. Mine will play with them for hours!
*Family Friendly Tip: Check the ends for sharp points if you have tiny travelers.
Road Trip Hacks for Organization:
Suction cup shower organizers stick to car windows just as good as they do shower walls. Give your kids a place to store their sippy cups, crayons, and toys while you travel.
Save 5-10 plastic grocery bags and stuff them under the passenger seat. You’ll always have a handy trash bag or ick bag if you need one.
Family Friendly Road Trip Hints:
– Always make sure everyone has access to a small water bottle.
– When you’re traveling with kids, you’re going to have to stop. Plan to stop at least every 90 minutes.
– Kids love games! Try timing stops to “beat your time” and get back on the road quickly.
No matter how challenging it may be, a summer road trip is sure to be a memorable experience and the highlight of your kid’s summer. Grab your kids and your suitcases and hit the road.
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