Want an adventure for your family? Every season is suitable for one and why not go on a vacation and explore together new places? Pack up your things and get ready for the road trip with your kids. Surely, when they are little it can be a nuisance when going a road trip as they want attention, they get hungry often or are just bored. It is an art when planning a successful road trip with your kids. But how to make the road trip with kids less stressing for both sides? Make your whole road trip an adventure for the family, not just the final destination. Here we have put together a very useful list of travel tips and ideas for your road trip with kids.
The purpose of a good road trip with kids is to keep everyone happy and calm, pleased and safe. When all of these are checked, then it can count as a successful road trip To be able to enjoy yourself while traveling with your kids you have to start planning early. Will you be traveling with a personal vehicle, by bus or taking a plane? How long is the trip exactly? Answering these questions will help you with your packing and preparation. Think about how you want to organize and pack clothing for family traveling. What about having an emergency preparedness kit?
What activities will you have for your little ones to do? How to save space in your vehicle? How to plan stopping points for the road trip are all things to consider. Having these elements together will make your stress level decrease and make for a smoother trip because you have prepared ahead of time. Also, remember to plan for the unexpected.
Tech-savvy generation, tech-savvy luggage
With the boost of technology, nowadays there are items that we just can’t go without. We have become accustomed to technology and the accompanying devices, in fact, they make our lives better and we don’t consider not using them. For your road trip with kids you must certainly bring with yourself the most important widgets such as:
It is also good to download nice maps applications for your phone that don’t need Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to use it offline and they’ll act as a GPS. No more losing yourself in unknown places!
Tablet / MP3 player
The tablet can have interesting movies and games while the MP3 player can be loaded with entertaining books.
Power banks and spare chargers
Be sure that every device that you use is in condition and full of battery. Also, it is good if the power bank is solar charged and waterproof, especially if you are outdoors.
There are other essentials that will certainly make your road trip with kids much easier:
- A comfortable child car seat is one of the most important amenities for your car when going on a trip with your kids. Make sure that they are suited for your child’s age and have nice support for their head. If the travel is long, they have to feel comfortable and safe in their seats.
- Car seat organizers. They are crucial for keeping things close at hand. Especially, for the kids, because when they get bored they can touch everything there is to touch. There you can put some coloring books, pencils, games or anything that will keep them busy on your family travel.
- Headphones. If you have more than one child, consider taking a pair for each so there are no fights during the road trip. Many headphones have volume restrictions so your children’s hearing won’t be damaged. Also, they contribute to your quieter family road trip.
- Who said that chewing gum is bad? Studies show that when chewing a gum you concentrate more easily and if your trip involves drastic changes of altitude, chewing can help with the pressure. Besides, who doesn’t like bubbles?
- Simple games and Toys. They surely will entertain your children.
- Coloring and Activity books. There are many books, nowadays, that can help your kids enrich their knowledge and actually develop crucial skills.
- UV Window Shade. Lastly, these are important items in order to keep everyone on your cool and happy on your family adventure.
Kits for your road trip with kids
Other important things you have to bring with you on your family road trip are emergency kits. Having these kits close at hand and in one place will definitely help you with not searching for them all over the place. Keep them all in a backpack or container to save space. But also within easy reach and not packed up with the rest of the items.
Really comes in handy and can help you out if things go wrong on your family road trip. But before you go out for the long haul make sure to have a tune-up and fix any conditions you know about on your vehicle. That way you have a greater chance of not being stranded in the middle of nowhere. Have your roadside and medical safety kit, but make sure to pack mini emergency kits.
First Aid Kit
A must, because your health and that of your kids’ stays in the first place. A good first aid kit should include:
- Pain medicine (for children and adults)
- Medications for motion sickness
- Anti-allergies medications
- Mosquito repellent, or any insect repellent
- Sunscreen (the higher the SPF, the better)
Only needed if you are on a road trip with a baby. One should include an onesie, diapers, travel package of wipes, baggies for soiled clothing.
A handy outdoor kit must include bug spray, tweezers, sunscreen, baby powder, hand sanitizer, folded up trash bags, and hand wipes. Furthermore, there are plentiful activities that can happen outdoors to keep the fun going.
The Restaurant Kit
Having a restaurant kit is good because eating out with the kiddos can be an unpleasant experience when you are on your family road trip and the children are tired and cranky. Have some activities ready to go when you’re about to head into a restaurant with some simple ideas such as crayons and coloring books or activity books. Lego figurines, mini cars, mini-puzzles or magnetic figurines can help as well in keeping them not grunting and puffing. Moreover, bring some snacks with you if the wait turns out to be longer than expected.
Travel Activities for your road trip with kids
Having prepared lots of activities for the kids is great, but sometimes you have run out of ideas and need to figure out something on the fly when you are tempted to use duct tape and lollipops to keep the noise level down. In such situation, travel games are the best. For a fully entertaining family road trip, you can include some brain quests or question games. Print up journal jar questions to read and have everyone answer. In addition to these, have a couple of card games ready to go. The fun comes from the fact that everyone can participate in such activities. These games can strengthen the bond between the members of your family. Here are some more game ideas for the whole road-tripping family:
Some road trip game ideas might be
- Classic 20 Questions – The first player thinks of a place, person or an item, then all the other can ask questions that can only be answered by “Yes” or “No”
- Would you rather
- I spy – “I spy with my little eye something that is…”
- Going on a picnic – The first person begins with “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…” and uses a word with the letter A. The next person repeats “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…” but chooses a word with the letter B. And so on, and so on following the alphabet. If someone forgets an item, they are out and the player who is able to recite all of the listed items is the winner.
Food and drinks
You certainly don’t want to go bananas on your family road trip if there is no food in sight! To prevent this from happening and to keep your bellies full, consider taking some snacks along. You have to keep in mind that it is better to avoid foods that are greasy, high in sugar, salt or caffeine. They are hard to digest and lead to bloating and increase the urge to pee.
There are plenty of healthier ideas for snacks that your family can enjoy on your road trip.
- Trail mix and nuts – You can combine raw nuts and berries to make these snack more filling;
- Tasty protein bars or any bars at all – Very useful when you are on the go. They come in many flavors. Just choose your favorite!
- Beef Jerky – if you crave meat they are great, also they are a good source of protein
- Whole grain biscuits – They make you feel full and also are great for your digestive system because they consist of lots of fibers
Other great snacks that you can prepare at home and bring on your family road trip are:
- Fruit – easy to peel and eat while on the go such as apple, bananas, grapes, tangerines
- Vegetables – carrots (baby carrots), celery sticks, cucumber
- Homemade sandwiches
- Yogurt (with fruits or the classic one)
- Hard-boiled eggs
Don’t forget to keep your family well hydrated even on a road trip. To do so and to be more eco-friendly bring reusable water bottles. As for the kids, you can bring juice of their liking
Playing Tetris When Packing The Car
Getting ready to head out and pack up can be stressful and time consuming if things are not done ahead of time. Try having all your gear ready the night before, or just start packing things up the night before. Designate a spot for each bag. Have all of the clothing in one place while toiletries and makeup are all on other. Have food and coolers together. This separation of the luggage will make it easier for you to access it.
I have seen it all, families who use garbage bags to transport their clothing in a big wadded up mess. Those who use a carry-on with each outfit rolled up into one bundle. Or transporting each child’s outfit into Ziploc baggies with the day, symbol of a sun or moon drawn on to let the child or spouse know when they are supposed to wear that outfit.
I say do whatever is best for your family. While the Ziploc baggies are great for younger children, it may not go over very well for an older child. When packing clothing for your family adventure make sure to pack some trash bags for dirty clothing. Another good idea is to use such trash bags as makeshift poncho or garment bag if trying to keep away from unexpected rain.
In addition, think about the size of containers or bags you‘ll actually use or if you really need to take certain items.
Most importantly expect the unexpected. You never know what will happen on a family road trip, and that is what makes the journey and memories so much sweeter. Remember to enjoy each other and to reconnect.