Three Tips For Making Road Trips With Kids Easier

Traveling with Kids on long car trips

As a family we love travel, road trips and long car rides. Sounds odd I know, loving being trapped in the car with two kids for hours on end, but it’s true. Over the years I’ve found that a little preparation goes a long way when it comes to planning for a long car ride with kids.

Here are my top three tips for long car rides and traveling with kids.

Leave for your road trip really early

This is my number one tip and it works for us all of the time. We leave early, and I’m talking early,5am ish. We pack the car the night before, get the kids dressed in their clothes before they go to bed and then we get up early. We slide the kids in the car with their pillows and blankets and they fall asleep again for a good 3 hours (my husband too). This means that we can get a huge chunk of driving done before breakfast.  It also means that most likely we won’t be battling too much traffic.

Pack snacks, lots of them

One of the most common reasons that my kids get cranky in the car is that they are hungry. This used to result in lots of stops along the way. Now I make up a bag for each child with snacks for the trip. I include things like granola bars, fruit, chips and usually one piece or package of candy. I also give them each a bottle of water. Keeping the snacks low sugar keeps them from bouncing off the walls.

Play games

This is the best part of a car trip in my opinion. Our two favorites are the alphabet game where you have to find words that start with a particular letter of the alphabet and the license plate game.

For the Alphabet Car Game you start out with A and look for words (outside the car) that start with A. Once an A word is found you move on to B etc…. down through the alphabet. The letters can’t be on license plates or in the middle of words with the exception of X, Q and Z.  With the license plate game you simply try to find cars with license plates from all 50 states. These are both nice collaborative games with no real “winner” because the goal is for the whole car to work together to finish the game.

I hope these tips will help you have an enjoyable road trip with your family. Drive safe.

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8 thoughts on “Three Tips For Making Road Trips With Kids Easier”

  1. Awesome tips!
    We drove from NJ to FL with the girls last Spring. While it wasn’t my favorite way to travel… it certainly wasn’t horrible. We were smart and packed LOADS of snacks. That was definitely a life saver!

    1. Totally loads of snacks are key. If not you’re stopping every 80 miles! Sometimes I do forget to follow my own advice and forget the snacks. Those trips are not fun.

  2. Yes, leaving early is key! We had a 9 hour drive to OBX this summer and left at 2AM. The kids fell back asleep until 7AM so we were able to get a great start. A quick stop for breakfast, then a longer stretch break, and we were finally there and not ready to kill each other. Great tips!

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