Not many things are as American as the good old-fashioned family road trip. With hours on end spent together, you can create memories that last a lifetime. Traveling with kids can be a real challenge though, so we’re here to help with a few tips on how to make the trip more enjoyable for you and your kids.
Road trip games and activities for kids don’t have to include technology, they can be family oriented or kids-only activities (although, children’s movies and tablet games do come in handy for an emergency mental break). Before you hit the road, read on for tips that will help you pass the time and get you to your destination with your sanity intact and a smile on your face.
Pack Lots of Kid-Friendly Activities
Consider placing these in a laundry basket the fits between the seats of your vehicle.
Short list of individual or sibling activities:
- Sticker books, coloring books, art notepads, maze and puzzle books
- Magnets with a cookie sheet or stamp set with paper
- Silly putty (less mess than play dough)
- Make stuff with pipe cleaners
- Audio or regular books
- Travel board games that are magnetic
- For the older child, provide a travel journey notebook to write or draw their favorite activities. After the trip, they can write about what they liked best about the trip
- Give them a map so they can follow the road trip route
Short list of family activities:
- Mad libs games come in a variety of versions (hilarious to read out loud)
- Traditional games like the “license plate game” and “I spy”
- Prepare a “question container” in advance. Write out 15-25 questions for discussion
- Play kid-friendly music and sing along
- Audiobooks the whole family can enjoy
Check here for more ideas, ranging from babies to teens!
Give Your Kids an Incentive
Secretly pack a variety of little toys or trinkets you know the kids will enjoy. Give them an incentive to not fight with their siblings or continually ask “are we there yet?” during the road trip. Decide on an interval of time, or certain planned stops along the way, that they will receive their surprise reward if they cooperate. Give them plenty of opportunities to earn a prize. The dollar store is a great stock-up location, and you can wrap them up (to ramp up anticipation) or simply put them in a prize sack they stick their hand in. It’s a win for you, and it gives them something to look forward to along the way.
Pack Healthy, Less-Mess Snacks
Planning ahead for kids activities on a road trip is important, but so is packing plenty of snacks. Remember to keep kids hydrated, but not too much or you’ll be stopping every 15 minutes! Here’s a tip: use a shower caddie for each child to keep their snacks handy and secure in one place. They come in handy for those quick fast-food stops as well. Check out our short list for healthier options that travel well and make less of a mess.
- Organic fruit snacks, fruit leather, and nutrition bars
- Fruit or veggie chips, bite-size cheese crackers or pretzel sticks
- Trail mix and granola bars
- Toaster pastries and crispy snack bars
- Snack size baggies of fresh fruit or veggies
- Kid-friendly individual yogurts or cheese and nut containers
The key to a smooth road trip with kids is planning ahead. Sure, unexpected things may happen, but you will have some peace of mind knowing you prepared to keep your kids content while on the road. Think of it as an adventure, and your kids will too.
Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC # 22276. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy.