Family Road Trip Tips are always needed before hitting the road! Traveling with kids can be super stressful. I’m pretty sure I heard “Are we there yet?” at least a dozen times by hour two.
When we started taking trips with Nikolai, he was about 7… and we all know how patient seven year olds can be. 🙂 I figured out quickly that if we wanted our trips to be more enjoyable and less of an endurance test, we had to come up with a few strategies.
How do you plan a family road trip with kids?
Preparations for road trips begin well in advance.
For us, it all starts with having conversations and getting Nikolai excited about what is coming. We also talked ad nauseum about the car ride and the things we planned on doing when we got to our vacation.
What I’ve found is that kids yearn to be in control of situations, because… well, they typically aren’t in control of anything. When the kid has information, he believes he has power over the situation. And for them to have those kind of warm fuzzies, goes a long way!
Think about it: How would you feel if you were tossed in a car and not told anything about what was happening or when anything would be happening. I would be pretty freaked out. Respect your kids and give them as much info as necessary, and answer as many questions as you can.
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How do I prepare for a family road trip?
Survival may be a better word…kidding. If you want to have a calmer experience when traveling, there are some things you can do ahead of time to make it a better experience for everyone.
How to Make Travel Comfortable for Kids
Whether you’ll be stuck in a car, plane, or even on a train, make your kids as comfortable as possible. This isn’t the time for the most adorable outfits. Let ‘em be casual and dress them for traveling.
Anyway… set them up in the backseat with blankets, small pillow and a favorite stuffed animal so they can be comfortable and (hopefully) prepare for a nap. Don’t forget to provide easy access to the snacks!
We always set up the backseat first when packing the car. Making sure everything necessary is accessible makes for less stops and keeps the road trip running smoothly.
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Create a Back of the Seat Activity Center
If you’re traveling by car, this is such a fun idea. Cut an over-the-door shoe organizer to fit the back of your front seat. Stick small toys, coloring supplies and whatever else they enjoy in the pockets for easy access. This keeps the rest of the car freed up for space and a little cleaner.
Make a Snack bag
Bringing your own snacks and food on road trip saves a lot of time and cash. We make small sandwiches (recipe alert!) for the trip. I pack the snack bag full of crunchy snacks, fruit and a few sweet treats and situate it in the backseat so it’s easily accessible for everyone.
Stepmom Win: Let your kid take a stroll down the candy aisle for one thing special.
Don’t forget the paper towels for clean up and a plastic grocery bag for trash.
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Car Games for Kids
There are so many games your kids can play while traveling. Teach ‘em about the good ole days with I Spy, Car Bingo or the Alphabet Game.
There are tons of printables online for car bingo and then laminate the sheets. Give the kids dry erase markers to mark off what they see. Once they have a full line, they win. Erase the boards and start again.
Tip: Bring surprise candies or toys for the winners.
Give the Kids Extra Screen Time
There are so many ways to keep kids entertained without using electronics, but if the kids just want to chill out on the tablets, there’s no harm done while traveling. Load it up with favorite movies and use the time to have a good conversation with your hubby!
How do you keep the pain to a minimum on road trips?