Here are some tricks and tips to make this time a little less stressful and maybe even enjoyable for everyone.
One helpful trick is to have lots of snack options readily available. I always joke that the key to surviving a road trip with kids is to just throw food at them. I keep a bag stocked with individual packed chips, pretzels, fruit snacks, lollipops and keep the kids snacking. This keeps them busy and happy while traveling. It also saves money and time since you will need to make less frequent stops.
I always make a trip to the dollar store before a trip. Depending on the kids ages, I will either make a big bag full of activities for younger kids or for older kids. A few ideas and things that have worked for us are: deck of cards, books, coloring supplies, coloring books notebooks, a new doll, word search books. The key is to find activities that will keep they busy for as long as possible.
It may sound silly but a travel potty can be a lifesaver with younger kids or for anyone on a longer car trip. One mom friend frequently travels on long car trips because of sports and vacations and has made her own make shift potty! She uses a 5 gallon bucket, pool noodles, a kitchen sized trash bag and a roll of toilet paper! She insists that this has saved her sanity on many trips!
One unpleasant road trip side effect can be car sickness. Make sure to have a vomit bag or bucket available and a change of clothes. We used a sand bucket one year in an emergency situation, but being prepared with a proper bucket can make all the difference. Plenty of fresh cold water and salty snacks can also help.
Also, if your child does feel sick, rolling down windows, taking a break from reading, or handing out sea sickness bands can all help.
We like to limit the time our kids spend on their devices, but when it comes to a road trip, we allow it occasionally just so we can survive. Pick out a few movies that they will enjoy and download those so you are ready to go.
Some Additional Helpful Tips
- Plan meals before and during the trip
- Make sure everyone uses the restroom before leaving
- Make sure everyone knows the plan, departure time, anticipated arrival time, as well as any planned breaks
- Stretch and walk around before getting in the car
- Drive at night or leave super early in the morning
A family road trip doesn’t have to be stressful. Using these helpful tips can help everyone be more prepared for a trip to their favorite destination.