Ah, the great summer vacation road trip with your kids you’ve been preparing for is right around the season. Looking forward to it? Are you really? Ready for all that hyperactive energy in an enclosed space? Braced for the possible tantrums that might erupt because of being strapped into a seat for long hours? Ready for boredom to kick in 30 minutes into the trip?
Well, the good news is: there is a way to keep your hyperactive kids entertained, never bored and clean during your grand road trip.
The most crucial moments are travelling times in between your stops. These are the moments when these tips and tricks become your best friends. Get your bags packed, the car loaded and road trip on its way.
1Road Trip Map for Kids
Hang a colorful map of your country on the back of the headrests. Plot the states or cities you are going to stop with a marker or shape cutouts until you reach your destination. Then have your kids cross places off the map throughout your road trip.
This will give them the right amount of excitement to enjoy the road trip and look forward to reaching your destination.
At the end of your trip, you can sit down and ask them over lunch or dinner which stop was their favorite and why. Makes a great family meal convo.
2Cooler Full of Snacks
Pack snacks for your wildlings. They’ll need them and you’ll thank yourself later for doing so. They will get hungry in between stops and having a pack of nuts, cookies or crackers in reach will extend their patience. The worst moods your kids can have during a road trip is boredom and hunger.
Pack lots of juice boxes and water stored in an ice chest. Ziplocked fruits, cheeses and vegetable sticks are also good for a temporary stomach fill. Pack some chips too. It’s a vacation after all.
Stay away from candies and chocolates as much as you can. You don’t want a sugar rush inside the car or right before you have a stop, trust me.
3Ziploc Extra Clothes
There’s no avoiding spills and stains when you eat while on the road. It is only logical to bring extra clothes to change into just in case.
Put your clothes in individual Ziploc bags to protect them from spills and stains. Pull them out of your bag as needed.
4Portable Lego Kit
Your little boys will definitely love having this around on a road trip and might even want to bring it with him during your stops.
The people behind the blog called MamaPapaBubba must be pure geniuses to come up with something so simple yet brilliant. Kids love Legos, and though we hate them darn small pieces, they certainly do the job when it comes to keeping kids pre-occupied for hours – which is the reason why we still keep them around even if it hurts like hell to step on one of their pieces.
Get the step by step instructions to making your own portable lego kit here.
5Car Picture Bingo
The classic road trip game I-spy is great to play, but it can get old especially if you’re traveling on an empty highway. This picture bingo will sure to keep your kids’ eyes peeled out the window looking for the items on their card.
You can print different ones and change them for every stop. Whoever gets bingo by the next stop gets a treat!
6Kiddie Supplies Holder
Use shower caddies to hold kiddie supplies like crayons, markers or books. The can also serve as a juice box or baby bottle holder. Multi-purpose and detachable. Why not, right?
7Cute Car Kit
Be prepared for any small emergency. Fill a small pouch with different necessities like wet wipes, Tylenol, barf bag, band aids, hand sanitizers and Kleenex. You may never know when you would need to pull over the side of the road and look for a Porta-potty.
8Car Seat Back Protector
Got no seat covers to protect your car seats from muddy shoes? This DIY car seat back cover is easy to make and will surely save you the extra cleaning work waiting for you after the road trip.
No matter how much you tell your kids to keep their feet off the back of your seat, some point in the car ride, there will be one child who would forget to follow your simple instruction. :)
9DVD Case Coloring Kit
Create your own DVD case coloring kit for your toddlers. You can print coloring pages ahead of time and keep a stack of different pictures on hand. These are easy to make so making one for each of your kids would not be a tedious task.
Make your car organizers age appropriate. If you have a toddler, they wouldn’t need an iPad or grown-up snacks as your older kids would. Replace soda cans or juice bottles with sippy cups and baby bottles. You can also put stuffed animals and some other toys or maybe a set of diapers for quick changing for your toddler.
The iPad holder would be perfect for your older kids. Just make sure you charge them back up when they’re asleep.
11Basket Food Holder
To avoid spills and food messes after a drive-thru, buy a few sets of bath baskets and use them as food holders. They’re cheap so buy one for each kid. Even your teenagers would use them!
12Behavior Visor Clips
Make one clip for each child. Clip their behavior clips on the visor if they behave and take them down if they misbehave. The whoever owns the clips that stay on until the next stop gets a special treat!
The perfect way to keep them on their best behavior which means less stress for you and your hubby.
Brilliant ideas, eh? Bet you can’t wait to try them.
A lot of parents dread a long road trip, but it doesn’t have to be dreadful and miserable if you only put effort to prepare for the small details. Sure, they will look forward to reaching your actual destination, but if you don’t make the trip there enjoyable, your kids would not want to go on another one next time.
Make sure the first road trip is memorable and fun so that it wouldn’t take much to get your kids excited for the next one.
They may even pitch in their ideas to mix things up a bit on the next one!
Are you a road trip expert? Share some of your tips in a comment below!