You’ve scrambled to get every last stroller, snack, phone charger, diaper bag, toy, and child into the car, and now you’re ready for a nap (or a massage to soothe your joints from the heavy lifting). The road trip has not even commenced. Sound familiar? From the days of horse-drawn carriage travel to wood-paneled station wagons, every parent has endured the dreaded question, “Are we there yet?” and having to explain “we just started this journey! We have eight more hours!” Here are a few tips to keep your kids happy in the car, and making the road trip a memorable part of the vacation.
Tips to Keep Your Kids Happy in the Car
Make your stops an activity.
Extend your ETA, and don’t try to get to your destination as quickly as possible. Make the road trip a memorable part of the vacation. Use your handheld Google machine (the thing that also makes phone calls!) to find something unique to do along the way. Bring a ball to kick around at a rest stop. Make a point to explore something new along the way to take a break from the confines of the vehicle. Blog Growing Book by Book created a clever rest stop scavenger hunt list which allows your little ones to burn off a little energy.
Pack healthy snacks for breaks throughout the trip, and a few treats for good behavior. Requests for candy at a gas station convenience store can easily be quelled with a simple, “we have gummy bears in the car!” Need some snack ideas? Kids are a Trip has 25 easy to pack travel snack ideas.
Play Road Trip Games.
Eye Spy, License Plate Bingo, 20 Questions… there are many games the whole family can play to engage the kids and keep them entertained on a road trip. Need some inspiration? Pinterest has no shortage of ideas and free printables, and we have pinned ideas for you on our Road Trip Pinterest Board.
Listen to an Audiobook.
From Grimm’s Fairy Tales to Roald Dahl classics, audiobooks are a great way to keep the entire car entertained on a road trip. Cracker Barrel offers audio books on CD for rentals (you are refunded a certain amount when you return the audiobook) and Audible.com offers an app for your phone to download books for listening. Blogger Modern Mrs. Darcy recommends her 40 favorite audiobooks for kids.