Play & Learn
8 Tips On How To Bring Kids On A Road Trip
Road trips can be a great way to spend quality time with your family and create lasting memories. However, when you're traveling with kids, there are additional challenges to consider. We'll provide tips and advice for planning a successful road trip with children.
Tips for Planning a Road Trip with Children
1. Choose Family-Friendly Destinations
When planning a road trip with kids, it's important to choose destinations that are family-friendly. Look for places that offer activities and attractions that are appropriate for children of all ages. National parks, zoos, aquariums, and amusement parks are just a few examples of family-friendly destinations that can make for a fun and memorable road trip.
2. Pack Plenty of Snacks
Kids can get hungry quickly, and there may not always be convenient places to stop for food. To avoid meltdowns and tantrums, be sure to pack plenty of snacks for the road. Choose healthy options like fruits, vegetables, and nuts, as well as some treats like cookies or chips to keep things interesting. Make sure you have a variety of options, so your kids don't get bored with the same snacks day after day.
3. Keep Kids Entertained
Long car rides can be boring for kids, so it's important to have a variety of activities to keep them entertained. Bring books, games, and toys that your kids enjoy. Tablets or portable DVD players can also be great for keeping kids occupied during long stretches of driving. You can also play games like I Spy or the license plate game to keep kids engaged and entertained.
4. Plan for Rest Stops
When traveling with kids, it's important to take frequent rest stops to allow everyone to stretch their legs, use the restroom, and take a break from the car. Plan to stop every two to three hours, or whenever your kids need a break. This can also be a great time to have a picnic lunch or explore a new area.
5. Pack for Comfort
Long car rides can be uncomfortable, so it's important to pack for comfort. Bring pillows, blankets, and other comfort items that your kids may need. If you have younger children, consider bringing a car seat pillow or other support to help them sleep more comfortably.
6. Involve Your Kids in Planning
Before you hit the road, involve your kids in the planning process. Ask them for their input on where to go, what activities to do, and what snacks to bring. This can help build excitement and anticipation for the trip, and also gives your kids a sense of ownership and control over the experience. Additionally, involve your kids in navigation by letting them help with maps or directions, or by playing games that encourage them to look for specific landmarks or road signs. This can help keep them engaged and interested in the journey.
7. Enjoy the Journey
Road trips with kids can be challenging at times, but they can also be some of the most rewarding and memorable experiences you'll have as a family. Take the time to appreciate the scenery, create new memories, and enjoy the time you have together on the road. With a little planning and preparation, your family road trip can be a fun and unforgettable adventure for everyone.
8. Prioritize Safety
Finally, when traveling with kids, safety should be a top priority. Make sure everyone wears their seatbelts, and bring along age-appropriate car seats and booster seats if necessary. Additionally, pack a first aid kit, sunscreen, insect repellent, and any necessary medications for your family members. Always be aware of your surroundings and use common sense when exploring new places.
Safety Tips for Road Trips with Kids
Make sure your kids are properly buckled up in the car at all times. This includes using car seats, booster seats, or seat belts, depending on your child's age and size. Check your state's laws to ensure you are following proper car seat and seat belt regulations.
Plan Ahead for Emergencies
Pack a first aid kit, as well as any medications your kids may need. Make sure you have a plan in case of emergencies, including knowing the location of the nearest hospital or urgent care center.
Be Aware of Distracted Driving
Avoid distracted driving, including texting or using your phone while driving. If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over to a safe location first. Additionally, make sure your kids are not causing distractions while you're driving.
Know the Rules of the Road
Review the rules of the road with your kids before you start your trip. This can include discussing the importance of wearing seat belts, not distracting the driver, and following traffic laws.
Best Road Trip Activities for Kids
It helps keep your kids engaged and entertained during long stretches of driving, which can help reduce boredom and prevent them from becoming restless or cranky. When kids are entertained, they are less likely to ask "are we there yet?" every few minutes, which can be frustrating for parents.
Here are a few examples of activities you can try with the family.
Create a scavenger hunt for your kids to complete during the road trip. Give them a list of items to find along the way, like specific road signs, landmarks, or license plates from different states. This can be a fun way to keep kids engaged and learning during the trip.
Audiobooks can be a great way to keep kids entertained during long car rides. Choose books that are appropriate for your child's age and interests. Many libraries offer audiobooks that you can borrow for free, or you can purchase them from online retailers.
Encourage your kids to document their road trip experience by keeping a travel journal. Provide them with a notebook and some art supplies, and encourage them to write or draw about their experiences on the trip. This can be a great way to help kids reflect on their experiences and create a lasting memory of the trip.
If you're planning a road trip that includes outdoor destinations like national parks or hiking trails, take advantage of the opportunity to get outside and explore. Bring a picnic lunch, go on a hike, or take a bike ride together. These activities can be a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, and create lasting memories with your kids.
Packing for a Road Trip with Kids
Car Seats and Safety Gear
Make sure you have the appropriate car seats for your children and that they are properly installed in your vehicle. Additionally, bring any other safety gear you may need, such as a first-aid kit, sunscreen, and bug spray.
Snacks and Drinks
Pack plenty of snacks and drinks to keep your kids fueled and hydrated throughout the trip. Remember to include both healthy options and treats.
Bring a variety of entertainment options, including books, coloring books, and games. Consider electronic devices like tablets or portable DVD players, as well as headphones for each child.
Make sure your kids have everything they need to stay comfortable during the trip. This can include pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals or other comfort items they may need.
Clothing and Toiletries
Pack appropriate clothing for the climate and activities you have planned. Remember to include extra clothing in case of accidents or spills. Bring toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and wipes to keep everyone feeling fresh and clean.
Navigation and Communication Tools
Make sure you have the necessary navigation and communication tools, such as a GPS system or a map, a charged cell phone, and a car charger.
Cash and Credit Cards
Bring cash and credit cards for any unexpected expenses, like tolls or emergencies.
Roadside Emergency Kit
In case of any roadside emergencies, bring a roadside emergency kit that includes items like a flashlight, spare tire, and jumper cables.
In addition to the first-aid kit, bring any necessary medical supplies, like prescription medications and inhalers.
Bringing kids on a road trip can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it does require some additional planning and preparation. By choosing family-friendly destinations, packing plenty of snacks and entertainment options, and taking frequent breaks, you can help ensure a successful and enjoyable road trip with your children. Additionally, make sure you pack for comfort, follow safety guidelines, and plan ahead for emergencies to help ensure a safe and stress-free trip.