5 Road Trip Survival Rules For Traveling With Kids + Free Printable License Plate Game

We recently took our first and second road trips with the girls, and survived. I have never been a big fan of car travel, even less so with kids. But we broke our two-hour rule taking them in the car for four- and six-hour road trips. It seemed like a crazy idea, but it was totally worth it, and not as bad as I feared it would be. Plus we got to go really cool places like Gulf County, Florida and my cousin’s wedding!

The key to our success, was planning ahead to keep the kids entertained. Because there is nothing worse than being stuck in the car with a bored toddler who doesn’t like riding in the car. If we can make it, so can you! 

Road Trip With Kids Games Ideas
Assume the Role of Cruise Director – Whether you are going to be in the car for two, six or 12 hours, if you want to survive the trip with your sanity you must plan activities — lots of different activities. The goal is to have more activities than you need because in this case less is not always more!

Tip – Keep all of your activities a secret, even consider wrapping some like gifts. And then dispense as needed. Don’t forget to reserve some surprises for the trip home! 

Download a FREE License Game Printable here.

License Plate Game Free Printable
Keep ’em Fed – I don’t know what it is about the car that makes kids crazy hungry, but even if we just ate a meal within five minutes of getting in the car someone wants a snack! Keep snacks on hand and within reach. Great road trip snacks include Goldfish, trail mix, grapes, Pirate’s Booty, small tangerines, pretzels, dried fruit, apple slices, etc. My daughters also like to keep their Thermos Funtainer handy to sip on — these things are so great the ice stays frozen for hours so they always have a cold drink.

Favorite Movies – What did we do before movies in the car? One Disney movie = 90+ of quite in the car! Ahhhh! Whether you have a built-in entertainment center in your car or you download your kids favorite movies to their tablet, movies are a must for long car rides. Sometimes by strategically timing the use of movies, you can even lull your kids into a much needed nap. Do not underestimate movie time. 

Pit Stops – I purposely delayed potty training my toddler until AFTER our road trips, but if you are traveling with little ones — plan for lots of unplanned pitstops. A foldable potty seat helps little ones in public restrooms — bonus, they don’t touch the potty! If you can plan for some well-timed stops, like lunch, for everyone to stretch their legs and use the bathroom, fantastic. But there will likely be additional stops along the way. My recommendation is to stop at fast food restaurant for potty breaks over a gas station, they are cleaner. 

Paging Doctor Mom – Hopefully, your adventures will be smooth sailing without any ailments, but with kids you never know. Keep your travel meds handy so that in the event you need something you don’t have to stop. We learned this the hard way when my daughter inexplicably broke out in hives on the road and we had to search for a drugstore because we forgot to pack the Benadryl. Tylenol, Advil, Benadryl, Dramamine — keep it in an easy to reach baggie, just in case. 

16 thoughts on “5 Road Trip Survival Rules For Traveling With Kids + Free Printable License Plate Game”

  1. great ideas, i thought i have done everything and you gave me a couple new ones, the color wonder markers is one i never even thought of. Crazy but true, we love mad libs and hand held toys. Portable dvd players are good too.

  2. I love this! We always play the license plate game. This would make it so much easier! Thanks for sharing! You just made our next road trip much easier!

  3. Hello! These are great ideas for traveling with children! I so wish we had these types of electronics when my son was young. Now, my grandson has them when they travel. I’m traveling in a few weeks with two other adults and wish I had something to watch a movie on. lol Thank-you for the cool download!!

  4. My days of traveling with a little one are gone … for the moment. But all of these suggestions are absolutely spot on! I remember the license plate game and it is a lot of fun. Wish I had had this printable.

  5. i like all the ideas with traveling with the kids as it gets difficult managing them i need to try implementing a few of the ideas. i usually carry my kids story books and some toys with me as they keep themselves occupied.

  6. I have a bag just for the car when we are on the go–I do have to restore it often– because of field trips we take– We often play the license plate game—then there is a car game with colors for the youngest one since a lot of the games are just to much of a challenge— the activities that you have listed are so helpful for the little people]]thanks for a few more ideas

  7. we love the license plate game! I put it in a clear sheet protector with a dry erase marker so they can play on the way there and on the way home!

  8. We find Candanian Providences as well! We always add them to the list, but it might be fun to put them on officially if you’re going to add Wash DC. Thanks for sharing your creation!


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