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!
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!
- Blank note books for writing / drawing.
- School Work (not exciting, perhaps but good for so many reasons)
- Color Wonder Markers
- Window Markers & stencils
- Mad Libs on the Road (great for working on parts of speech & lots of laughs)
- Handheld electronics
- Eye Spy
- Small Dollar Store toys
- Road Sign Bingo (free printable)
- License Plate Game
Download a FREE License Game Printable here.
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.
Holly Thomas says
The license plate game is a great idea.
What about the District of Columbia plate?? 🙂
I actually thought about it as I was finishing it (I used to live there!). But I couldn’t fit number 51 🙂
michelle oakley warner says
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.
These are great ideas. I would even use them for restless grown ups.
Tammy S says
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!
Natalie Brown says
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!!
Robin Wilson says
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.
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.
Dianna Thomas says
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
Lisa Vanhook says
Counting Walmart trucks is a fun game but love the car tag game..
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!
YES! A clear sheet protector is a fantastic idea.
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!