It’s almost time for family road trip season…are you ready? Taking a family road trip is both exiting and daunting at the same time. It’s fun to get out of town for adventures together, but traveling with little ones can leave parents needing a serious adults-only vacation when it’s all said and done. The best way to ensure your family makes the most of a road trip is being prepared. This week we’re sharing clever family road trip hacks that will help you enjoy the ride.
Ride Along Activity Hacks
The biggest issue with family road trips is usually boredom. Have an arsenal of fun activities prepared for your kids to keep them entertained, occupied and otherwise happy during the ride.
Child-Specific Activity Bin/Backpack: House the plethora of activities you bring along for each child in a bin they can easily reach or an open backpack hung over the seat in front of them. Combine necessary supplies in storage bags to ensure your child can quickly grab an activity without fumbling around for things they need. For example, if you bring along paper and art supplies, put them together in a bag as a one-stop art kit. Older kids may enjoy an activity binder where they can doodle, do fun (dare we say educational) worksheets or puzzles.
Magnetic Game Board: If family game night is when your fam is at it’s best, recreate the scene in the car by magnetizing your games. For traditional board games, find a printable image of the game board and laminate it. Use magnets to secure it to a cookie sheet. Don’t forget to bring along whatever cards, dice, score cards and other supplies your games require. This also works beautifully for puzzles or DIY art designs. Place a magnet on the back of each puzzle piece or on a variety of art supplies like craft sticks, pom poms, pipe cleaners, etc… Let your kids design cool things over and over again!
Portable Lego Kit: Place a lego building board at the bottom of a tin lunch box or any other portable, sealable box. Your kids can build using the lego board as a base and store extra legos right in the box.
Family Scavenger Hunt: Print off a list of items you may see along the way during your road trip. Let the kids check off or tally up what they see along the way. This can be fun and interactive for all.
Read A-Longs: Listen to a book on tape that is age-appropriate for all family members. Ask questions and talk about what’s happening during pit stops.
Rotating Build-a-Story: Tell a story together by sharing a few ideas and then passing it off to another family member. By the end you’ll probably have one wacky tale!
Private Screening: If you’re willing to offer some screen time and you have multiple viewers, there’s no need to hook up a portable TV or purchase a DVD player. Simply clip your tablet to a visor so everyone can see and enjoy the show. This is also a good way to look up information along your trip as well.
No Fuss, No Muss Eating/Cleaning-Up On-the-Go Hacks
Eating on-the-go is a great way to save money, keep your kids occupied and ensure everyone has the nourishment they need to stay in a great mood for a family road trip. Avoid cranky kids and messy situations with these hacks:
Grub Supply Bag: Before leaving, pack a re-sealable bag with everything you would need to eat on the road including paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, straws, etc… Make sure you have clean-up supplies as well, such as wipes for sticky hands and spills.
Wearable Snacks: This snack idea is fun to put together before your trip and makes snacking in route easier. Let the kids string cereal, pretzels and anything else with a hole in the middle to make snack bracelets or necklaces. Whenever they are hungry they can bite off a few pieces.
Snack Bento Box: Fill up a compartmentalized box (think tackle box or bead box) with a variety of snacks. This will be a fun way for your kids to graze and you can ensure balanced snacking along the way. Items like raisin, pea crisps, freeze-dried fruit, crackers and nuts are all great for a snack bento box.
Line your Cup Holders: Avoid melted lollipops in your up holders by lining them with silicone cupcake wrappers. When the trip is over, you can wash them and at least your cup holders will remain clean.
We have more great family road trip hacks coming your way tomorrow so stick around!
Sources: Life Hack, Your Modern Family, Kids Activities Blog, Momtastic, Choose to Thrive, Life Through My Eyes, Huffington Post, Moms 365, Child Development Institute, and What to Expect