Sanity-Saving Car Trip Tips for Traveling with Kids

Having JUST taken a 28 hour car trip from South Florida to Maine with #dailybabyavery, I can TRULY appreciate this summer travel post with car trip tips from our contributor: Modern Boca Stay-at-Home Mom

Car Trip Tips Featured WM
The many faces of “road tripper” #dailybabyavery

As MBMoms, we are always prepared…or at least we try to be! We make sure that our diaper bags are overflowing with drinks and snacks, diapers and wipes, hand sanitizer (!) and a change of clothes because, truth be told, you must be ready for anything!

And that’s just for a trip to the grocery store…

What if you were planning to be in the car for an hour, or 3 hours, or the dreaded 8+ hours….what else would you need for that trip? Obviously a vehicle. If you are thinking of going on a road trip, but have yet to get your hands on a car, it may be worth doing a quick search into something like Wichita Chevrolet Equinox and see what you can find.

As me and the kids were in the car for such a long time, it made me realise that on our next road trip, a van may be better. By then, the girls may not need booster seats. I think for me anyway, it will be a lot easier, plus I won’t have to worry about my car as much. I was discussing this with a friend of mine who recommended I looked into companies such as one sure insurance if I was serious about purchasing a van for future trips. As much fun a road trip can be, it’s no fun knowing that you are putting yourself and your family in danger by not having the correct or no vehicle insurance at all. I cannot wait to start making these annual trips for the family once everything is in place.

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Besides a giant jug of caffeine and some earplugs (for you, of course), there are definitely some “must-haves” to pack in your Car Trip Arsenal, as I’ll call it.

 photo roadtrip_zps9cd55a0a.jpg

The Car Trip Arsenal has some basic items, regardless of the length of your trip. And for car trip tips, the suggested would include:

  • Books. Board books, story books, picture books….keep it diverse to keep them interested.
  • CDs of kid songs. You can also buy children’s stories on tape – which usually come with a book so you can read along.
  • Snacks. Also bring little cups or bags so you can dish out the snacks to each child.
  • Coloring books and crayons. Simple but this is always a winner!

Avery Road Trip WM
Elmo was essential on our trip…

For a longer trip I have some additional car trip tips for the list.

  • iPad/Tablet. You can download games (educational ones too!) that can be played offline.
  • Portable DVD player. You can take it out when you need it and put it away when you don’t. That way, they don’t always expect it to be there! And don’t forget to bring a few of your child’s favorite movies!
  • Small presents. You can get VERY inexpensive “gifts” at the dollar store or the bins at the front of Target! Wrap them all up separately – the more they have to open, the better – and every hour or so the kids can open one up.

So, now you’ve been in the car for (fill in the blank) hours and, uh oh, your Arsenal has been depleted! Well now it’s time to get creative!

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To give you a little help, here are a few car trip tips to get you started…
  • Play a game.
    • I Spy… Take turns looking around and picking an object. The spy would say “I Spy something red”, picking the Gatorade in the cup holder as the object. The rest of the family asks yes or no questions to try and guess what it is that the spy picked.
    • I’m Going on a Picnic… This is a fun memory game. Take turns singing, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring…..” In alphabetical order, start adding items that you will bring the picnic. And don’t forget to include the items that have been added before your turn!
      • For example: By the end, the song will sound something like, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring: apples, bananas, cards, a dinosaur…….a xylophone, a yak and a zebra!” Phew!
    • How Many Cars can you Count? Everyone picks a color and counts how many cars they see on the road in a 5 minute span that are their color. The winner gets to pick the next game.
  • Make up a silly story. Mom or dad starts a story, then each person has a minute or so to build on the story, and so on, and so on! After 5 or 10 minutes you’ll have made up a unique and silly story together!
  • Call or FaceTime friends or relatives. The call will get your mind off of the trip, even just for a minute or so.

Between the Arsenal, the games and the potty breaks, “I Spy” a very pleasant car trip with your family in your future!

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Now we want to hear from you! What are some items that YOU bring on car trips with your kids?? Comment below…

Modern Boca Mom contributor Samara is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for health, fitness, and social media. In her “downtime” from mommy-ing two boys, she is an account executive for a boutique social media firm and the founder of healthy living blog, Peace, Love and Ice Cream!