Are you a parent who cringes when you hear the words “road trip”? I get it! As a family with three kids ages 7, 4, and 2, that cringe was me once as well. Luckily, after a lot of trial and error through the many trips we have taken because of our love of travel, I have many tips for managing a long road trip with kids.
I always make sure to pack a picnic for our family of five that will last us the duration of our long road trip. The priority is to always pack food that isn’t going to make a mess. Then, I focus on a mixture of protein, fresh food, and of course, carbs! I also always, always make sure it is food I know the kids love. These bento boxes are great for keeping all of the snacks together and they don’t leak!
There are sooooo many great tips for organizing the car, and in doing the research for this article I was blown away by some of the creative ways to keep the car clean(ish) and the kids happy!
These are my firm favorites…
Put a shoe organizer on the back of the front seat for all the baby essentials, toddler toys etc.
Pack shower caddies for on-the-go meals, to keep everything from spilling!
Put silicone cupcake liners in the cup holders to keep any coffee or other yucky stuff out
Make a DIY car sick bag…just in case. In a large ziplock bag, put in a plastic bag, change of clothes, antiseptic wipes, medication, gum, paper towels)
Use a plastic cereal container for a no spill trash can
Stick suction shower organizers to the windows to hold art supplies, little toys etc.
If you have bags to keep organized, you can hang them to the back of the seat with carabiners
Cookie trays are great to use as backseat desks for budding artists!
And this one is maybe my favorite…..create a road trip countdown for kids so they don’t ask before they’ve even left the road…”are we nearly thereeee yet?!” It is made with a piece of string & some cards with cities you’ll pass on the way. It’s a great visual, and you can take a card off each time!
To keep the kids happy for 15+ hours we do a combo of games, singing, reading and watching some new shows on the iPads.
Here are some of our favorite games....
Good old fashioned I spy and the state license plate game
Mad libs on the road - flipping hilarious!
Scavenger hunt for kids travel card game
If you have any must-have items or ideas for long car rides, send them my way! We are always looking for more ideas and tips for our budding travelers :)