The difference between a good road trip and a bad one is how happy the children are in the back seat! Here are some road trip tips and fun vacation printables that have saved our family!!
Planning a Family Road Trip
This is the time of year that always seems to fly by! The weather is warm, the kids are out of school and it’s time to hit the road for our family vacations!
Family vacations can be some of the best memories of family time that children will hold onto for the rest of their life. Family vacations can sometimes bring occasional nightmares, but with proper preparation, most of those can be avoided. Here are a few things we do in our family to lesson the chaos and bring on the fun!
(All ideas shown in the video are linked below)
Road Trip Printables
With Pinterest at our fingertips, there is no reason to go on a roadtrip without a bunch of free games and activities that you can print off from your home computer. Here are a few of our favorites –
- Our ULTIMATE Road Trip Printable Kit has everything you need to keep everyone happy!
- Get everyone talking and telling stories with a free Road Trip Story Starters Printable.
- Play a game or two of Tic Tac Toe with these easy Tic Tac printable labels. Not only are these tic tac toe games simple to make, they are also a nice compact way to entertain the kiddos – no extra luggage space needed!
- Not only is this Roll of Quarters idea pure genius for motivating good behavior in the car, but it also allows your children to practice making financial decisions.
Road Trip Snacks
It might not be the best practice to hand a screaming toddler their favorite snack, but in a car full of people and many more hours ahead of us, we do whatever keeps everyone happy! We also avoid a lot of stops (and even skip some meals), when we have plenty of fun and healthy snacks prepared.
- Turn snack time into a fun activity by putting snacks in a tackle box.
- I grab a cup for each child before the trip that I keep up front with me. When it is time for a snack, I fill each cup and pass it back. This helps keep the messes at bay.
- Consider making an easy Pulley System, as seen on Kids Activities Blog. An easy way to get snacks and activities from the front to the back of your car.
- Bring the kids to the store so they can pick their favorite granola bars, fruit snacks, candies, trail mix etc.
Road Trip Tips
- Make road trip travel trays that double as a chalkboard and are easy to put away since they slide right under your car seats!
- Download new apps before your trip just in case the internet connections are spotty.
- Make driving through the night more fun with some glow sticks! Your kids (and other drivers) will think there is some raging party going on!
- Make a Portable Activity Kit for Kids with several games and activities. (Via Mama Papa Bubba)
- Prize Bags: Give your kids a special treat or prize at various landmarks and locations. (from Get Away Today)
- Tiny Timeline: Use a felt road with sights your see and some velcro on the bottom of a matchbox car to track your progress. (from Once a Month Mom)
- Map It Out: Laminate your map and use a dry erase marker to show your route, and mark where you are so they can see how much longer you have. (Via Creekside Learning)
- Hang a shoe organizer over the driver’s seat for easy access to things you might need.
- If you’re breaking up the trip and staying at a hotel for a night, pack 1 suitcase with all the items that your family will need for the one night. This will be easier to grab when you get there and you won’t have to empty the entire car for one night.
- Pack you kid’s clothes in gallon-sized ziploc bags. Not only does it save on space, it helps the kids know exactly what to wear for the day.
- Make it comfy! Let kids bring a small blanket & pillow and let them keep a small bag of games/toys by their seat.
- Clean Your Car – This might seem like a waste of time because it is going to get dirtier than ever on your trip. But I am convinced starting your trip with a clean, organized car will set you up for a happy, organized road trip. It also eliminates the chances of a stranger writing “WASH ME” on your back window while you stop for a potty break.
Keep in mind, this is a family road trip, right? So get your kids to help in the planning and preparations as much as you can! Not only will it be more fun for them, it will also teach them how to plan their own with their future families!
What are YOUR best road trip tips?