Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Successful Road Trip Tips for a Family: Part 1

As I mentioned, I am doing this little how-to series to help parents navigate a successful road trip. First up would be keeping the kids entertained during those hours of driving. For us, this includes two integral parts: snacks and activities. That's basically it. After that, you need to cross your fingers and pray for no major mood swings or bouts of irritable bowel syndrome.

Let's explore activities:
My mainstay for kids activities on the go is a bag like this: This bag fits conveniently on the floor below Acadia's seat and can carry many different distractions for the kids. Typically I pack plain paper, coloring books, a set of new crayons for each girl (Yes, we have 8 billion crayons, but a new set seems to appease them that much more and it is worth the $3 investment!), and whatever other activities suit that particular trip. I will usually print a bunch of free printables from the internet. Minivan Mom offers a great selection, everything from Car Bingo to Travel Scavenger Hunts.

I also enjoy the Melissa and Doug travel games, like travel memory: For around $10, you get a great game that will not lose pieces and includes 14 different boards.

Another recent discovery is a sort of travel I Spy: You can make your own version of these bags, but for $8 from a fellow Etsy shop, it is totally worth getting each kid one. My girls are very competitive, so it works out well. I just use the little card provided to call out an object for them to find, and it keeps them amused for an extended time.

Along with the coloring pages, printables and crayons, I strongly suggest a lap desk for each child. It makes artwork easier and neater. Mine look like this: and it has lasted about 8 years through 3 kids. It is a godsend to keep paper and books in their lap. It is quite small and fits right in the aforementioned travel totebag.

Along with that tote bag, I also like a back of the seat organizer like this: It keeps things like sippy's and other small items close at hand. (Just don't forget a sippy in there when the trip is complete... EWWWW!)

Next in the series: snack for the trip.


  1. We are going to NYC at the end of the month. I will now leave your blog open, tab over to and purchase ALLL of these items. lol Pray it goes smoothly!

  2. Great tips, I'll be sure to share this with other parents. Thank you very much.