Whether you’re heading to the Grand Canyon or the beach this summer, road trips never seem to be as fun as the destination. There’s the hassle of packing everything up and making sure the kids are entertained. We’ve put together our top five tips to make your family road trip more enjoyable.
Tip 1: Backpacks Aren’t Just For School
Have each child help you fill their backpack with some of their favorite activities like coloring books, colored pencils, electronics, a journal and their favorite toys. Getting the kids involved with the packing will get everyone excited for the upcoming trip.
Tip 2: Snack On
According to a survey from “Choice Hotels” and “FamilyFun” magazine, 73% of families consider snacks to be the #1 way to keep kids happy on road trips. Be sure to pack an abundance of healthy snacks so you’re not stopping every 30 minutes for junk food. With Mom Made’s Cheese Pizza, Bean Burrito and Apple Pie Munchies, road trip snacks are easy and fun. Before hitting the road, wrap up the Munchies in a paper towel and heat for 60 seconds in the microwave. Then wrap it in tin foil for easy travel. Pack a cooler or bag of snacks like washed fruit and fill up the water bottles with H2O!
Tip 3: Power Up
The last thing you want is to hit the highway and realize that the electronics are low on battery. Also stock up at the library with books on tape and books for the car. Nothing like a “new” book for a child. Make sure to have all the electronics at full power and loaded with fun games, audio books, and movies for the drive. There are tons of apps out there that are great to keep the kids entertained while on the road. Check out “RoadTripBingo” and “A Family Matters” applications. “RoadTripBingo” allows kids to look for hundreds of things while you drive. See who can fill up their card first! “A Family Matters” is a great way to communicate with your children not just in the car, but around the dinner table and while waiting in line.
Tip 4: Play the “Old Fashioned” Games
Play the license plate game. Have a sing-a-long. Create a scavenger hunt – give each child a list of items to watch for while driving and have a prize for the child who completes it first. Count. Count red cars, black cars, police cars, animals, etc. Play the alphabet game with famous people, ie A = Amelia Earhart, B = Big Bird, etc, and talk about who these folks are as you name them. Play with aluminum foil – give each child a sheet of aluminum foil and have them make an animal, a mask, etc. Practice a foreign language. For more fun game ideas, click here http://www.momsminivan.com/bigkids.html
Tip 5: Give Them a Job
Keep the kiddos engaged by giving them a job to do every time you stop. Kids will love the responsibility of being the “Squeegee Master” or the “Cleaning Captain.” At every rest stop and gas station, have one person be in charge of cleaning the windows and the other clear out the car of any trash. Have kids switch roles every two or three stops to keep things fun.
How do you keep your kids entertained? What are your go-to snacks when you travel? Happy trails!