I love road trips! I get so excited, until about an hour into the drive when the kids start yelling about someone touching someone else. One of them now has to pee. The other is hungry and the other is bored. Bring peace to your road trip with some simple pre-planning.
- Snacks. I feel like this is obvious but packing the right road trip snacks is essential. It keeps you from spending a ton on junk at gas stations or fast food places. Some of our top favorite snacks include pretzels, jerky, gum, fruit (banana, grapes, and oranges are the easiest), fruit snacks, nuts (peanuts and pistachios are our favorites) and granola bars. If it is a super long trip I may pack sandwiches but I find it best to not packing anything that needs to be kept cool as coolers tend to take up too much space and are a pain to get in and out of.
- Electronics. The night before I like to make sure I have charged up any and all electronic devices that we own including phones, tablets, Nintendo Switch, and sometimes computers. You may be against extended periods of screen time but trust me sometimes if it gets you a few hours of quiet time it is worth it. Make sure to bring the chargers too. Pack them all together in a gallon freezer bag and keep them in the glove box so you know where to find them.
- Games. You can buy travel size games for cheap online or at Target or Walmart. I find that we often lose the pieces because they are so small. Save the money and just pack games you already have at home. Again, the gallon freezer back comes in handy. Take the games out of the boxes and put them in the bags for easy storage. We have also found fun travel games on Amazon such as Rubbernecker and travel bingo.
- Toys. Packing small little action figures or dolls has also proven quite popular. Pack a plastic freezer bag for each kid with army men, little dolls, or Legos. You would be surprised how often they reach for the bags and quietly act out scenes in the back seat to themselves. Etch-a-sketch also keeps them occupied. Try asking each kid to take turns making something such as a flower or a robot.
- Books. Coloring books, small chapter books, and the sticker art books are all good ways to keep them entertained.
- Make your own fun. Try I spy (finding things of a certain color), try finding license plates from different states, or try various forms of the alphabet game such as finding things that start with different letters of the alphabet, words that you see that start with different letters of the alphabet, or name a topic (such as movies or actors) and then come up with different ones going through the alphabet.
- Stop. Make sure to take frequent stops to stretch your legs and go to the bathroom. If you plan ahead you may be able to coincide your stops with some pretty cool roadside attractions.