Summer tends to be that time where you hit the road for that family vacation. The car ride can be something that many parents dread, but if you plan ahead and come armed with an arsenal activities – you won’t get the “are we there yet” question as often! We went on a road trip this summer for 10 days. These 5 Tips for Road Trip Success is what helped make my life easier!
Ya gotta have snacks to help keep everybody happy. Nothing is worse than a hungry grumpy traveler. It works best if you can have individually portioned out snacks. You can buy them this way or make your own using small zipper baggies. Some of out favorite road trip snacks include granola bars, string cheese, crackers, pretzels, fruit,and trail mix. On the less healthy side, my family likes Starbursts (Fav Reds), Skittles, licorice, Hi-Chews, and any kind of M&M’s.
You also want a good way to store the snacks like in a car organizer, tote with compartments, or a plastic container with compartments and a lid.
Music is a must. You can rely on the good old radio, cds or your iPod. Have everyone make a play list of their own and rotate through the playlists. You can assign an hourly DJ to be in charge of cds or radio stations you play. 3. Movies – Bring a portable DVD player. You can always find a Red Box for a new movie if needed (most McDonalds have them).
Or load up your electronic devices with movies. We have found this challenging with low memory on many of our devices but have found a great solution that is much cheaper than buying a device with more memory. We tested out the Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB Cloud Storage. It allows you to store all the movies you want and then stream them from the device with it’s own built-in wifi. No need for data use! You can stream up to 3 HD movies at a time. This way everyone can be happy watching their own movie on their tablet, iPod, etc. Just make sure the file you place on the Seagate is a type of file your device can read. Usually you need the Digital Copy of the movie or you need to use software to create a digital copy of your DVD. Also, don’t forget earbuds for each person.
This can be done in many ways. I love to have each person have a backpack with their own items. However, it can be a community backpack or they can always trade items with in their individual backpacks.
- You can go with good old traditional paper. You can make binders using online printables (many are free like road trip Bingo or road trip scavenger hunt). Then place in plastic sleeves to use dry erase makers with. Or get activity pads of books. I like this stamp pad, or Mad Libs. Mad Libs are fun to read to everyone in the car after you complete them. I also like those summer activity books to keep your kids brains from loosing what they have learned. I have found good ones at Sam’s Club and Costco. You can even pick up coloring book or word search books from the dollar store.
- Or go digital. There are a lot of great apps out there. There are coloring apps and word search apps. They even have a Road Trip Bingo App. My family likes 2048, Barbie I Can Be for iPad, Barbie Fashonistas Endless Closet, and Super Stick Man Golf.
- Travel Games – I always bring travel games. They can work for the car or for if you have a bad wether day at your destination. We love Scrabble Slam, Yahtzee Hands Down, Phase 10 Dice, Monopoly Deal, and Blokus To Go.
This can be good old paper books, digital books or audio books. You could pick an audio book that the whole family can listen to. I am a member of Good Reads and they have a great list of “Best of” audio books. My daughter personally loves the Allie Finkle Series. My boys always love Hunger Games or Michael Vey.
Visit your local library to check these out before you hit the road. I also love Paperback Swap. You swap books for have with others for books that are new to you. Amazon is great for audio books if you get the kindle version. They are usually around $5 which is a lot cheaper that the $25+ for the cds.
Feel free to leave any additional tips that you may have! I would love to hear how you survive the road trips!