Say YES to adventure. Honestly, with kids… life is a constant ADVENTURE. Ironically, taking a relaxing family vacation can feel more stressful than just being home with the kids.
Traveling with your kids is a great way to open their eyes to the wonders of the world. Parents need to band together to share advice so WE can survive the adventure with happy memories, too!
The most helpful family traveling tips I’ve received have always come from fellow parents vs. books or magazine guides. On each trip we learn something new to carry over to our next vacation.
Here are a few simple tips to get you started:
Pre-trip Prep: How to Ensure You Don’t Need a Vacation From Your Vacation
On-the-Go: Check out this list of Road Trip Sanity Savers or 10 Movies to MESMERIZE Your Child (sponsored by HP)
While You’re There: Read these Three Steps to a Smooth Family Trip & 3½ Ways to ROCK Family Vacation Photos
As Modern Parents, we are constantly trying to balance screen-time. Friends, this is NOT something to worry about when you’re stuck in the car for hours on end. Don’t be afraid of letting your little one pass the time with a movie or video game. Your children may be well-behaved, but even an everyday sweetie can turn sour on a long road trip. A little reminder that… A Great Movie + Headphones = Relaxing Front Seat Coffee Date for Mom & Dad.
This summer our family is taking two ROAD TRIPS so I asked a few fellow parents from the Kids Blogging Network to share a few of their favorite travel tips.
This is what they had to say…
25 Tips And Activities For Traveling In The Car With Kids
- Have a nighttime dance party in the car with music and glow sticks. That and 9 more tips for traveling with high energy kids. – Creekside Learning
- Think about everything you might need at an overnight stop or for our overnight stays and then pack it all in one suitcase. Put that suitcase in LAST when you pack the car and it will be easy to grab. Read more about Road Trip packing here. – KC Edventures
- For more confident, cooperative little travelers, you can start preparing kids for long journeys by chatting about what to expect in the weeks beforehand as well as during the trip itself, with this Toddler Travel Timetable from Kids Play Space.
- When traveling with kids, be sure to carry boredom busters! Printables make great quiet activities without taking tons of room. – 3 Boys and a Dog
- Pack an activity bag for each child, with a few wrapped new items in each. The thrill of opening a new item (even if its just a dollar store sticker book and a pack of stickers) every half hour or so will make the time fly by. – Study-at-Home Mama
- On “shorter” trips of 6 hours or less, plan for the child’s nap to land in the middle of the trip, and get gas (change diapers, take a potty break) just while they are getting sleepy so you don’t wake them up too soon. It takes us about 4 hours of highway driving in our minivan before we start to get low on gas, so we plan accordingly. – Kid World Citizen
- When traveling on long car rides, make simple magnetic lap boards and glue magnet strips onto markers and crayons so they don’t fall out of reach. Then print a variety of free games and coloring pages to keep the kids busy. Find additional road trip activities for kids ages 2-8 here. – The Measured Mom
- An ice cream container can be filled with things you don’t want smushed or smashed (like crumbly crackers) and then packed in your suitcase. Once you get to the beach, it makes a great sand bucket! For more unexpected ideas on what to pack for the ultimate family beach vacation, check out this post (and the free printable list). – Nate & Rachel
- For long car trips, pre-pack snacks in individual servings. Bring a small cooler for drinks or anything else that needs to stay cool. That way, when hunger hits, you’re ready. Plus, the snacks are much healthier than what you’d find in a convenience store! – Creative Family Fun
- Don’t leave dirty nappies on the roof. After a side of the road quick nappy change, I may or may not have left the nappy on the roof of the car. – Canberra Mummy
- Bring lots of travel activities, books, and DVDs. The key to traveling with kids is to change it up. For an hour, let them look at books. Next hour, have them play with a travel game. And next, let them watch a DVD. Read seven more great tips for traveling with kids. – I Can Teach My Child
- Pack just the most necessary things you and your children absolutely can’t do without. Your children only need that many outfits and toys! – Little Artists
- “Busy bags” and what I like to call “the stranger effect” are golden! Learn more about both of these tactics for traveling with young kids. – Montessori en Casa
- Bringing along easy to pack, play anywhere activities is a must. Two of our favorites are the preschool rhyming game called “Little Mouse, Little Mouse” and our free printable Road Trip Activity Pack. -Playdough to Plato
- When you see a fun opportunity at a road, STOP THE CAR… fight the urge to rush forward and instead say YES. – Let’s Lasso the Moon
- When traveling with toddlers and preschoolers in the car, bring toy cars, a cookie sheet and an Are We There Yet? Map. Read all about it and see photos here. – Growing Book by Book
- Always bring a variety of activities for the kids! Busy bags are awesome. Before we head out on a road trip, I assemble a collection of five or six busy bags for Yaya. If she doesn’t whine for the hour, she earns a new busy bag. – Africa to America
- Always have a shoe spot in the car (makes bathroom stops so much easier!) Read more road trip tips and tricks here. – Peace But Not Quiet
- To keep kids occupied in the car, make them a travel binder filled with fun activities. – The Sunny Patch
- Check out this free Road Trip Journal printable – Peace But Not Quiet
- 15 wonderful sing-a-long CDs to make the time FLY past with the kids during a car trip.- JDaniel4’s Mom
- Check out these 3 ways to turn a travel experience into a learning experience. – iGame Mom
- We make sure to stay flexible and have emergency funds when traveling with 4 kids and 2 cats. The Air Force sends us to the neatest places every few years! – Royal Little Lambs
- My favorite trick for long road trips is a stash of small novelty gifts. They are exciting for kids, break up the monotony, and don’t break the bank! Learn how to make your own Travel Tray and read more tips on how to survive a road trip with a toddler. -It’s A Long Story
- Pack plenty of things to keep them entertained, both while travelling and while on holiday. My kid wake up very early as they are excited so something quiet to keep them amused in the early mornings is a real necessity! Colouring books or even a small set of Duplo work really well for this. Check out some of my favorite products for travelling with kids. – In the Playroom
AND if you’re traveling with a toddler or a little baby, rest assured… it gets easier. My top piece of advice for you? Take a breath and repeat that, “It will get easier.”
For ongoing family-friendly tips be sure to follow my Traveling Mama Pinterest board.
This summer we are staying fairly local. We’re heading to Bear Dunes National Shoreline and Voyageurs National Park. Last year we drove out to the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota. THAT trip was amazing in ways I never expected (read why here).
As the girls get older, I daydream of more adventures: Yosemite, Glacier National Park and.. the Redwoods in California. So amazing!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” I wrote this review while participating in a program on behalf of HP and received an HP PC, an HP printer, an Instant Ink starter kit, a Snapfish gift card and other items as part of my participation.