*The Mixing Bowl received product or payment in exchange for this post or the post contains affiliate links. The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may differ from yours.*
Who doesn’t love a good road trip? It gets you and the family out, usually to someplace you have never been before, and together you get to experience locations, new sights, and adventures. Road trips are the chance to see the little things and hidden road ways that many travelers miss.
Road trips are an essential part of our life. Being able to share our love and passion for nature and unique places with our kids through our road trips means the world to us. We love planning the route and stops we are going to make along the way. Road trips are not easy and taking kids, especially younger kids, along can make for a rough ride if you are not prepared.
Kids get bored easy and when you are strapped into a car seat there is only so much you do and moving around is out of the question. With a little bit of preparation any road trip with kids can be a successful one. Here are my top tips for keeping kids happy on road trips.
- Food and Water: Kids love snacks, I mean who really does not love a snack. One way to keep kids occupied is with some food. Good snacks that are low in sugar are the best choices when there is nowhere for them to run. My favorite snacks are freeze-dried fruits (not dried fruits that have added sugar) and crackers. Both are filling and tasty. Then of course make sure you have plenty of water.
- Toys and Books: Your kids favorite books, even a coloring book or two, is always a good way to keep them happy and since kids love to play and use their imagination, a good selection of toys, and maybe even a new one just for that road trip, is never a bad idea.
- Age Appropriate Games: Games are a great way to keep the whole car engaged and active. For my oldest, she travels with her DS, but it’s a bit harder with the little ones. For them we have our phones that have a few kid-friendly apps or we create road games. Our favorites are “I Spy” based involve counting, colors, and different vehicles. The games you can play in the car is endless, it’s more about finding age appropriate ones.
- Extra Clothing: This may sound a bit odd and might be a no-brainer, but kids are notorious for getting food and drinks all over them. Then there is the case that even a well potty trained kid can have accidents. No one wants to travel when wet or overly dirty. Having a spare set of clothes that is only used as needed is a must with kids in the car.
Pretty easy right? Actually it is. A little bit of extra packing and some forethought on car ride games you can better ensure a nice time in the car, no matter how short or long the road trip is. The problem is space when going on a road trip. Not only do you need room for the standard vacation needs, but packing extra for the kids can make space even tighter. I now have a solution for that I did not have before. Diono has a new line of travel gear that keeps all your stuff in compact areas so you have more room for your essentials.
With the help of the Diono Stuff ‘n Scuff, Stow ‘n Go, and Travel Pal you can keep all those kid happy items at your and their fingertips. The Stuff ‘n Scuff is a seat protector that allows your kids to kick the seat and not do any damage, while holding a handful of needed items. For more vertical storage space the Stow ‘n Go is essential. It straps to the back of a front seat and has many pockets and few drink holders to keep all those essentials off the car floor and easily accessible. If you have older kids or want an organizer that is easier for you in the front seat to use, the Travel Pal is a must! It have a large open compartment to hold snacks or games and stuff for my oldest in the back seat. There is also 8 side pockets for drinks, books, or even trash. All these different gear pieces serves a purpose and allows a cleaner car, easier access, and happier kids.
What do you think? What are your road trip tips for keeping kids happy, especially on those long road trips??