Heading out of town for a sunny family road trip? You’re not alone; car travel is the most popular way for families to travel during the summer months. But it doesn’t mean it always easy.
Never fear, our family travel expert Melissa Klurman is here with tips and tricks to make your family road trip as smooth as your favorite roadside frozen custard.
Let’s hit the road!
1. Snack attack!
Nothing makes a trip fly by like special snacks. Make a road trip bento box for each child in your car using a plastic tackle box from the craft store – fill compartments with kid finger food faves such as goldfish, grapes, string cheese, and fruit snacks. Don’t forget water bottles and juice boxes to quench your thirsty back seat crew.
2. Art supplies on the fly
One of my favorite tips from my early travel writer days was to make a portable desk from a small plastic storage container – fill it with washable crayons and markers, stickers, and paper, then use the top as a “desk”. When I’m feeling lazy, I make do with a shoebox. Best part? Everything goes back in the box for easy craft cleanup.
3. Car games
My family plays endless (and I mean endless) rounds of “I Spy” and “20 Questions” both in the car and any time we stop for a meal break. To keep my sanity, I also stock up on magnetic travel games such as Travel Bingo to switch things up. Another great option for car and restaurant fun is Flashcard Speed Rounds (we flash a card and see who can get the answer first) – perfect for Little Pim’s 11 different language flashcard options (check out Spanish, here).
4. Cozy corners
One of the highlights of traveling by car with kids is being able to let them snuggle up with their favorite pillow and stuffed animals from home. Don't miss this opportunity for quiet car time -- turn the back seat into a nap friendly spot with fluffy toys, blankets, and pillows your kids love.
5. Electronic Back Up
Although we always try to stay unplugged for as long as possible to enjoy the scenery, for extended car trips, it’s often a relief for everyone to have a variety of entertainment options available. Preload your tablet or phone with kids friendly music, video, and game and app options so they're ready when you want them. And don’t forget to pack over–ear headphones if you need them for quiet viewing.