The Essentials: Keeping Your Kids Happy on Road Trips

Depending on how far you’re traveling, road trips can be quite painful and definitely exhausting… for parents and the kids. Kids are notorious for asking the #1 road trip question, “are we there yet?”

Not only will “are we there yet?” be asked, but there will also be frequent bathroom stops. Those reasons alone can make anyone exhausted before the trip even gets started.

Luckily, road trips are actually a lot more customizable than plane rides.  With the right preparation and supplies, you can turn a seemingly miserable car ride into smooth sailing. We’re going to take a look at the essentials you need to keep your kids happy on road trips.

Electronics: Electronics on road trips are a life-saver. Of course, you want to bond with your kids and love on them, but for them, that can just be a bit much sometimes, so having something to stimulate them mentally will make your trip flow smoothly.

Tablets are an awesome source of entertainment for kids. With the tablet you can’t forget the headphones…they go hand in hand. Tablets allow your kids to play games, listen to music, watch movies, and even read books. Headphones allow the kids to listen to the “shark doo” song as many times as they want, without the parents disturbing them.

First Aid Kit: Your children’s safety is always a parent’s top priority, which is why it is essential to have a first aid kit on hand when going on a road trip; you just never know what you may need it for.

Getting sick or being hurt while on the road is no fun for anyone, especially when the nearest walk-in clinic or hospital is miles and miles away. Here are a few first aid stock items to keep with you on the road:

  • Pre-packaged first aid kit: These are great to have because they come with the basics you need like band-aids, alcohol wipes, and antibacterial ointment.
  • Pain relief for adults and children
  • Ace bandages
  • Liquid cold medicine
  • Kleenex

Toys and Games: Toys can make or break your family road trip. Seriously, if you forget to pack the toys, you just cancel the entire trip because your kids will not forgive you for what you have done!

Road trip toys can be pretty much whatever you want to pack; there’s no limitations because you’re amongst family. You know your kids better than anyone, so be sure to pack them a few of their favorite toys to keep them entertained.

For little boys, you may pack the small race cars and action figures. Little girls can be a little more particular in their selection of toys. Yes she loves dolls, but she might want to bring the unicorn princess doll that has on the pink dress, not the purple dress…knowing that detail is important to the enjoyment of the trip for everyone.

Then of course you have the car games. Those were always fun as a kid. The most famous one is “I Spy.” This was my favorite road trip game as a kid.

As you’re riding along the highway, you pick out something you see. Let’s say there’s a red truck in front of you. You’ll then give everyone in the car a hint on what you see by saying “I spy something red.” Everyone then has to guess what it is red that you saw. Someone will then need to say “that red truck!”

That game may not seem like much, but when you’re on a road trip and have been driving for hours, this game is a way to break up the monotony.

Comfortable Car Seat: When kids are sitting in a car for hours at a time, it’s important that they’re comfortable and safe. Even for adults, we want to be comfortable in the car, so why wouldn’t we expect our children to want that same kind of comfort. When road tripping, you’ll want to make sure your baby’s car seat is comfortable and safe. Make sure it is installed correctly by having a CPST look at the seat before any long trips.

Snacks: Having snacks is absolutely a necessity on road trips…they’re actually part of how your travel experience goes. Choosing the right kinds of snacks is a huge determinant of how successful your trip will be

When picking the right snacks for a road trip, you want to make sure you pick snacks that travel well and don’t require tons of work, like warming it up. Convenience is the goal of road trip snackage, so anything messy is also out of the question.

Kids have such small hands. Make sure the snacks you pack are easy for your kids to handle while you may be in the front seat. Snacks that are spill proof, or at least easy to clean up will that snacking while driving won’t be such an inconvenience. Some examples of great kids snacks include:

  • Fruit snacks
  • Crackers
  • Cereal cups
  • Raisins

One other necessity for your road trip is a cooler. A cooler can hold snacks that do require staying cold, and they broaden your snacking options as well. Snacks that need to be cool include:

  • Pre-made sandwiches
  • Yogurt
  • String cheese
  • Water and juices

On the Road Again…: Now that you know the essentials of what it takes to keep your kid happy on road trips, why not share your knowledge with other families that may need your traveling tips. A great way to share, not only your family’s road trip adventure, but to also share the steps you took on how you made your trip successful, is to create your family’s website.

You’ll first want a memorable domain. Your domain is the direct link to your site, so keep in mind that your domain will need to be relevant to the content on your site.

Remember, road trips are filled with fun, adventure and games, and really a great time to get some family bonding time in. Yes the trip can seemingly take forever, but with the right road trip essentials, you can take the bumps out of the ride.

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