9 Tips for the Best Road Trip with Kids

9 Tips for the Best Road Trip with Kids

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Ready to hit the road? Whether you’re taking a summer vacation or traveling for the holidays, we’ve got you covered!ย 

In this article, we will cover our favorite essentials and things to know when you take a road trip with kids.ย 

3 Things To Consider

1. Leaving Early

This is a great idea, especially if you’re traveling pretty far. A bonus: sleepy kiddos will most likely just sleep for a bit of the drive then.ย 

If you’re on a time crunch, you’ll also want to take into consideration that you’ll need to be stopping. A lot.

Which brings us to #2.

2. Lots of Breaks

You will need to stop at least every 2-3 hours for potty breaks, leg stretches, and feeding.

If you have older kids, they’ll need to go potty and stretch.

If you have a baby or younger child, they will need to be fed and have a diaper change.

In our experience, our breaks lasted anywhere from 20-30 minutes to an hour.

You can try to time breaks with gas fill ups and/or food stops. That way, there’s always a restroom and safe area to stretch ๐Ÿ™‚

You can also plan some breaks in scenic areas or other similar places, but not all of these may have restrooms.

3. You May Get Stuck in Traffic/Road Work

This was something we didn’t take into consideration and ended up arriving to our initial destination way later than planned.

It wasn’t a big deal, since we didn’t have a deadline, but it is something to consider if you do need to be somewhere at a specific time.

Make sure you have all the essentials to survive that traffic stop!

9 tips for the best road trip with kids

6 Things You’ll Need

1. Snacks

This is an absolute must-have for any road trip! We love these:

  • Trail mix
  • Chex mix
  • All Goldfish flavors
  • Ritz Thins
  • Gummies (bears, worms, etc)
  • For babies, I recommend Gerber puffs, yogurt melts, or teething wafers. Also jarred baby food if they are eating that.

(I don’t recommend giving baby snacks while you’re driving, though, just in case he/she chokes.)

You will of course also want water, juice, and sippy cups/bottles if needed.

2. Entertainment

This is also definitely needed for a road trip with kids!

Here’s what we went with:

  • Each kiddo had a tablet to watch their shows or play games on (for older kids). This Samsung one is great starter tablet. This case works great with it.
  • Bayleigh had these cute headphones (though she didn’t end up using them).
  • Coloring books and crayons – I recommend these twisty crayons, as they are more durable. They are also sold at Walmart.
We also played music, games (like I Spy) and had great conversations about what we were seeing and experiencing. 

3. Comfort

When nap time rolls around, you want to make sure the older kids have neck pillows.

You might also want to pick some up for the adults/teens too! We loved our SwissTech memory foam ones from Walmart. Though by the end of it, the one that was used the most was ripped a little.

You also want to make sure they have:

  • Blankets, especially their favorite one.
  • These window sun shades if you don’t have tinted windows. They are fantastic at helping block out the sun.
  • Car seat covers for the baby’s car seat (helps keep out sun, wind, bugs, etc). You can find our favorites here:ย Carseat Covers Reviewย 
  • Favorite toys. Be careful with stuffed animals, as they may get dropped on the ground when the door is opened.
  • Extra clothes that are accessible in case there are spills, spit-up, diaper blow outs, car sickness, water mishap, etc.

4. Gear

We absolutely loved these items on our trip:

  • This luggage set. A very affordable option and it comes with so much: 18″ suitcase, 15″ backpack, lunchbox, neck pillow, and a luggage tag. We were able to pack more than a week’s worth of Bayleigh’s clothing in the suitcase.ย 
  • This travel potty. What an amazing invention! It was perfect for side of the road “have to go now” moments, as well as putting on the toilet seat at our Airbnbs. We used these potty liners, which are leakproof and the best things ever.
  • This disposable diaper pail. An absolute must-have if you have little ones still in diapers. It is fantastic at keeping the smell in (though once that sticky flap is lifted, watch out!)
  • This adorable pop-up tent. This is perfect for older kids to sleep in, especially in a hotel room with a bigger bed than they’re used to. It’s also fun to pretend they’re “camping.”

5. Organization

Keep your sanity and your car organized with our favorite road trip car organization items!

  • This car seat tray. It attaches to a child car seat and has pockets for crayons, a cup, a tablet, etc. It can also be laid across a lap without attaching to a car seat (this is what we did more often than not).
  • These back seat organizers. I love these for so many reasons: a ton of storage that helps keep things organized, the tablet holder, and it can also help protect the back of the front seats from dirt.
  • Drawstring bags! I didn’t know how much we needed these until we got them. Talk about organization! They were pretty durable and could honestly hold a lot. I used masking tape and a Sharpie to label them and it worked out great.

6. Health/Safety Items

Let’s face it, I’m a bit of a germaphobe, especially nowadays.

I love these antibacterial hand wipes. They’re safe for little ones to use, too. You can also get them in a canister or you can grab Wet Ones (sold at Walmart).

I also recommend these binky wipes.

You may also want to have:

  • Baby wipes and diapers accessible
  • Paper towels
  • Gallon Ziploc bags
  • Bug spray, if traveling in summer

I love road trips! It has always been one of my favorite things to do.

It can seem a little scary to try to road trip with kids, especially a long distance, but it can be so much fun as long as you’re prepared.

It can be so amazing to see everything through the eyes of your kids. I loved watching mine experience things they normally don’t get to.

I hope this article helped you feel more confident about taking a road trip with kids, even if just a little bit!

Take a road trip with your kids recently? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below!


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