15 Travel Tips for Roadtripping with Kids

1. Pack Children’s Daily Outfits in Zip Seal Bags

Don’t let the struggle of children getting dressed spoil your trip. This idea from yourmodernfamily.com suggests simplifying your mornings by filling a zip seal bag for each day of your trip with a ready-to-go daily outfit. To further avoid any potential meltdowns, you can also let your children help choose and assemble their outfit baggies.

2. Share a Toiletries Bag

Cut down on luggage space by having everyone share a toiletry bag. As you’ll likely all be sharing a bathroom on your trip, pack just one of everything that can be shared (hair dryer, shampoo & conditioner, nail clippers, combs, etc.). Your mouth will thank you for all having your own toothbrush, though!

3. Bring an Ouch Kit

Wherever your travels take you, your kids are bound to do some playing around. For these moments, having a First Aid kit on hand can be really helpful. Myfrugaladventures.com provides some great suggestions for building your own travel “ouch kit”.

4. Travel at Night

What better way to avoid the boredom, fussiness, and tantrums than to travel when your little one is asleep? Try to be on the road shortly after your child’s bedtime but also before your own bedtime to avoid fighting off your own sleepiness. Be sure to plan ahead and have your child fall asleep in their car seat rather than their crib.

5. Darken the Windows

Whether traveling at night or during the day, keep those bright lights from waking your sleeping child by darkening the car windows. Hang a towel, blanket, or even a t-shirt in the backseat window(s) to keep the sun and lights out and sheep counting in.

6. Be Prepared with Audio Books

As much as we all love to listen to kids’ favorite songs until our ears fall off, here’s a way to add some variety to the sound waves in your car.  greyhouseharbor.com suggests to bring some audio books along. Libraries are well stocked and usually let you check out audio CDs for two weeks at a time. For a particularly great use of time, try to find a book your child could read for a book report.

7. Put A Map on the Ceiling

Tired of answering the oft inquired “are we there yet”? With this idea from greyhouseharbor.com, you’ll be one step ahead. Simply pin or tape up a map showing your route and keep track of your approximate location as a visual for your kids.

8. Have a Few New Things to Do

For kids, there’s nothing like having a new toy or activity to do. To help keep children from getting bored, bring along some new coloring books, iPad apps, books to read, or rattle toys for toddlers.

9. Sticky Note Time Tabs

Neatnestorganizing.com shares this great idea for helping kids stay entertained on road trips. Depending on the length of your trip and the ages of your children, select specific goal times in which kids receive a special surprise. Post these target times on sticky notes where children can see them and when the clock shows that time, remove the sticky note and distribute the prize or activity. Prizes can include a new picture book, a pack of gum, or a new app to play on an iPad.

10. Car Bingo

Print some free Car Bingo boards for an easy way to keep kids busy and happy.  Princesspinkygirl.com provides some more specifics here.

11. Use Shower Caddies as Supply Holders

Help your kids keep track of small toys, coloring supplies, and other items by sticking shower caddies on the windows.  Details here.

12. Keep Kids Bust With an “I Spy” Bottle

What kid doesn’t love getting lost in a mesmerizing I Spy book?  Hellobee.com provides a great tutorial for how to assemble these fabulous attention keepers.

13. Use Compartment Storage Caddies as Food Trays

Use plastic compartment caddies as car-friendly food trays to prevent spills and mess.  Lookie What I Did provides a few more details.

14. Hand An iPad From the Sun Visor

Don’t have an entertainment system installed in your car?  No problem!  Simply hang an iPad from your sun visor with a specialized mount that won’t break the bank.  Mounts can be found online or in local electronics stores.

15. Use Plastic Cereal Containers As Trash Bins

Your car becomes your living space on a road trip.  Keep things clean and tidy with this idea from Princess Pinky Girl.

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