Many people hit the roads during the holiday season. Whether a short drive across the town or a cross country haul, driving to see your family is a huge part of the holidays. Road trips before kids look a lot different from road trips with kids and I am not just talking about the extra bathroom breaks! Here are some road trip hacks for families to make your journey easier.
This post is brought to you by Autotrader, the leading authority in car buying. All opinions expressed are my own. We bring you tips to keep your little ones entertained, clean and fed during your time in the car. Autotrader provided a Happy Kids, Happy Ride Kit for review and a reader giveaway.
7 Road Trip Hacks For Families
As Tara Trompeter, managing editor at Autotrader says, “Family time in the car can be a great opportunity for making memories — or a recipe for grunts and grumbles. A little bit of planning ahead before you get on the road will go a long way toward filling the experience with more fun and laughter for everyone involved.” I agree completely. As long as you prepare beforehand, family road trips can actually be a lot of fun! So here are my best road trip hacks for families.
- Make Sure Your Car Is Ready
When you have kids in the car, you don’t want to have to make any additional stops! So go ahead and make sure your car is fully ready to go a few days before your family road trip. Fill up with gas, check the wear and pressure on your tires, and be sure your fluids (oil, coolant and wiper fluid) are topped off. This one is not only a time saver later, it is also a safety priority. If you intend to use a cargo carrier, make sure your crossbars are installed.
- Pack Road-Friendly Snacks And Drinks
When your kids start to whine or get irritable with one another, they are often just hungry. Have some healthy snacks for on the go available in the car so you don’t have to stop. Also make sure your have a trash bag or garbage container so you can keep unfinished food from turning into a mess. Autotrader also has some great Mom Hacks to help parents hit the road hassle-free this holiday season such as empty coffee creamer bottles into spill-proof containers for your kids’ favorite cereal or chips.
- Prepare For Motion Sickness
You may be lucky enough to skip this one but many young children can get motion sickness in the car. Peppermint and ginger are great for calming nausea so you may want to carry some essential oils, peppermint gum, or ginger chews. You may also want to load the car with some handy tupperware bowls with snap on lids just in case they feel it coming on and wet wipes.
- Map Out Fun Stops
Check your route for family-friendly stops along the way such as a zoo, park or other tourist destination to give kids something to look forward to while breaking the trip into manageable pieces.
- Bring Favorite Toys And Art Supplies
Coloring books and crayons are great for keeping kids entertained just make sure you have a container to hold the crayons neatly such as an old diaper wipe box. Books are great but only if your child is not prone to motion sickness. Mad Lib books (affiliate link) are also fun activity books for the road trip. My son has to have a few stuffed animals or action figures because he loves pretend play. Cards with a rubber band wrapped around them or in a plastic bag are also great for road trips. Use the AutoTrader Mom Hack to get it all organized into a tote and hang it from the back of the front seat with a carabiner!
- Play Some Fun Road Trip Games
Fun road trip games include Beetles and Bugs, 20 Questions, Act It Out, I Spy, Memory. You can find road trip game descriptions and rules here.
- Resort To Technology
Some road trips are so long that you may have to resort to technology. Many new cars have features like built-in screens and DVD players but if your car doesn’t come equipped with these, don’t fret. Mine doesn’t either! Consider bringing along a handheld device such as a phone or tablet on which little ones can play games or watch videos. Have these fully charged before you leave and bring a charger along with you too.
I hope these road trip hacks for families help you have a smooth fun family road trip to your destination. Don’t forget to plan for extra travel time because there will likely be some unexpected stops! Also, enter to win this Autotrader Happy Kids, Happy Ride Kit for an extra smooth road trip.
Road Trip Kit Giveaway
One lucky reader will win one Autotrader Happy Kids, Happy Ride Kit. ($75 Value) This includes:
- USB Charger
- $25 Visa gift card
- Seat Back Organizer
- Selfie Stick
- First Aid Kit
- Single-use Wet Wipes
Giveaway Dates: December 14- December 28, 2015 Midnight CST
How to Enter: Enter through Giveaway Tools- just sign into the widget and click the entries you want to complete (comment or share).
Winner announced above in the Giveaway Tools widget on December 29, 2015. Winner will be selected through Giveaway Tools and I will notify by email. Winner must respond within 4 days or the prize will be forfeited and alternate winner will be chosen. Your email will not be shown and will be kept private.
Are you planning a road trip sometime soon? Do you have any road trip hacks for families that work well for you?