A. How To Survive A Long Car Ride With Kids (12 Hour Road Trip With Kids)
The best way to start your vacation right is to make sure you have some important things planned to keep your children entertained during the long drive. It is better for the whole family if the children enjoy the trip as much as their parents do. Every year we take at least one extra long drive in the car and our children know when it is time to pack for the long haul. We can usually do a 12 hour drive in one day. But some days we did up to 15 hours in the car! Here are some great ideas for road trips with kids!
When you think you’ve packed enough snacks…. pack even more! We try to bring fresh vegetables, fruits, sandwiches, slices of cheese, yogurt drinks, and other foods that take a good part of the day. We cut cheese, cucumber, salami and crackers for a ride with the kids. We store all of our groceries in a softshell cooler with ice packs to keep them cool. But we also have granola bars, cookies, applesauce, etc. that never spoil. Like us, children seem to eat more while they’re in the car. We always try to find a great picnic spot next door for lunch and let the kids run while they eat. It’s one of our kids’ road trip ideas!
2. Reusable water bottle
In fact, I take an empty water bottle and fill it with bottled water, juice boxes, drive-thru drinks, etc. as needed, this only prevents or at least avoids spilling of any kind of liquid. Make sure the children have used the water bottle before the trip so that they are familiar with it and have no trouble drinking. These are some of our favorite kids water bottles that we have used over the years.
3. Fun car activities with a kid’s backpack
For every family car ride, you need to have some entertainment for the kids. Every child can bring their backpack for their books, toys, crayons, markers, stickers and coloring books, etc. We also bring a clipboard so kids have a hard surface to color / draw with. I usually put on their backpacks and don’t let them see what’s inside until they get in the car. Something fun to discover and try out during the long drive. There are a few staples we always bring with us, and I add a few new items, usually at a dollar store to do something new on a long drive.
4. Road trip games
Do you often wonder how to keep a child entertained on a long drive? Well, games can help. Traveling by car with kids can be a great opportunity for kids to play with some car driving games. Our kids love to play games where we play in the front seat. Our favorites are Travel Bingo, I Spy, the License Plate Game, and the Alphabet Game. This playbook is a good idea and always a favorite with our children in the car and helps on long car trips with the children. Make your children’s long car journey more fun with fun games and ideas.
5. Enjoy the travel time with the family
Often times our lives are insanely busy and we just don’t stop. We like very long car journeys because we actually have to be together in a very small space. Listening to the story your kids are talking about and asking trigger questions that make them more engaging in the conversation is one of the best parts of a road trip with kids. They have been little for so long so stop them.
6. Electronics for driving
Yes, mom and dad sometimes need a little break when they are driving with the children. We’ve reduced the number of electronics and kept things simple. They watch movies, TV shows and play games on Ipads. We download our favorite travel movies from iTunes or Netflix before we leave. We usually buy a new film for the long drive with the kids so they can focus on something new.
7. Headphones for road trips
In addition to electronics, every child needs high-quality headphones for the children. This only helps the kids enjoy the movie and allows the parents to have some rest during the long trip. This also helps the driver focus on specific stretches of the journey.
8. Toilet breaks
We call them bath parades! Every time we go to refuel / eat / etc., the children go to the bathroom whether they have to or not. If they were wearing diapers, we changed them every time we stopped. It’s a good route for them too. When our kids were potty training, we also brought their foldable potty training seat so they wouldn’t freak out about the variety of toilets on the street.
9. Pack of toilet paper and baby wipes
When traveling with small children, they can sometimes not wait until the next rest stop or gas station. So toilet paper is always helpful if you have to make an emergency stop on the side of the road. Don’t forget to pack the hand disinfectant too!
10. Small blanket and pillow
We usually bring a little blanket for each of them, cover them up so they can snuggle up and maybe even take a few naps. In fact, they were easier to travel with when they were babies and minors as they napped frequently. The older they get, the less sleep they sleep, but they still love the comfort of their blankets. We also bring these great travel pillows that are easy to squeeze and pack. There are also our favorite pillows on our printable camping list!
11. Additional considerations for babies
When my children were babies, I sat in the back seat with them most of the trip. Their seats were upside down so I found it easier to put them in when they could see me. In addition, it is much easier to bottle feed, feed snacks, and make sure they are comfortable; easier to read and “entertain” the books.
12. Have we already arrived?
Never failing, a 15-minute drive – this is the question children ask themselves on long journeys with children! We measure the time remaining with metrics that children can understand, such as: B. the number of movies, after dinner, when it is dark or when we start to see mountains. Things they can snag over time as a 12-hour drive can be extremely long for kids. We also interrupt the journey and stop for a children’s excursion in special places not far from the main route. If there happens to be a little hike, a waterfall, or a cool spot, we’ll take the detour to break the route and create some adventure.
a. What not to do on a long drive with children
- On the kid’s trip, try to keep sweets and sugary snacks to a minimum
- Don’t overpack the toys, make sure everything makes sense when you travel with the kids
- Keep the basics when packing your clothes and equipment on children’s trips
13. Tips for children when driving and tips for long car journeys
We hope you’ve found some useful tips for your next long family outing. Your kids will have certain things that work for them and may be a little different. The more often you take them on long car journeys, the better they can escape them. Our children now know that if we pack the car the night before, a big trip is planned for the next day. These tips are also good for a 12 hour outing with 1 year olds!
B. Tips For Taking A Road Trip With Kids
Road trips are becoming increasingly popular for American families as a vacation spot. In fact, a 2019 study by OnePoll commissioned by Ford found that 73 percent of Americans would rather travel by car than fly. It’s often cheaper to drive, not to mention it’s easier to navigate chaotic airports, especially if you’re traveling with kids.
But while a long summer trip can be a great bonding experience, spending time together in a car definitely has its challenges. Younger children can get bored and restless sitting in long stretches of the dreary landscape, and eating too long a snack of snacks can make anyone feel lethargic and irritable. Here are some proven tips parents swear by to make traveling less stressful and more fun for the whole family.
1. Use mobile apps for planning and entertainment
Having the right apps on hand can make “meh” family vacations wonderful. For parents, there are DealNews for Coupons and Foodspotting to help you find new restaurants that local guides and “Top 10” lists haven’t found (think: less crowds). Hotels.com is essential for evaluating accommodations and attractions for children. You can conveniently book your stays using the free app. For music, Spotify and YouTube have thousands of songs and playlists for kids.
The back seat team can indulge in mobile games like popular favorites: Minecraft, Animal Crossing, Super Mario Run, and more. Car travel-specific mobile games include Smule, a karaoke app, Road Trip Bingo, Geo Touch (a fun but educational app with a focus on geography), and Travel Games for Car Travel, a collection of buggy travel classics like Slug a Bug and Cloud Shapes.
2. Play offline car games
People took road trips long before the advent of phones or iPads, and you can bet that parents downplayed the backseat battles with variations of the same classic car games that are still played today.
I Spy is a travel staple. The first player says, “I see something with my little eye …” and then gives a hint of something they can see that other players should be looking for. Another popular pastime is the Alphabet Game, in which players have to find objects that start with each letter of the alphabet. For cross-border travel, playing the State License Plate Game is a great way to pass the time and help school kids learn the names of the states. To play, make a list of all 50 states, then have your kids try to find a car with each state’s license plate, like a backseat version of a treasure hunt.
3. Collect travel toys and tools for children
While boredom in the back seat can be a major issue when traveling with kids, finding ways to avoid clutter and excessive noise can also be a challenge. Fortunately, there are some car toys and organizational gadgets that can make them a little more manageable.
In terms of organization, Target can provide you with bags, trash cans, and collapsible plates to make it easier to organize. Otherwise, some resort to using bath caddies for meals on the go or placing cupcake liners on cup holders to keep them clean.
4. Coping with seasickness
Speaking of clutter, many children are prone to getting car sick, which can be another challenge. If you suspect someone will get seasick in the vehicle, it is a good idea to travel with some disposable (medical grade if possible) bags. But before reaching for them, try to avoid seasickness with ginger- or peppermint-based foods, which have been clinically proven to help prevent nausea, and put the seasick passenger in the front seat to see the horizon. The reason motorists don’t get seasick easily is because driving itself requires motor skills. The front seat also has less movement than the back of the car. While some foods can help with nausea, eating less generally helps prevent disease. Spicy food, for example, can also irritate the feeling.
5. Find alternatives to fast food
Fast-casual chain restaurants are relatively cheap and plentiful, making it easy to fall into the fast-food round while on vacation. However, with a little planning, you can find healthier, cheaper options that kids are sure to enjoy. Alternatively, keep a refrigerator full of picnic supplies, healthy snacks, and low-sugar drinks so that you are not always at the mercy of roadside stops. Choose a scenic pull-off to stop and enjoy an invigorating workout while straightening your legs.
6. Stop to freshen up
Remember, it’s not all about fate. Make regular stops at quirky street attractions like Amarillo’s Cadillac Ranch, Utah’s dinosaur footprints, or extraterrestrial artifacts in Roswell, New Mexico. These short breaks can make the trip longer, but they are always memorable and provide opportunities for exercise sessions that are essential for children.
7. Visit national parks
The best family outing introduces your children to the natural beauty and diversity of the United States, be it the arid deserts of the Southwest, the lush pine forests of the Pacific Northwest, the beaches of the east coast, or the mountains of Colorado. Find out which national parks might be near your itinerary, and make an effort to stop and explore. Historian Wallace Stegner once called the national park system “America’s best idea”. There are more than 400 spread across the country, with more than half of the states having at least one.