Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Road Trips With Kids - Must-Knows | Family Economics
Are you ready to hit the road this summer with your family? Road trips are a great way to bond but they can also become long, boring and stressful, unless you plan and prepare for success. Here are my Road Trip Must-Knows to keep happy travelers on the road.
Eating on the Road: Food can become both an expense and an issue while on a road trip. Eating out is costly and hungry tummies make cranky travelers. I suggest packing an ice chest to have snacks on-hand for hungry kids. This will also help avoid high-priced road stops, as well. Here are some of my go-to road trip food items:
• Re-useable water bottles
• Car-friendly snacks: Trail mix, pre-sliced or washed fruit and veggies, nuts, dried fruits etc. make for simple and healthy treats.
• To-go lunch: Cheese slices, lunch meats, PB&J, bread and condiments make for a quick road side lunch.
Dinning Deals: Before you leave home, compile all of your dinning deals. Search online for printable coupons and bring along any gift cards you already have to use on your road trip.
Kid Fun: Beat the boredom bug by creating fun boxes for each child. Purchase totes with lids at your local dollar store and fill them with fun items to entertain your children during your road trip. Some of the toys and items I always include are:
• Colored pencils
• Pads of paper
• Small coloring and puzzle books
• Small toys
• Playing cards
• Pipe cleaners
• Reading books
• Audio books
• CD or MP3 player
• Travel board games
• Stickers and sticker books
• Finger puppets
• Magnetic drawing toys
Silence is Golden: Bring headphones for your kids so that they can listen to their CDs, play their video games or watch DVDs without everyone having to listen in on their road entertainment.
Car games: Playing the classic road trip games can pass the time away quickly. Some we play with my family are:
• I-Spy, where everyone in the car tries to guess what one designated family member is looking at.
• Alphabet License Plate game, where the passenger to find all the letters of the alphabet in order on license plates wins.
• Hat or No Hat, where you guess if the driver of a truck ahead is wearing one or not when you pass.
For more family friendly car games and fun click here.
End the backseat battles: Bring a portable timer for road trips and use it for the times when your kids are in need of sharing a toy, game, book, etc. You can arbitrate any argument by setting the timer for the number of minutes each kid gets to take a turn.
Family Memories: Challenge your family to create a road trip keepsake album. Fill it with drawings, items you find during your travels such as brochures, postcards from special stops, even leaves and wrappers of favorite eaten treats. Everyone can help in the daily writing about the places you have seen, things you have done and fun road trip memories you have made.
Don’t’ Forget the MUST-HAVES: Create a Travel box filled with the items you may need during your road trip such as:
• Anti-bacterial wipes
• Hand sanitizer
• Plastic garbage bags
• Extra batteries
• Extra earphones
• A flashlight
• Adhesive bandages
• Pain reliever for all ages
• Ziploc® Brand bags in various sizes for creating snack bags, saving souvenirs or even to place dirty or wet clothing and shoes in
What are your road trip tips for your family?