My family just got back from a two week road trip across the U.S.! We started in Michigan and traveled all the way to California and back stopping at most of the big National Forests and sites to see. This has been a trip that we have wanted to do for years and decided about a month ago that we were going to do it. Having two kids this road trip could have ended up a nightmare…. spending this much time together in close quarters but luckily it actually ended up being a good time! I’ve come up with some of the top tips for surviving road trips with kids that we used!
- Pack things for them to do. Each of my children have a kindle and we made sure that these were charged and we had lots of games and books on them that do no require internet. Also be sure to NOT forget a car charger! My kids also each packed a couple books to read along the way.
- Create a Roadtrip Binder. This was an absolute lifesaver on this trip. We found printable games and puzzles on the internet to print off and I laminated these and put them in a binder for each child. They had games like I-spy and Car Bingo to play and because I laminated them they could use them over and over again with a dry erase marker. I also printed off traveling journal pages for them to fill out about each day of our trip that would allow them to remember details from each day.
- Pack Snacks. Be sure to pack quite a few snacks because you never know how long you will be in the car before you find a restaurant. I was completely shocked that we could drive for HOURS on the highway before we would ever come to a town to find a meal. Here in Michigan you hit a town with a restaurant every couple minutes but there were places out west that we literally would drive for hours before finding a town!
- If possible give kids their own space. I know that this may not be possible but if you are traveling in something like an SUV or Van with 3rd row seating be sure to use it so that the kids can separate and have their own space.
- Bring a Pillow and Blanket for the car. My kids ended up falling asleep practically everyday between stops because they were exhausted from the heat and all the walking. Having a pillow and blanket they can use in the car was a huge lifesaver.