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Road Trip 101 The Best Tips for Traveling with Young Kids

I know what you’re imagining: kids crammed into the back of a hot car for hours, picking fights, complaining of boredom, and needing the bathroom every five miles. This might sound like your worst nightmare, but road trips are actually one of the best ways to spend quality time with your family, save money on travel, and see the sights at the same time. Here’s a list of tips and tricks to help you on the road!

When getting ready to travel, here are some ways to make the back of your car a fun place for your kids to play.

1.  Use cookie trays on kids laps as mini tables. The edges can catch coloring pencils or crayons, and keep the mess to a minimum. Put it on top of a pillow and you’re good to go!

2.  Use shoe organizers attached to the back of headsets to store toys, games, and snacks.

3.  Use shower caddies with suction cups and attach them to windows to keep art supplies in easy reach.

4.  Get washable paint pens for your kids to draw on the window panes – just wipe off art and start again!

5.  Create a scavenger hunt or bingo sheet for your kids to fill out – the first one to fill out the sheet gets a prize. You can use state license plates, farm animals, landmarks and more.

6.  Use empty plastic containers (like old spice bottles or plastic jars) for snacks, crayon holders, or for small toys.There are also plenty of tech toys to keep your kids entertained. You could hang an iPad on the back of the headrest so the kids can watch movies.

There are also plenty of tech toys to keep your kids entertained.

You could hang an iPad on the back of the headrest so the kids can watch movies, or giving them handheld game consoles. Or, you could all listen to an audio book. Choosing a book that the whole family will love gives the driver something to entertain them in the front seat, and the kids something to listen to as the occupy themselves in the backseat.

The family road trip is not about the destination, but about the stops along the way.

There’s a stop for everyone out there on the road, including National Parks, tourist attractions, and beautiful city skylines.

Here are a few ways to experience them:

1.  Hate the idea of being cooped up in the car for long periods of time? Plan your stops around hiking trails. That way, everyone can get out of the car, stretch their legs, and explore a new place every day.

2.  Don’t want to spend the night in an expensive city hotel? Book your stay outside the city limits, but plan your lunch or dinner stop at a restaurant in the city. The family gets to explore and experience the urban lifestyle without having to pay the urban price tag.

3.  Before you travel, research the states you’ll be driving through and make a list of the top attractions. Vote as a family on which ones you’ll see, making sure that everyone gets to see something the excites them. That way, the trip isn’t a boring wait to get to the destination, but an exciting adventure from one sight to the next, with each person getting to see something fun along the way.

Whether you’re driving an hour to grandmas, or across the country for a long haul trip, keeping the kids occupied in the backseat and having activities to look forward to each day can make the whole vacation more fun for all.

Featured image via royalty-free stock photo
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