Whether you’re going just a few towns away or spending hours traveling to visit family this holiday season, any amount of time in the car can be challenging. Kids are often thrown off their regular schedule and confined to a tighter space, leaving them less than agreeable for hours on end. However, road trips are also great opportunities to make unforgettable memories with your family. It just takes a little preparation and planning!
Before heading out, set expectations with your kids so they at least know that they’ll be in the car for a long time. They may not fully understand, but it may save you from answering “how much longer” a few times.
4 Ways to Keep Kids Busy in the Car While Traveling
Check out these tips for keeping kids of all ages entertained during your time on the road:
Mix up your entertainment
In addition to downloading movies and games, try bringing along a variety of activities to keep your kids entertained longer. Download some Christmas movies or fun family-friendly podcasts for the whole car. Pack up coloring books, stuffed animals, and handheld games to keep things fresh. These holiday road trip printables include a scavenger hunt, the license plate game, and a bingo activity for older kids to enjoy. Keep plenty of options on hand to cut down on boredom and keep your kids occupied.
If you’re traveling during the holidays, there are plenty of to watch. You can also watch educational titles you can feel good about.
Pack healthy snack options
Keep appetites satisfied with some healthy snacks. While road trips are the perfect time to indulge in sugary and salty junk foods, those snack options can create sugar rushes (and crashes). Try packing a cooler with fresh fruits and veggies like apple wedges or baby carrots. Popcorn, crackers, trail mix, granola bars, fruit snacks, and jerky are great healthy options for your trip.
Plan out kid-friendly stops
Before heading out, do some research to find some kid-friendly stops along your route. Look for special attractions, historical landmarks, parks, playgrounds, and kid-friendly restaurants. Plan to stop every few hours to stretch your legs and run some energy out.
Stock up on surprise toys
Take a trip to the dollar store and pick up a few surprise toys to keep in the car. Save these for when times are desperate and surprise your kids with a new source of entertainment. These can be anything from stickers to yoyos and although small, they can save you some sanity.
The holidays can be quite chaotic but your travel doesn’t have to be. Of course, there will be tantrums and missed exits but keep a positive attitude and remember that you get to spend precious time with those you love most!