Road Tripping with Kids - Tips to Keep You Sane

1:13 PM

This post brought to you by Wamart. All opinions are 100% mine.


Last year, when I thought about climbing behind the wheel of Bob the van, and heading out for a 50 day road trip with four boys in the backseat, I was more than a little nervous. Would they behave, would I be tempted to throw them out the window? In my head I had visions of us singing a rendition of "On The Road Again" and laughing merrily all the way. Unfortunately, things rarely turn out like they are in my head, so I had to have a real plan. The tips below are some that I used on our 50 day summer road trip last year, and ones I will be using again on our 70 day road trip this summer.

Have Entertainment Available

By this, I do not necessarily mean electronics. In fact, my children were unplugged during our entire 50 day camping trip. I find that they actually fight and argue more when I let them have electronics in the car. Sing-a-Long CD's, books on tape, books and fun car games like road trip bingo are all great ways to keep the kids occupied, which will give them less time to think about whining or starting fights with each other.

Make Them Comfortable

A comfortable child is  happy child. That's why, when we pack up the car for an extended trip, I make sure the boys have their pillows and blankets, but comfort goes further than that. One item I like to bring with us are sun shades that have suction cups on the back. You can suction these onto the windows to keep the sun out. Having easy access to a drink and other items your kids will need regularly goes a long way in keeping them comfortable and happy too.

Stop Often

As adults, we only think of getting to our final destination as quickly as possible. We all grew up hearing our parents warn that they were "Not going to stop." However, a short 10 minute break at a rest stop every so often helps the kids burn off some energy, and will make your vehicle a much more pleasant place to be.

Pack Snacks

My boys love road trips because they know they come with delicious snacks. As much as we hate to admit it, snacks work as a sort of boredom buster when it comes to road trips. One of the boys favorite snacks is pudding. New Super Snack Packs® available at Walmart make great individually packaged road trip snacks. They seem like a treat to the kids, and as much as I hate to admit it, have been used as a bribe for good behavior on a few occassions. The new bigger Super Snack Pack size with 60% more pudding per cup, means that they are plenty big enough to fill kids up, and they come in three great flavors, chocolate, vanilla and chocolate/vanilla. Right now, you can even get a $1 off coupon to get them for less.

Road tripping with kids doesn't have to be a disaster. It is possible to go on extended trips with kids in the car and not have it turn into a screaming, fighting mess. Have a road trip tip to share? Feel free to leave it in the comment section below.

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22 comments

  1. Great tips for sure. We don't have any kids at moment but I am sure all of these help a ton. We always pack snacks, it saves a lot of money and time from stopping!

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  2. We are going to be road tripping a LOT as a family, and well…I need all the help I can get! I want to get a car specifically for road trips so we have a more fun and comfy time. I sometimes forget snacks (who does that? It's like the most important thing!)

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  3. You're more of an optimist than me, lol. I head out with the kids and expect pure chaos, so I'm pleasantly surprised when it's only half chaos. Thanks for the tips!

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  4. Great tips. I completely agree with the stop often tip. We try to find weird/quirky roadside attractions to visit along the way. it gives them something to look forward to and makes a great photo op.

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  5. Wonderful tips ~ I hope to go on plenty of road trips this year! I'm hoping my next stop will be the Bell Witch Cave in Tennessee - has a very interesting back-story!

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  6. Yes, I would agree all 4 are essential to a smooth trip.

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  7. Great tips! Some of mine are: Make sure they pee before they go. Window Markers make for great fun. Plan for a midway break if it is a long trip.

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  8. We stop very often due to my daughter having an itsy-bitsy bladder and snacks are always a must. I never thought to bring pudding though!

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  9. The stop often is what my husband has a problem with, but definitely agree you need to bring entertainment.

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  10. These are some great tips as we're getting ready for a road trip.

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  11. If anyone has it figured out by now, it's you! Letting them get their wiggles out is a good idea. I also love that you don't always go the easy route with gadgets.

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  12. Great tips! I'd love to do more road trips with the family.

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  13. Those are some great tips! My kids actually do really well on road trips.

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  14. Super tips! Having only one child, road trips took on a different meaning because it was more often "I'm Bored" than fighting or anything like that. I remember when I was a kid, my siblings and I loved using those Mad Libs books when we took road trips. There was always a lot of laughing and silliness when we filled those blanks out and then read them back to each other :)

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  15. Yes some terrific tips. While we plan to go away for a road trip this coming Christmas holidays with our 2 girls, l do not think we would survive 50 days, We are thinking 10 - 14 days will be about right for us.

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  16. These are some great ideas for keeping your sanity. I don't know how my parents did it with four kids!

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  17. Yes, great tips! I learned the hard way with the boychild!!

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  18. Awesome post, thanks for sharing this post..

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  19. I agree with Liz, you are my go to expert on road trip ideas/tips with kids!

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  20. Snacks and entertainment. It's a must have for us.

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  21. I remember playing "slug bug" as a kid where you would punch someone if you saw a Volkswagen Beetle as you were driving down the road. My sisters did not like that game.

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