family road trip

If you are anything like me, I’m sure that your idea of fun does not include being trapped in a car with screaming, restless children for several hours. That is not ANYBODY’s idea of fun, I hope.

In this post, I will give you some ideas on how to make your next family road trip with children more enjoyable. Keep reading for more my tips and tricks!

Snacks, snacks, and more snacks for your family road trip

If you have children, you know that they always seem to be hungry, no matter when they last ate! It is unlikely that any family has the time or the budget to be stopping multiple times at fast food restaurants and gas stations for food.

Plan ahead, and pack as many snacks as you can before your family road trip. Depending on how long your trip is, you may be able to pack sandwiches in a cooler with ice or ice packs. If not, items such as PB&J’s, goldfish crackers, and almonds are perfect to throw in a Ziploc baggy and nibble on during the ride.

Pack small, dedicated toys for the small children

Have a bag of small toys that are just for road trips. This makes them more special and small children are more likely to play with them longer because they only get to play with them during road trips.

If you know you are going on a family road trip soon, sneak away some of your children’s toys to hide away for the upcoming trip. When the kids pull them out during the ride, they will seem like new again! You can also buy some new toys. These don’t have to be super expensive either, as I find that some dollar store toys often do just the trick.

Another thing you can do that isn’t necessarily a toy is to pack some art supplies. Put together a little art kit filled with a clipboard, notebook paper, and colored pencils. I do not recommend crayons if you plan on leaving these kits in the car, as hot weather might make a melted crayon mess. For smaller children, you can even buy or print some coloring pages with their favorite characters.

Related: Best Road Trips in America

Have some electronic gadgets handy

If you have a portable DVD player, you can bring along some of your children’s favorite movies to show during your family road trip. If you are like most modern families, you do not have a portable DVD player, but you probably have a tablet, iPod, or phone. Download enough movies or shows to last for your entire road trip. Netflix has the option for you to download certain movies or shows that can be watched even while offline.

You can also download some fun games for your children to play. I have found that if you have a road trip that is especially long, you might want to pack some extra long chargers so that your gadgets don’t lose power in the middle of the trip.



A bonus trick to add to this one is to pack some headphones so that you do not have to listen to your child’s movie/game. This would also come in handy with multiple children who are watching different movies at the same time. Headphones for each child will stop any arguments over who needs to turn their volume down so that the other can hear.

Prepare for those small emergencies

It is inevitable. An emergency of some sort is bound to happen on during your family road trip, especially with small children. Be prepared for these moments. Make a special children’s emergency kit with items such as:

  • Extra clothes for each child
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Small trash bags
  • Band-aids & Neosporin
  • Pain Reliever and children’s Benedryl
  • Safety Pins
  • Wet One’s wipes and/or paper towels
  • Sun and Bug spray

These should be the basics for what you need, but feel free to add to this kit to fit your family!

There you have it! These are some of my most used tips and tricks on how to have an enjoyable family road trip with children. I can guarantee that there are so many more tips out there that families use often. Comment below with some of your own tricks or share your favorite tip from this list.

Related: Family Travel Tips to Make Your Trip Educational