road trip tips and tricks with kids
from a Mom of 7
It’s almost summer and for us that means it’s time to hit the road! Being a big family it’s more economical for us to road trip to places we want to explore rather than flying domestically even with the higher gas prices. Traveling with 7 children under 12 is challenging and there is no easy way to do it but it’s worth it! Today I’m sharing some tips and tricks to make road tripping wjth kids easier. Scroll on down to see what I do from packing to snacking!
**This post contains some affiliate links and all opinions and ideas are my own. I may receive a small commission if you use my links at no cost to you which helps this Mama out!
Tip #1 – Plan It
Exploring, learning and seeing new things with my children makes traveling worth it. We have traveled a lot with our children from the time they were born although now that my older children are involved in sports almost year round it has given us a narrower window to travel.
With kids in tow things can be unpredictable so having a good plan with room for adjustments or back ups is always a good idea. I like to sit down and plan out the trip based on our interests of where we want to go, hotel accommodations, and availability. I typically plan one outing or place per day so the rest is for rest, travel or extra play. Use this itinerary template to get you started!
Tip #2- Easy Activities
Quiet activities are my savior while driving on long trips with my kids but I have to limit the clutter or things get out of control with everything spread out in the car. I’m not saying I don’t find legos, food crumbs, crayons and etc in the car seats, floor and etc but it does help using containers to try and contain the mess.
My older kids like looking for license plates from all the states and marking off the states we drive to or through to keep track of where we are headed. My younger ones aren’t ready for that so they like to do search and find activity sheets.
Mom tip: Put these activity sheets inside sheet protectors and use dry erase or erasable crayons, markers or pens so they can be reused and avoid finding sheets of paper all over the car! Check out my FREE printables below to take on your next road trip!
Tip #4 – Packing Tip
I like to pack by day so I can easily get their clothes out for my younger children, my middle children don’t need to ask me and my older children do this on their own.
I can also grab one from each bag to put into an overnight bag if we pull in late to our hotel rather than unload the entire car.
This is also handy when you have an accident and need to find a change of clothes quickly!
Tip #5 – Audio Books
My children love reading but two of 7 get car sick so audio books have been a family favorite. Choosing an audio book everyone is happy listening to can be challenging but doable. Pod casts have been something I’m looking to as well!
There are lots of free apps available and some pair with your public library card. Just be careful downloading from less reputable sites.
Our favorite apps are:
-Hoopla: digital media service that works via your local public library. Once you download the app, create your account by inputting your library card and start listening! Each month has a limit of how many titles can be borrowed and each library is different so check if yours subscribes to this service.
-Libby by OverDrive: digital media collection that works with your local public library card. Download the app, create an account and click to reserve the titles you would like to digitally check out.
-Audible: they have a free collection of audiobooks you can download through your Amazon account!
Wireless bluetooth headphones have worked great for us so there are no cords and the older kids can listen to an audio book or play on their kindles while the younger ones nap.
For more road trip tips check out these blogs:
Danielle – Parenting Hack: Road trip edition