Tips for a Stress-free Road Trip with the Kids

When I think of road trips I think of summer days in high school when my friends and I would pile into my '84 VW rabbit convertible, top down and take a day trip to the beach. Now that I'm in my 30s with kids, it's not as easy to as it once was to "just drop what you're doing and let's go!" Despite that, I have, however, had many wonderful road trips with my kids – be it just a day trip to Bozeman, weekend trip to Denver or a two week road trip to California. Here are a few tricks on what and how to pack that will help your trip be less stressful and dare I say…carefree!

Tips for a Stress-free Road Trip with the Kids

  • Distraction Central - When you take a road trip with kids have a box or bag of your kids' things like an iPad, DVD player (DVDs), coloring things, travel games, favorite toys etc. to keep them busy.
  • Keep It Comfy - Don't forget pillows, special blankets, snuggle buddies, etc. to help your kids nap/sleep while away from home and in the car.
  • Fuel for the Tank - Snacks and reusable water bottles are a must! Not only does it save you from buying expensive snacks from gas stations, but they are more handy and healthy. We usually pack a collapsible cooler and fill it with fresh snacks like carrots, string cheese, lunch meats and fruits along with a reusable bag of dry good foods. I also let my kids pick out special snacks and treats for the trip, which adds to the fun and anticipation of the trip.
  • Anticipate - Here are some things that I pack in a reusable bag and keep in the backseat to keep up with my kids and whatever “sticky situations” we might encounter-
    • Baby wipes for those messy hands or face
    • Lysol wipes to clean up the inevitable sticky messes
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Roll of paper towels for wet messes
    • Plastic grocery bags (I store these in an empty Lysol wipe container for easy access and portability) to use for garbage, wet clothes etc.

  • Packing 101 - When packing for an overnight or multiple night stay for your kids, put their clothes in sets i.e. Bottoms, top, underwear, socks etc. together. It will make it easier for them to get ready and less of a suitcase mess.

Now get out there, hit the open road and enjoy!

About the author…Rebekah was born and raised in Washington and currently resides in Montana. She is a dance teacher, mother of two and a creative soul. She enjoys cooking, baking and creating with fabric.