Taking a Road Trip with Kids

By on July 26, 2015

Could you survive, relax and enjoy a 3,000 miles road trip with kids? Yes, you can if you have a great sense of humor and enjoy your kids at all times. After all, they are kids for a short period of time and soon you will be missing the ‘good ol days’ of loading them in your van and going on road trips.

The United States is blessed with miles and miles of beautiful highways that lead us to mountains, wetlands, rivers, coastlines, deserts and the…unknown. Most places may not be discovered if you are flying and not driving. Road trips are the best ways to travel with children because you can plan your trip around their schedule for sleep, meals and play, you can bring far more things than on a plane and you get to stop whenever you want.

Most families are seeking out ways to occupy their kids. Here are 10 fun activities you can do as a family without having to pay a dime:

  • The A to Z Game

You start the game by asking the kids to be on the look out for number plates, road signs and billboards with the letter A. They can move on to the next letter once A is found. Work them through from A to Z. The child who found all the letters first wins the game. Of course this game will show the child’s honesty and only applicable to those who knows the alphabet.

  • Listen to Stories on CDs

Before your trip, go to the public library and borrow all your children’s favorite stories on CDs. Listen to the stories while traveling. Children can pick their own favorites.

  • Types of vehicles

Before your trip, borrow books on types of vehicles. While on the road, ask each child to name the cars and trucks on the road. For example, the types of car, model, made and country of origin. What types of vehicle are most common on that highway, country roads or city?

  • Number plates and states

Look out for number plates on vehicles, how many states are represented. Which is the furthest state, have they been there, what do they know about that state?

Road Trip with Kids

  • Start a sentence and make up a story

Assign a child to start a sentence and take turns to complete the sentence and make up a story. Mom or dad can write them down or record the story with an iPad or on a smartphone. Print them out at your next hotel stop and read the stories written. Or play back the recording.

  • Plan what and where you are going to eat next

You may have already done your homework and know the location and places to stop for your next meal. Or you may prefer to look at the road signs and be on the look out for places to eat. Each child is given an assignment to pick a place to eat based on the road signs they observed. For example, a child may see Chick-fil-A and want to stop there for dinner when it is his or her turn to pick. The other children can give suggestions and help in reading the road signs.

It is also one way to understand what type of food is commonly available on road trips. Talk about healthy eating versus unhealthy eating.

  • Bring some drawing materials

The landscape changes as you travel. It is interesting to point out to children and ask them to sketch out what they see along the way. This includes the different types of trees, the color of the soil or the sky conditions (is it cloudy, raining or cloudless?). Pack along a variety of colored pencils and drawing materials that you have available at home. They could use colored pencils, crayon or pencils for this project.

  • Read

Children, four and up could start reading on their own. Provide as many books as possible on road trips for children to read. Reading books that are related to the destinations on your road trips will make it even more interesting and relevant.

For example, if you are heading to New York City, you can have books about New York City, stories that were written about life in New York City, non-fiction books on yellow cabs, Time Square, or Chinatown will be interesting for kids to read.

  • iPad, laptop, iPod

There are thousands of apps for games, learning, and reading that children could occupy their time. These little devices would save you thousands of hours of asking, ‘are we there yet’…sometimes these kids do not even have enough time to play with those devices.

Remember to bring the battery chargers and have all devices fully charged before your next destination.

  • Snacks and Drinks

Children like little snacks and drinks while traveling. Make it fun by providing cute little containers, carry-on for their snacks and drinks. A road trip is also a time to reward them with their favorite snacks and drinks. Plan the ‘menu’ ahead so they know what to expect when they are on board. Also plan some surprises along the way. We call it the mystery snack bag. They love to guess what is inside the mystery snack bag.

The next time you plan on a road trip with kids, remember to prepare ahead of time. Get your children involved in the planning the trip. It helps if they read about the destinations.

Have a safe fun road trip with your kids!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *