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What better way to create memories than by traveling with kids to explore new places? But how quickly the excitement fades when the umpteenth “Are we there yet?” is shouted from the backseat! Luckily, with some expert planning, your road trip won’t have to become a test of patience.
From packing the best portable DVD player to ensuring those apple juice boxes stay cold, we’ve got a curated list of ideas to help keep kids — and parents — happy campers while exploring the open road.
Pack A Cooler
Only going a few hours away? We still recommend you pack a cooler because when traveling with kids, having ready-to-eat food and beverages on hand is an absolute must. Little ones want snacks at all hours of the day, from an hour after breakfast to the second they jump out of the ocean, so having an assortment of cheese sticks, fruit and yogurts ready to dish out will make everyone’s day a little brighter. No one wants to be hangry on a road trip.
Create A Spot For Trash
What is it about being a parent that makes you the go-to person to hand wrappers back to? This can be especially frustrating when you’re in the car and have nowhere to stash it, because cars can get dirty quickly. Bring along an empty plastic bag or purchase a car trash can to stash straw wrappers and dirty napkins in, and then empty it at gas stations or rest areas. (To keep hands and faces clean, store a pack of baby wipes in your glove compartment while you’re at it.)
Stock Up On Activities
Several activities can make car travel fun for kiddos, like unwrapping a set of new window markers to travel bingo games or conversation starter cards. Packing a few new-to-them activities to break out along the way can help the time pass by.
Pack your child a backpack filled with books and activities in the backseat, or keep items hidden so there’s an element of surprise along the way. Art projects, like mess-free Model Magic, reusable sticker pads and magnetic doodle boards are also easy ways to keep kids entertained.
Plan For Downtime
Playing movies in the backseat is another great way to breeze through a road trip. Pop in your kids’ favorite movies or surprise them with new ones. If you have multiple children with different tastes, pack several options along with headphones. You’ll feel like the most brilliant parent ever when you’re cruising down the highway and enjoying your own quiet downtime.
If you’re in the market for a new device, check out our selection of the best portable DVD players that’s been vetted by a team of experts.
The bonus to taking all of these items with you is that they can be beneficial during your stay as well. Kids can wind down before naptime by watching their favorite show, and your cooler will be a great spot to stash restaurant leftovers or to tote along on a picnic. Happy travels!