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Does the phrase “road trip” conjure up images of kids fighting and food fights in the back seat. You’re probably not alone there. Road trips have so much potential for fun, but they also have equal potential for disaster. Close quarters and long stretches of road create the perfect environment for kids to get bored and wreak havoc on your peace. It’s so important to keep those kids entertained on the road.
If you’re only traveling with one child, you won’t have backseat fight club, but you will have to work harder to keep your child entertained.
The younger your kids are, the more likely they are to get bored on a road trip, so plan accordingly. If you have toddlers, plan plenty of things to keep them entertained. Always plan more than you think you’ll need because the kids will inevitably turn their noses up at a few of your options.
Here are a few ideas to keep your kiddo entertained on the road.
Bring lots of snacks
Let’s be real. Food isn’t just for nourishment. Sometimes, like in the case of a long road trip, it can also provide some level of entertainment. Think about how you feel when the flight attendant comes around with peanuts or chips. It doesn’t matter whether you’re hungry. You’re just happy for the distraction.
Bring a variety of snacks to keep things interesting. And you may even want to reserve an especially decadent snack for good behavior.
Related: How to Eat Healthy on the Road
Plan road trip games
Did you ever play I spy as a kid? Share this tradition with your children when you’re on the road. Of course, that’s not the only game in town. Make a list of fun games you can play on your road trip. You’ll enjoy bonding time and pass the time simultaneously.
Here are some ideas for fun road trip games:
• Would you rather?
• Road trip scavenger hunt
• Mad Libs
• Road trip BINGO
• 20 questions
• License plate game
Related: Road Trip Games for the Whole Family
Plan fun pitstops
If you’re on an especially long road trip, plan fun stops that the kids will enjoy. You can visit a pool, a park or a children’s museum that’s not too far off the beaten path. Even though the trip is for the kiddos, it’ll be good for everyone to get out and stretch their legs for an extended period.
Let the kids help
As you plan your road trip, ask your kids for their input. You can have kids help with snack ideas and prep, pitstop ideas and road trip games. They’re less likely to turn down an idea that they came up with themselves, so letting them help may just save your sanity. Disclaimer: There are no guarantees here.
As you all pile into your family-friendly car with snacks and games aplenty, things can quickly get out of hand. Make a plan to become organized and get everyone on board. Use car and trunk organizers to keep things you’ll need handy. And make a concerted effort to empty out junk from the car at every stop. Even if it’s just a short potty break, you probably have accumulated at least one piece of trash that you can dump.
Create an epic playlist
What do all great movies have in common? No, it’s not a good plot. Sometimes the funniest and most entertaining movies have terrible plots. It’s the soundtrack. All great movies have great soundtracks.
Similarly, you’ll need an epic playlist to highlight all the moments of your amazing family road trip. Try to include something for everyone. Movie soundtracks usually provide a good balance between kid-friendly and adult-approved songs. Consider the soundtrack to Moana, Trolls or Sing.
Related: All American Road Trip Playlist
Follow these tips to keep the kiddos entertained and your next road trip is sure to be a success.