Skip to Content

How to make your next road trip with kids amazing

Dreading your road trip with kids? Don’t worry, these 5 tips for traveling with kids will help you enjoy the ride!5 Best Tips for traveling with kids. From Toddlers to Teenagers a long car ride can be boring. Check out how we keep the wiggles at bay, and even have some fun on our road trip!

Road Trip With Kids

Travel season is right around the corner. For us, being a Military Family, that means a lot of car rides and sore butts.  With our average car ride being around 7 hours, at least 7 times a year, I have learned a thing or two when it comes to surviving a road trip with kids.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Timing Is Everything When Traveling With Kids

By this I don’t mean pick a time, I mean really look at when to leave. Find out if you will be hitting a major city at rush hour. It isn’t worth leaving at 6:00 AM if this causes you to be stuck in traffic for an hour because you hit St. Louis. However, I DO suggest leaving early. Even if the kiddos are excited they are more likely to stay calm and relaxed for the first leg of the trip. Take full advantage of this!


Choose the right road trip snacks

If you are going on a long-distance road trip with kids, you will have to pack snacks. This might be where I have learned the most from trial and error!! This is where my ‘reading every label’ days have really paid off! If you want to maintain some sort of sanity, avoid letting them pick up HoHo’s and Twinkies for the ride. Loading them with sugar, then expecting them to have an “inside voice” or sit still…not gonna happen. Also, steer clear of artificial colors in food. There are many studies that link artificial colors to hyperactivity, you can check one out here.  Car rides and the wiggles don’t mix well.5 Best Tips for traveling with kids. From Toddlers to Teenagers a long car ride can be boring. Check out how we keep the wiggles at bay, and even have some fun on our road trip!

When You Are Road Tripping With Kids -Don’t Down the Drinks

The same rules as the munchies apply here. Stay away from loads of sugar, caffeine, and colors. Water. That is all my kids have in the car. We also keep the water in the front seat with the adults. If it’s sitting with us, we can control the liquid intake.  They get enough to stay hydrated, but they’re not downing a whole bottle in five minutes.

Less drinks=less bathroom breaks.

Traveling with younger ones? Check out these tips for surviving a road trip with Toddlers!

Get Out for Lunch

This might just be the most important one of the tips for traveling with kids. Plan ahead and pack lunch. We usually do sandwiches, carrot sticks, and apples. Find a Rest Stop to have your lunch. Get Out of the car. Let them get out of the car and run around, play, be loud, & stretch! You too! Being stuck in a car all day gets exhausting for Everyone involved. This will give you all a chance to blow off some energy. Since they are right off the interstate. You won’t even lose much time. It will be well worth it when you can pile back in the car, and have some good quiet time again. ***Don’t forget to use the restrooms before getting back on the road!

Find Fun Travel Activities for Kids

We have all heard this one. Yes, there are tablets & portable game systems… but those batteries can die. We also don’t like their faces in tablets the whole time. The boys are always in charge of packing up backpacks for the ride. They make sure to have at least one reading book, colors, coloring books, & a few action figures.

We block off ‘quiet time’ during the ride. Don’t make the quiet times too long, we have 15-20 mins that they pull out a book to read. 5 Best Tips for traveling with kids. From Toddlers to Teenagers a long car ride can be boring. Check out how we keep the wiggles at bay, and even have some fun on our road trip!I also always bring something New for the ride. A new coloring book or activity. It will hold their attention longer if it is new.

Play Games or even sing songs… (does anyone do that anymore??). Anything that gets the whole car interacting together. It can really help the time pass by.

Check out our collection of printable road trip games! From bingo to I spy, there is something for everyone!5 Best Tips for traveling with kids. From Toddlers to Teenagers a long car ride can be boring. Check out how we keep the wiggles at bay, and even have some fun on our road trip!

Whether it is a 3-hour trip to visit Grandma or a 10-hour trip to the ocean. You don’t have to dread the car ride. With these tips for traveling with kids, it will be a bit more bearable, maybe even a little bit of fun! 

Pin this to your Vacation BoardGreat tips for traveling with kids in the car. These are good for long car rides or just short trip. Free game in post!

Inspire creativity

Are you trying to inspire creativity in your kids? Sign up for the weekly Twitchetts newsletter to get that and more. Get access to free printables, special offers, and weekly crafts and activities that kids will love!

Free Road Trip Bingo Printable - Add this free printable to your next car ride to make it feel shorter. A fun round of travel bingo is just what your family vacation needs!
← Previous
Free Road Trip Bingo Printable
Printable Road Trip Activities-Make the car ride easier with these boredom buster books. From Bingo to I spy and all sorts of other fun activities. Perfect for your family vacation.
Next →
20 printable road trip activities that will make your trip awesome

Tips for surviving road trips with toddlers - Twitchetts

Thursday 25th of February 2021

[…] Tips for traveling with kids Big kids can be a handful too. These 5 tips will help make your trip smooth. […]

7 road trip printables that will save your sanity - Twitchetts

Thursday 2nd of May 2019

[…] won’t want to miss our tips for traveling with toddlers. Since then we’ve mastered traveling with kids of all […]

T Austin

Thursday 5th of May 2016

All great tips! I always try to manage the drinks especially. Driving home through the prairies is always especially challenging. I love your road trip scavenger hunt! Lifesaver for sure.


Tuesday 10th of May 2016

Thank you! Some of those stretches can get extremely long... We drive across the midwest a lot.


Thursday 5th of May 2016

Great tips! We're going on a road trip soon! I share the same philosophy with limiting drinks because of all the bathroom breaks. I always thought I was being a mean mom, but I see I'm not alone in withholding beverages from the kiddies while in the car. :-)


Tuesday 10th of May 2016

It isn't mean... when they are just sitting there all day it doesn't take much water to keep them well hydrated. If they ever say they are thirsty we hand it over. Lots of the time it is a matter of out of sight out of mind.

Krystal Miller

Wednesday 4th of May 2016

I actually encourage water intake, even though it means more potty stops. We're all about hydration! I do limit sugar though. I don't want any sugar rush crazies in my car!


Tuesday 10th of May 2016

Anytime they ask we let them have water... we don't want any dehydration happening either, out of site keeps it out of mine. If they are really thirsty we never tell them No to water :)