Keep Your Kids Happy On Your Summer Road Trip

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Summertime means the kids are off school. The local soft ice cream stand is open. The fireflies are back. And, it may be time for some much-needed R & R.

If you’re planning to take a vacation this summer, you may be opting for the ever-popular family road trip. After all, all you need to do is book some accommodations, pack the car and the kids, and hit the road for your favorite vacation destination. 

But, everyone knows that kids in the car can be a recipe for disaster. Soon you could be subject to hearing the constant screams of “How long ‘til we get there?” – which is just the worst. Don’t worry. Follow some of these tips and, hopefully, those cries will be a thing of the past – or at least extremely limited.

road trip carSet Expectations

Kids need to know what to expect. Explain where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Let them know how you’d like them to behave in the car. (A reward for good behavior might be the perfect “carrot” to dangle in front of them.) Additionally, let them know if you’ll be stopping to stretch your legs or hit the restroom. Anything you can do to keep them in the loop will significantly help.


In this day and age, you probably don’t go anywhere without some sort of tablet or device. A road trip is a perfect place to set kids up to watch their favorite movies or play some games on their phone or tablet. Of course, don’t be afraid to set limits – especially if you have limits set at home. 

Podcasts and Audiobooks

Find some family-friendly podcasts or audiobooks to listen to while driving. This is a great way to get the entire family involved in an activity and can lead to some great discussions – especially if you have teenagers who just want to put on their headphones and text with their friends. 


A road trip without snacks…well, it’s just not a road trip. Be sure to pack an array of snacks that will make everyone in the car happy. And don’t forget a small cooler to keep drinks cold or to carry things like cheese sticks or yogurt.


If you’re trying to keep your kids happy and entertained while on the road why not pack a few surprises for them? This could be small toys or new coloring books for younger children or gift cards for teens that let them shop in their phone’s app store. You could even go as far as to wrap them to heighten the surprise! 


For younger children, make sure you’ve packed a few of their favorite toys – especially the ones that they can’t live without. Put them in a little basket or backpack that they can easily access while in their car seats or boosters, so they’re not asking you to get them all of the time.

Car Games

Who doesn’t love some “License Plate Bingo”? Or a good game of “I Spy…”? Car games are a great way to make the time pass – and another way to get everyone involved. There are lots of car games you can play depending on your children’s ages – so be sure to check some out.


Plan some stops along the way. Yes, restroom stops are mandatory, but if you see a great rest area (or even better – a playground) where the kids can get out and run – then take a few moments to stop. While it may add to your trip time, you’ll have happier kids once they’ve stretched their legs.

Don’t dread your next road trip because you’re fearful of how your kids will do in the car. Be prepared with some fun things to keep them (and yourself) happy along the way.

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