Will you and your family be traveling for the Holidays this year? As a family, we’ve traveled several times specifically for holiday visits! Last year, we took a road trip up to Salt Lake City to visit my family and had a great time playing in the snow that we miss out on while living in Phoenix. I love all the memories that can be built traveling by car but traveling with kids can sometimes be difficult. Here are my tips to help make any holiday road trips you may be planning a little bit easier with your little ones on board!
Road Trip Travel Tips – Keeping Kids Entertained
- Timing with Naps – Planning out the best time to start your trip can make a big difference for your overall trip experience. Take into consideration how long of a drive you have ahead of you as well as factoring any stops you’d like to take along the way. Then, consider in your children’s nap times or typical bedtime to see if you can overlap some of your driving time during their sleep times. We like to leave an hour or two before our kids typically take a nap which breaks up the long trip with a nap in the middle of the drive. For longer road trips, we plan to drive into the night hours as well to arrive at our destination around midnight or 1am, a time that isn’t hard for us to stay up until but gives our kids a good 4 hours or so of sleeping time while driving.
- Create an Activity Bucket – We load up a small basket or tote for each of our kids with quiet toys, coloring and activity books, storybooks, and non-messy snacks. For our older children, we pack a portable gaming system too which works great for entertaining as long as your children don’t get car sick.
- Movies – We love using a portable or built-in DVD or Blu-ray player on our trips. Playing one of our children’s favorite movies or picking up a new movie especially for our trip is the easiest way to knock out an hour and a half of your driving time with very little complaints!
- Don’t Forget Short Breaks – Being stuck in a car for long stretches of time can quickly get uncomfortable. To break up a long drive, be sure to make quick 10-15 minute stops to let everyone get out and stretch! We use meal times to stop and get out either at a rest stop or a restaurant to eat, take bathroom breaks, and get the chance to move around all in one stop. We will often look for a fast food location that has a kids playground inside or a park that is close off the freeway as that gives the kids a place to play and get out some energy.
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