Home / Activities for Kids / 17 Traveling with Kids Tips & Road Trip Ideas

17 Traveling with Kids Tips & Road Trip Ideas

Engaging road trip ideas while traveling with kids!  I’ve got you hooked up with traveling with kids tips, games, activities, snacks, as well as arming you with must-have organizing ideas.  Whether you’re traveling by car, boat, or plane you’ll be able to use these road trip tips for almost any age of kiddo.


Traveling with Kids Tips

1.  Road Trip Pillow Case ~ These road trip pillow cases are FAB-U-LOUS!  They have a pocket for coloring books and other toys as well as a handle for easy carrying.  Download the directions to make your own.

2.  Phone Number Necklace ~ These necklaces are a great way to have your name and phone number on your kids at all times.  It can be tucked inside their shirt, and if something happens to them, they can find someone that works at the airport or destination, usually dressed in a uniform or behind a desk, and show them their necklace.

Road Trip Ideas

3.  Road Trip Binder for Kids ~ Each binder has a map of the US that kids can check out and follow along.  The front of each binder has the trip mapped out for them as well. They can follow along with little post-it flags.

4.  Magnetic Silly Faces ~ This fun personalized magnetic silly face will keep kids entertained in the car on a road trip this summer or at home during every day play.

5.  Car Pulley System ~ This Car Pulley System is the perfect way to pass back snacks and travel activities for kids.  It’s a great way to make sure your little one isn’t bored or fussy on a long ride.

6.  Travel Timeline ~ Let your children visualize your trip with this simple and fun timeline craft.  Have your children draw pictures that represent each city or state that you will be traveling past.  All you will need to pack in the car to make your own time line need is string, a hole punch, makers and paper clips.

Road Trips

7.  Travel Treats & Activity ~ Package some snacks (with individual trash bags) and a little activity for them to do.  Some ideas for the container can be a capri sun, fruit mentos, bag of chips, cheese & crackers, color wonder activity and a gallon sized ziplock for their trash.

8.  Road Trip Apple Pies ~ Recipe for individual apple pies and a tutorial on how to wrap them so they are easily transported and eaten on the road, even while driving.  This definitely beats crackers and fruit snacks!

9.  Food Travel Kit ~ Using a tackle box, raid the kitchen and assemble this snack kit before your next road trip.  It will turn a simple snack into entertaining fun!

10.  Car Snacks ~ Try these 3 healthy snack ideas that are easy to make!  You won’t have to make a special trip to the store for containers or ingredients.

Road Trip Games

11.  Road Trip Bingo ~ Keep the little ones entertained with these free printable travel bingo cards.  They simply look for things around them, like road signs, trees, gas pumps, etc.

12.  Reading and Writing on the Road ~ Print these free printable games on cardstock and laminate and keep in the glove box.  That way, whether you are on a long road trip or just running errands around town, you will have something on hand to keep the kids from getting bored in the car.

13.  DVD Coloring Case ~ Not only is this DVD coloring case a great way to recycle, but also an updated version of a crayon roll complete with paper storage.

14.  DIY Travel Games ~ Save money and make your own travel games.  You can copy/paste your favorite board games from google.  Laminate them and use magnets for game pieces.  A cookie sheet is a perfect lap desk to play the games on.  All of the game boards and pieces quickly store on a cookie sheet and fit in the back of the seat.

Road Trip Tips

15.  Vacation Trip Tracker ~ This trip tracker is perfect for your “are we there yets?”.  Cut out state shapes with felt and add a toy car with velcro to each state.  When you travel through each state the toy car moves to the state and the kids get a brown bag prize.

16.  Travel Organizer ~ A canvas shoe bag is a great way to compartmentalize your kids’ stuff, giving them options and choices to keep your summer travels entertaining.  Add their favorite stuffed animals, small books, maybe even a new toy, game, or snack.

17.  Packing Tip ~ Using a ziplock bag, package up one outfit for each day, including undies and hair accessory.  When you reach your destination your child can easily choose what they want to wear for that day.

More Traveling With Kids:


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  1. Sandy Jenney - Organize with Sandy

    Love these ideas Laurie! So many creative ones.

  2. Windy City Novelties

    I remember always having a blast as a kid on car rides when we drove from Illinois to Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. My parents did what you guys showed here to keep us entertained but you offer more options that look like a lot of fun! Great ideas!

  3. Aania

    This is an awesome post. 🙂 I like the ideas and I would guide my grand children to read them as well as they are always going out to recreate and their parents need them to sit up tight all through the trip.

    Children can be given books to read as well. This is what I do when they go out. Its their personal favorite story books. This keeps them busy 🙂

  4. Beth

    do you have the recipe for the road trip apple pies? THe link sends us right back to this page. I love that idea and want to make them this week. Thx

  5. raplus3

    I checked the link and it’s working. Just in case, here is the direct link to the apple pies, http://julievisionkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/05/road-trip-apple-pies.html.

  6. Ellie

    Love the ideas here! We’re driving from Iowa to California in a few weeks with our three boys, ages 1, 3, and 5. I’ll be using some of these tips. Thanks!

  7. Ginny

    Oh my word! I’m sharing this with my MOPS Area 26 (North & South Carolina MOPS groups!) moms. I know there is SOMEONE who can use this information.

  8. Kristina

    I am about take a 3 day road trip from Florida to Colorado with my 6 year old daughter. These are PERFECT ideas! thank you!

  9. Jen Fischer

    What a great round up of travel tips! The pillows remind me of these trays my mom made for us when we were little and went on road trips. My oldest is just 2.5, so we haven’t started road tripping yet, but I did recently fly cross country solo with him and his baby brother. Busy bags and proper snacks were a must! http://jennifischer.blogspot.com/2012/05/planes-trains-automobiles-busy-bags.html

  10. Lori M-C

    We are getting ready to drive cross country (Illinois-California). These tips will help a lot! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Susan S.

    Great ideas here, which brought back a lot of wonderful memories of our many years of travelling with our kids during school holidays. The activity bags on the back of each front seat were great for us – we refilled the pockets each day with a different combo of craft, game & snack activities. We also listened to books on tape, plus a mix of kids / adult music for variety and afternoon quiet times. A 15-minute stop every 2-3 hours in a town park let the kids burn off energy before getting back in the car. Can’t wait for grandkids to repeat the patterns. lol

  12. Samantha M

    the bucket for the car pulley system is dangerous in the event of an accident. Its a projectile that could kill someone in a forceful accident. Just had to put that out there #carsafetynerd

  13. Sharon

    The web site that has the road games printable is something that you have to sign up as a teacher on and even then it won’t let me download the thing. How disappointing because I love playing those games (sometimes even with my 5 year old son!). Our favorite is a Victorian party game called “The Minister’s Cat.” You start with A words – The Minister’s Cat is an adorable cat… The Minister’s Car is an ancient cat…” and take turns. When someone can’t think of a word, uses a word that’s been used before, or uses a word that begins with the wrong letter, you move on to the next letter of the alphabet. My son loves it!

  14. KristenK

    You can also buy magnets at rest stops along the route for the kids to have a personalized game piece. Bonus:The magnets stay put on the cookie sheet so that the game doesn’t get ruined when you hit a speed bump!

  15. Emily

    All of these idea are great and FYI none of this is dangerous in case of a accident, so to all the new moms don’t freak out your kid will be okay.

  16. Emily

    This is not dangerous, when a accident happens you have glass and everything else to worry about. My children have sippy cups and everything else and they are fine. Try not to be a worry wort and be care free.

  17. Jen

    As a car seat safety technician I can tell you that I would NEVER recommend the bucket pulley system, that bucket can become a projectile and just isn’t a good idea. Yes you have other things like sippy cups, your purse ect. I recommend when traveling, putting as much as possible in the trunk, if you don’t have a trunk make sure to secure heavy items with tie down straps, and anything else should be placed on the floor to help prevent it from moving towards head of passengers. I love the pillow and snak ideas but Emily, you telling people that none of these ideas are dangerous is quite arrogant considering you do not have the qualifications or expertise to say so.

  18. Ashley

    These are so great! I love the outfits in a bag idea..I have two girls and it would be so easy to have hair ties and everything in the bag so I wont have to look for anything. And the luch box with activities inside…my kids would totally think they are gettng some kind of special gift!

  19. Ashley

    I think you should just use your common sence and not be so rude.

  20. Maggie

    These are really good ideas! I could see our 15hr family vacations from Texas to Nebraska turning out much better had we known about these a few years ago, but now we can plan better for future trips knowing these. Thanks!!

  21. Delilahhen3

    You have awesome ideas! We’re heading to Kelowna to visit some of my husbands family and these will be great for my son. All I could think of was playing the game with road signs and license plates! My son loves it though: http://www.outreachneon.com

  22. EMTgirl

    I am sorry but Samantha M is right. I am an Emergency Medical Technician. Ask ANYONE in EMS and they will tell you any thing loose or like your pulley system IS dangerous. Sippy cups, books, cd’s car speakers, tool boxes, groceries, sports equipment, pets in the back cargo area… ALL of it is dangerous. These items become projectiles when a significant impact or worse yet, a rollover occurs and people DIE from this. Please do take this warning seriously. It is not intended as a criticism but bad things DO happen to good people, every day. It could happen to you too even if you have never had a problem with it before.

  23. EMTgirl

    Nobody is trying to be rude.. we are trying to prevent serious injuries and save lives. Common sense is what we are trying to share here but we can talk until we are blue in the face.. if people choose to be unsafe there is nothing any of the rest of us can do about it. But I guess that is why I have job security.

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  26. Jennifer Saranow Schultz

    Love the packing tip. I included it today in this roundup of 3 clever little outfit packing – and unpacking – strategies (including how post-its and rubber bands can also help too) http://hintmama.com/2013/12/09/todays-hint-3-helpful-strategies-for-packing-little-outfits/

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