family road trip with a yellow van

The Ultimate Road Trip Hacks For Parents: How To Have A Fun And Stress-Free Getaway With Kids

At first, I thought traveling with kids is like a walk in the park but when I had one, I realized it’s no ordinary park — it’s Jurassic’s. The shouting, the whining, and not to mention, the endless cycle of changing diapers. It’s exhausting but I tell you, it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Yes, you can tag your little ones along and achieve your #TravelGoals and no, it doesn’t require any sorcery. Below are some insider’s tips on how to travel with children happily and peacefully.

Leave Earlier

If you’ll be on the road for more than three hours, you can leave earlier than the sunrise. This means waking up before the little ones do and putting them in the car while they’re still asleep. This would give you enough time to drive without any fuss from the kids.

Level Up Your Packing Game

Food And Drinks

Keep your kids from getting hangry (hunger + angry) and dehydrated by packing a few snacks and drinks while on the road. This might include a portable water bottle, juice boxes, granola and chocolate bars, sliced fruits, and homemade sandwiches (just because it’s healthier and cheaper than fast food burgers).

Organize Outfits Using A Packing Cube

If you’re a family of three or more, organizing your outfits can be overwhelming but you can reduce the stress by giving each family member their own color-coded packing cube. Instead of just putting any clothes in, pack coordinated outfits and label each with a day when it will be worn. 

You can also use a small packing cube for your kids’ toothbrush and toothpaste. This makes it easier for you to find the things you need than pawing through a large, unorganized suitcase.

Emergency Kit

Anything can happen anytime so it pays to get an emergency kit ready no matter how short or long your travel time is. Keep a packing cube or small box with you and fill it up with hand sanitizer, travel sickness medicines, sanitary bags, baby wipes, Betadine, and a band-aid. 

Separate Bag For Kids Entertainment

For most kids, an hour drive seems forever, therefore it’s best to devise a plan that would keep them entertained for hours. You can use a packing cube to bring these all-time favorite toys, such as cars and dolls or you can make your own Lego Travel Cube.

Meanwhile, if your child has an eye for creativity, you can pack a drawing kit that includes washable crayons, papers (lots of it), and pencils. You can also keep a few coloring books with you to drive your kid’s boredom away.

Pro Tip: Be sure to bring out one toy at a time to keep them excited for hours of a road trip.

Keep Your Mobile Phone Charged

In some movies, I’ve seen families singing happily in their cars but realistically speaking, it rarely happens in real life. So to give parents the peace and quietness they deserve, make sure to keep your phones and tablets charged. Also, before you hit the road, download your child’s favorite apps and shows. You can also invest on a headrest mount so they don’t have to hold the gadgets all throughout the ride.

Don’t Forget The Music

There may be no singing involved on this road trip but now’s the perfect time to introduce your favorite songs or genre to your kids. However, be sure that it’s clean and exciting enough for everyone to enjoy. You can also load up a few family-friendly audiobooks to keep young minds interested.

Choose The Backseat

This tip is a must when you have a toddler or an infant because no one and nothing can replace a parent’s touch. A few ticklings, face-to-face interaction, and some cuddle can calm and ease a bored toddler and a grumpy infant. 

Choose Stops Strategically

Okay, adults! We are dealing with kids here so be sure to plan everything strategically, including stops. If you’re going for a two or more drive, be sure to optimize your stops in advance. That means mapping out kid-friendly restaurants, parks, beaches, playgrounds, and other places that would make a typical stopover (a.k.a. Bathroom break) more exciting.

In line with this, be sure to stop as often as you can. As much as you wanted to be there in the soonest possible time, letting your kids have a break from time to time will make your road trip more bearable. Consider this chance to change diapers and let your kids wander first.

Download A GPS Navigator

Download all the apps you need for traveling, such as Waze or Google Maps. This means a lot when it’s your first time to visit your travel destination or you want to avoid traffic. You can also carry a map with you just in case your phone died or you have no stable connection. 

Traveling with a kid might be a little challenging but you can always make it more fun and exciting. Just follow these tips and don’t be afraid to add a little more of your techniques. 


Do you have other tips in mind? Please feel free to share it in our growing community or comment it down below. Have a safe and happy trip!

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