Travel Tips with Kids + A Giveaway

Giveaway is over, and the winner is #3, Kim! Lots of great tips from all of you…thanks!

We’re gearing up for another long drive with the boys later this summer, as I know many of you are, too. So I thought it would be a good idea to gather up some wisdom from all of you on how to make car rides more pleasant for the whole family. Because let’s face it, if you reach your destination and mom and dad are losing their minds because the kids are crazy, no one’s going to have fun.

best little travelers ever.

colorado trip 2011 – they were great little travelers!

2 years ago I put together a list of things that worked well on our drive to Colorado. You can see that here if you’re interested! One of my favorite things from that trip was this License Plate Game book:

license plate game book

I’ll start us off with this tip: on our first day of travel this time, we’ll leave the house around 5am, stop for breakfast around 7am, and then hopefully get in a long stretch of driving before lunch. I will have packed our lunch in a cooler the night before, and we’ll stop at a rest area to eat. (You can google rest area and whatever state you’ll be in and get a list of them, so you don’t end up having to wait 100 miles to get to the next one.) The kids like eating a picnic like this, and they get space to run (as opposed to the McDonald’s parking lot wherever we stop).

Now for the giveaway info: share a tip – anything that works for you! – and on Friday, June 28th at 10pm I’ll use to pick one of your comments to win a $5 Starbucks gift card AND a $10 credit to my etsy shop, Here’s the Diehl!

So share your ideas, and then share this post, so we can ALL travel easier this summer!

11 responses to “Travel Tips with Kids + A Giveaway

  1. Movies. Lots and lots of movies.

  2. We play the ABC game with our kids. We pick a topic (animals, names or cities, etc) and then we take turns going through the alphabet and we each have to name something different for each letter. It can take a suprisingly long time. And don’t let your kids have a water bottle in the car. A 3 hr trip last summer had 5 bathroom stops.

  3. Angie Peterson

    My daughter is only 2, so we keep it pretty simple. We pack a bag of toys (leapfrog laptop, a vinyl sticker board I found at a school supply store where she can put stickers on then reposition them or reuse multiple times, books, CD’s and of course a DVD player). For when she’s older and for a longer trip, I think I will do the train ticket idea. Where they will have a ticket for each hour of the drive hanging somewhere near them. Then every hour call for the tickets and when they give a ticket, it redeems them a gift. Like a new coloring book or other things for them to play w/ in the car. I heard of a mom giving a coloring book one hour and waiting for the next hour to give them the crayons!

  4. we have the kids on a we have the kids on a rotation basis. Silent reading, playing a game, or free time with their electronics. We catch them doing one of these things until it got restless and we switched. The games consisted of car bongo, the license plate game and the alphabet game. We also awarded prices for the winner. We also gave them a map indicating the route to avoid most of the whe to avoid most of the where are we now questions.

  5. We pack lots of snacks that they don’t typically get on a regular basis at home – that way when we do stop for gas i am not spending an extra $15 on candy/chips/soda that they see in the store. And we also dig out the DVD’s that they have not watched for a long time!!

  6. 3 portable DVD players……enough said!

  7. We just got back from driving to Florida and this time we also used this idea from a few years ago…magnetic “scenes” and toys that could be used on a cookie sheet. They loved it!
    We also did videos and books and a few new toys every 100 miles or so. Have fun!!!!!!!!!

  8. I packed special snacks for my daughter and put games on a tablet for her to play. She also had books, car games, etc. I tried to save the movies until the afternoons or early evenings.

  9. For our shorter trip this summer, I think we can get away with books/coloring, snacks, and perhaps an ABC or I spy game for good measure. For our loooooong trip this summer, I love the ticket idea that Angie P. mentioned. I also think for the older two that we’ll give them a detailed map and have them find certain landmarks/towns along the way. I also created a “FIND IT” page with 16 easy-to-find pictures of items (like a cow, McDonalds sign, or water tower) on it for our little guy. Happy traveling, everyone : )

  10. We like arts n crafts:). Not just coloring, but I bring a small container and scissors. It is not too messy, but they practice cutting things. Stickers too!!! And a seek and find scavenger hunt. Mine don’t read yet so I do pics of things.

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