Family Road Trip Hacks

Summer is upon us and many families are hitting the road for holiday. With long trips, it can be difficult to keep wee ones occupied during these extended time periods in the car. Keeping children happily entertained, fed and rested is key to ensure a pleasant travel experience for everyone. After all, no one wants to hear “I’m bored” or “Are we nearly there?” over and over during a long drive.

Here are a few family road trip hacks to keep both caregivers and children happy on the drive to the holiday destination.

Pack Snacks

Snacks are an important part of any road trip! In additional to healthy items such as washed fruit and trail mix, parents can make the road trip feel special to children by allowing special treats, such as a favorite sweet, soda, and crisps. These can even be used to reward behavior during travel.

Plan pit stops

It is important to take breaks during drives that last longer than four hours. Both adults and children will benefit from well-timed breaks to stretch their legs. While rest areas for travelers are common along major highways, it can be fun to use these breaks to visit local areas. Some great options for pit stops include: playgrounds, short hiking trails, libraries, bookshops, and child-friendly cafes. Additionally, pit stops are the best opportunity to use the restrooms to avoid potty accidents. 


There are many ways to provide entertainment during a road trip. Some families opt to use tablets for gaming apps and videos. Indeed some vehicles come with built in entertainment, such as movie players. If opting for electronic entertainment, be sure to pack child sized headphones and charging cables.


Games can be a great way to involve the whole family. Road trip games often require no additional equipment to play, just some questions and imagination. Some great road trip games to play with children:

  • I Spy With My Little Eye
  • I’m Going to the Picnic
  • Would You Rather

Books and Music

Books are great for children who are able to read independently. 

Activity books are an excellent way to keep little ones busy. Activity books come in a variety of types, such as sticker books, puzzle and mind exercises, and can even be used to enforce academic skills, such as letter and number recognition.

 With music streaming services readily available and widely used, listening to child-friendly albums can help children associate specific music with memories of the trip. Audiobooks are also a great option.  

Podcasts can also be a great way to keep kids entertained in the car. Try downloading podcasts that complement what you will be doing. For example, if your trip involves a historical structure or city, find a podcast that provides information about that in a fun format.


While toys are a great option, it is important to not go overboard when bringing toys from home. Children will likely want toy souvenirs from their travels, and this often includes special toys not available at shops at home. Parents will want to carefully screen toys and avoid ones that make lots of noise or have flashing lights as these can be major distractions for the driver. 


Ensuring safety and comfort in the car can be a great way to encourage children to rest during long drives. Ask your child to pick out and bring a stuffed animal; just make sure it isn’t the most beloved stuffie, as travel mishaps happen. and blanket to cuddle. Travel pillows, like this one, can make the backseat feel extra cozy.

Hitting the road with your family this Summer? Use these hacks to keep the family peace and ensure your holiday is ready for making memories.