7 Tips for Hassle Free Car Trips with Kids

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Mention the words “road trip” to a parent and they may physically cringe, shudder, or go running
in the opposite direction. The mere idea of a long car ride with children can evoke flashbacks of
screaming, crying kids, thrown shoes, and smashed Cheerios on every horizontal surface of the
vehicle. Nevertheless, sometimes these trips are unavoidable and necessary. If hours of travel
are in your future, fear not, follow these seven tips, and find yourself in road trip bliss.

1. Plan and Pace – Before you even leave the house, admit to yourself that this trip is going
to take longer than it would if you were driving alone. Asking small children to ride in a car
for hours on end without a break is a recipe for disaster. Plan stops along the way. Find a
playground, a restaurant with a ball pit, or even a store where they can walk around. Any
opportunity to let out some energy is going to be beneficial.

2. Be Prepared – Along with planning the itinerary, you should also be prepared with any
supplies you might need. Pack a bag with items like bandages, children’s medicine, extra socks
and underwear, napkins, tissues, and cough drops. If your kids are young, bringing their potty
along can be a good idea too.

3. Bend the Rules – A long car ride isn’t the place for a strict nap schedule or healthy eating
regimen. Let the kids fall asleep when they’re tired; the trip will seem faster to them, and you’ll
have some quiet time. If your family doesn’t usually eat at fast-food restaurants, now may be the
time to let them. The excitement of a special treat will keep the trip fun for your kids. This could
even be as simple as packing a bag of Fruit Loops.

4. But, Don’t Break All the Rules – While a few special treats and untimely naps can make
the trip go smoother, you don’t want your children to think that they have free reign every
time they enter a car. Children still need some structure. Make sure they understand that good
behavior is still expected of them, and that they aren’t going to be given a piece of candy on
every trip.

5. It’s Game Time – Many games can be played in the car. Depending on the ages of your
children, you can play things like I Spy, License Plate Bingo, or the Alphabet Game, where you
can take turns hunting for letters on passing road signs. Check the toy section of your local store7 Tips for Hassl
too. There are travel versions of many popular board games available now.

6. Bring a Bounty of Books – Take along some of your children’s favorite books, or better
yet, surprise them with a few new books. Going to the library before your trip is a perfect way to
find free entertainment. Don’t forget about audiobooks too. The whole family can pass the time
listening to a book-on-CD.

7. Embrace Technology – Yes, children these days spend too much time watching TV, playing
video games, and using the computer. However, when they’re trapped in the car for hours, these
things are a great way to pass the time.

Good luck and drive safe!

About the author: This article was provided by Giraffe Childcare, a childcare provider with 18
locations in Dublin, Ireland. For more information visit www.giraffe.ie


  1. It is so hard to travel with kids, and I rely on my iPad a lot when I am. I let them use the iPad a lot because they can do so much with it. They can play games, read, and watch TV live anywhere we can get a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. I love your tips, and I definitely agree that the rules have to be bent a little when you travel.

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