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4 Sanity Savers for Road Tripping with Kids this Holiday Season

It’s that time of year.

Holiday season is upon us, which can often mean travel is in our future.

Whatever your plans may be this year, if you’re planning to hop in a car with your kids, you’ll want to keep reading… Road trips with kids can either be an exciting adventure or a disaster of epic proportions. There’s not usually much in between.

The difference usually lies in how well prepared you are for the inevitable “bumps in the road” you’re sure to encounter.

So how can you best prepare?

We’ve rounded up our best tips to share with you today!

4 Sanity Savers for Road Tripping with Kids this Holiday Season


1. Bring snacks. Bring all the snacks.

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This is number one for a reason. When stuck on a long car ride, the last thing you want is hangry kids.

Trust me on this one.

One thing I like to do is keep snacks easily accessible and plan to stop every 2 hours or so to let everyone use the restroom and stretch their legs and this is when I pass out snacks. I aim to avoid letting kids eat in the car because not only is it a choking hazard, but I can’t stand wrappers and crumbs everywhere. It’s a pet peeve.

Pro tip - try to find rest areas or parks with picnic tables when you stop to let kids run around and play for a few minutes before getting back in the car.


2. Pack extras of everything. Yes, everything.

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I like to keep a bag in the car with extra diapers, wipes, changes of clothes for the kids, OTC and prescription meds, chargers, anything I might need at the ready.

Even if kids are potty trained, it’s still a good idea to keep extra clothes on hand - carsickness, spills, you never know when you’re going to need a fresh outfit.

Plus, everything costs triple when you’re buying it at a convenience store. Convenience comes at a price.


3. KISS - Keep it Super Simple.

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When you see road trip checklists or packing lists for kids, they are always miles long. As a mom of four, I disagree entirely.

That may sound like it contradicts what I said above about packing extras of everything, but it doesn’t. Just pack extras of the important things - the things you really wouldn’t want to be without.

Keep your packing list simple and don’t overdo it, especially on entertainment. A little imagination and creativity can go a long way on a road trip with kids.


4. Take time for tech.

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Thank goodness we live in a day and age where we carry tiny computers in our pockets.

This comes in extra handy when mapping out your trip, making hotel reservations, finding rest stops and gas stations, reading restaurant reviews, and entertaining your crew.

One of our favorite ways to make use of technology is keeping kids entertained with audiobooks and podcasts. Here are some of our favorites. BONUS: no headphones needed, since you'll want to listen as well!

Younger Listeners

Pinna Original podcast Kyle's Wild World
Pinna Original podcast Quentin and Alfie's ABC Adventures
Captain Underpants and the attack of the talking toilets by Dave Pilkey
Geronimo Stilton: Field Trip to Niagara Falls


Older Listeners

Pinna Original podcast Origins Unknown
Pinna Original podcast The Disapearance of Mars Patel
Upside Down Magic Dragon Overnight by Sarah Mylnowski, Lauren Myracle, Emily Jenkins
WNYC Studios Radiolab for kids


Fun for the Whole Family

Pinna Original podcast Discover the Forest
Pinna Original podcast 5 for 5 Trivia
Pinna Original podcast Don't Break the Rules
Pinna Original podcast Extra BLURT


We’re all ears!

Share what tips you have for a successful road trip! Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Amy Thetford

Amy Thetford

Amy is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom to her tribe of tiny humans. She's fueled by coffee and the desire to do ALL. THE. THINGS. She blogs about all things motherhood at realtalkwithamy.com