Undertaking a road trip with kids can be a daunting task. With short attention spans, children can quickly get bored, turning instead to a chorus of “are we there yet?” and “can I use the bathroom?”, making you wish you never would have set out in the first place.

However, with the right preparation, road trips with the family can be quite fun. And when done right, the good times you have with your kids on a road trip will turn into some of their fondest memories as they grow older.


Getting Prepared for your Road Trip with Kids

First thing’s first, you want to make sure you’re prepared for emergencies before you set out on your road trip. Make sure you’ve bookmarked a webpage or app to help you find the nearest mechanic, have included an emergency road trip kit (flashlight, first aid kit, tools to change a tire, safety gear, etc.), and have plenty of snacks and drinks on hand for when the kids get hungry.

After you’ve got the basics sorted, it’s time to start looking into the best ways to keep your kids entertained on a family road trip. Check out our suggestions below.


Load Up Your Tablet or Phone with Kid-Friendly Apps

One of the easiest ways to keep your kids entertained is to simply let them play with your phone or tablet. You’ve probably already got a whole bunch of great games and apps that they love using and giving them some screen time in the car is a quick way to keep them entertained.


Turn the Backseat into a Movie Theatre

Another great trick to keep the kids busy in the backseat is to turn it into a movie theatre. If you have a tablet, it’s as easy as buying a mount specifically designed to attach onto the backseat so nobody has to hold it in front of them.

Letting each kid choose which movie they want everyone to watch is a great way to keep them engaged. You can even take it to the next level by bringing some popcorn for them to snack on while they watch.


Download some Kid-Friendly Audiobooks

When it’s time for a break from the screens, audiobooks are another great way to keep your kids entertained on a road trip. There’s a wealth of stories out there to discover, on a wide variety of apps.

And if the kids are having trouble staying quiet for more than a few chapters at a time, pausing the audiobook to talk about what they think will happen next is a great way to get them engaged again.


Prepare Some Road Trip Bingo

Movies, music, and audiobooks will only get you so far on a long road trip. Another classic way to keep kids entertained on your family road trip is to prepare some roux trip bingo cards.

The cards should include several common things you see on a road trip, like police cars, stop signs, airplanes, dogs inside of cars, etc. It will keep the kids engaged and looking around them instead of thinking about how much further there is to drive.


Play Some Classic Road Trip Games

There are plenty of other games as well, like spotting a certain type of car, license plates from different states, and “I Spy”. These are all proven favourites, certain to keep the kids entertained while you’re driving.


Get the Kids Involved in Planning Pit Stops

On longer road trips, your little kids are going to need to get outside the car occasionally to stretch their legs. But pit stops don’t have to just be at the gas station – they can also be fun ways to help entertain the kids during the trip.

Before you set out, research the best and most interesting spots along your route that your kids might be interested in. And get the kids involved in planning as well! Giving them something to look forward to will help them stay entertained on longer drives.


Road Trip Goodie Bags

Another fun way to help pass the time is to prepare some road trip goodie bags. Fill them with toys or cool things to do in the car, and of course, some candy. Set up intervals to give them to the kids, such as every hour, or every 100 miles, so that they have yet another thing to look forward to.

About Jennie McNichol

After spending 11 years in London working in the television industry for the BBC, Jennie McNichol made the move to Perth in 2010. As the Co-Founder and Editor of Buggybuddys, she has been able to use her experience and passion for helping families to create a trusted online resource for parents across Perth.
Jennie is the proud mother of two daughters, aged 14 & 12 and is a big advocate of the family-friendly lifestyle that Perth has to offer.

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