Tips for Your Next Family Road Trip

Are we there yet? Nope! No matter how old your kids are, having activities, meals and snacks on a long car ride can lead to fewer headaches. Trust us; these travel tips will go a long way over the long haul!

healthy packed snacks

Pack smart snacks, like whole grain crackers, nut butter, carrot sticks, string cheese, apple slices, low-fat yogurt and trail mix. Prepackage everything in baggies to make it easier to eat. If you have to make a pit stop, choose healthier options, like nuts, sunflower seeds or pretzels.

Want a quick breakfast? Pack single servings of dry cereal in reusable, plastic containers. Add milk from the gas station, and voilà, an easy breakfast on the road! Top off cereal with fresh fruit from your cooler for a balanced meal—even better!

paying at the drive thru

If fast food is a must, order water or low-fat milk to drink. Choose fruit, salad (low-fat dressing), yogurt or broth-based soup instead of fries—or get just one order of fries to share. Skip mayo, tartar sauce, sour cream and special sauce.

activity binder

Create fun activities to keep younger kids entertained in the car, such as building a binder full of coloring pages and puzzles, transforming a baking sheet with chalkboard paint or adding Velcro® dots to the ends of wood craft sticks for endless shape making.

packed mini van

For older kids, challenge them to a game of Celebrity, GHOST or ABC.

Celebrity: The first person calls out a celebrity’s first and last name. The next player has to come up with another celebrity whose first name starts with the initial of the previous celebrity’s last name, and so on. 

GHOST: The first person calls out a letter. The next player adds a letter to start creating a valid word. Once you have at least four letters, whoever completes the word loses, earning a letter of GHOST. If you think a word doesn’t exist, challenge it. The challenge loser earns a letter.

ABC: Starting with the letter "A," find each letter (in alphabetic order) on road signs, license plates, billboards, etc. You can play as a team or compete to see who can complete the alphabet first. Make the game more challenging by limiting letters to only license plates or only road signs, or only allow letters to count if they are the first letter of a complete word or license plate.

kicking soccer ball

Long car rides = lots of sitting. If you stop at a rest area, get moving:

  • Play tag in a grassy area
  • Roll down a grassy hill
  • Pack a soccer ball to kick around
  • Pack a jump rope or flying disc to play with
  • Pretend the curb is a balance beam