We have all been there. The dreaded car trip, with the kids in the back fighting with each other and asking every 30 seconds, “How much longer” and “Are we there yet?” Whether the car ride is 2 hours or 30, there are some planning steps and tricks you can use to make the car ride less of a headache. Let’s take a look.

What to Take

Deciding what to take with you in the car can make or break your trip. One of the best things you can do is to pack each of your children their very own fun car trip bag or back pack. Fill it with fun and new things for them to do in the car. Essentials include:

  • clip board
  • books
  • handheld or travel games
  • crayons and coloring books for younger children
  • word searches and crossword puzzles for older
  • their favorite stuffed animal or small toy
  • a movie player with their favorite movies or even better yet, movies they haven’t yet seen

Taking out audio books from your local library is also a great way to pass the time for everyone.


Snacks and drinks are also a must. Be careful though. Choose your drinks and snacks wisely. Sugary snacks and drinks will only add to your children’s hyper activity. Healthier options include:

  • cut up fruit and veggies
  • cheese and crackers
  • dried fruit
  • 100% juice drinks and water

Be sure to include with your snacks napkins and baby wipes. Even older children and adults spill sometimes.

Pace Yourself

Make sure you take frequent short stops. Keeping holed up in a car for hours on end without a break, can lead to very cranky children. Allowing your kids to get out and run around can release some of their built up energy. Rest stops or playgrounds are great places to take a quick pit stop. Pack a frisbee, jump rope and a soccer ball or kick ball to use at your stops.

Fun Car Trip Games

If you are traveling with older children, another great way to pass the time is to play car games. I Spy, A-Z, and the license plate game are some classics that the entire family can enjoy. If you are traveling through multiple states you may want to play state trivia. Learning about each state can be lots of fun and educational at the same time.

So, the next time you are planning a family car trip, don’t dread it. Instead, plan ahead, pack fun stuff to do and make it a family adventure.