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7 Tips for Surviving Road Trips with the Kids

Sara Abbott, Resort General Manager


My husband’s family lives 250 miles away. I remember our first trip with a new born baby. I think my son had a wet diaper for about 100 miles, I was trying to feed him in his car seat (bad idea, don’t do it), Brian was driving a solid 64 mph because of the new baby, it was dark and then we hit a deer. Basically, the worst trip ever. Years later, I feel that I have mastered the art of traveling with the kids, a dog and a husband. Here are my top 7 tips for you and your family.

#1 Potty First: This goes without saying right? But it also means you AND your kids. Nothing worse than getting 20 minutes down the road and having to wrestle all the kids into a dirty truck stop. Even worse, the kids are set and then your husband needs to use the little boy’s room…all you can do is laugh!

#2 Snacks: Car friendly snacks like cheezits, fruit snacks and string cheese are a must. If you are like me, you can find lots of left-over snacks under the car seat and in the cracks. I’m not one to judge. We always get beef jerky because everyone will chew on that for several miles! I carry a little igloo cooler and stock it with juice boxes and of course my husband’s favorite pop, because he’s worse than the kids. Although, too many juice boxes might make you have to see tip#1, but just the right amount keeps the whole car happy!

#3 Games: I spy will only get you about 20 miles and everything is green, blue or black in the summer and throw in some white in the winter time. You need some real games. Traveling Yahtzee is a favorite in our car or catch phrase that everyone can play mindlessly without a real competition.

#4 Movies: I let my daughter pick one movie for her age. Right now she is able to pick out her 6 most favorite movies to download. This will cover us for quite a while. I know lots of people poo-poo it because of “screen time”, but for MY family? It helps me keep my sanity and have an enjoyable trip.

#5 Clothes: When you’re traveling with little ones, a change of clothes is well, just smart. An extra shirt for you isn’t a bad idea either. And don’t forget a something for night time sleeping if you have a little one who still has an “accident” at night…we’ve all been there.

#6 Baby Wipes: I don’t care if you don’t have babies, baby wipes are a must have for road trips with kids! They are so fantastic for a quick clean up! You’ll be glad you have them!

#7 Music: In my family, old country music does it. For some reason it keeps everyone calm and puts my husband & I into a mood where we talk about our Grandparents and what it was like growing up. Our kids, Grady and Emma, love to hear stories about when we were their age and all the funny stories. They think we are so old!!

Keep a bag ready to go with all your necessities to make road trips with kids a lot easier. Keep it by the door and restock it each time. And above all, don’t forget to download movies ahead of time because you never know when you won’t have service! Maybe with the extra fun and planning you won’t have several hours of “are we there yet?”