Road Trip Essentials for Children, Activities and Food to Entertain

Pharaba Hacker-Witt (Visitor Review) September 26, 2010 No Comments


Scenic Road Trip HighwayWhile there are the many now “standard” things to keep kids occupied such as traveling DVD players and gameboys, there are still some classic things that can help you keep your sanity while on a lengthy road trip with young kids. It can be fun to disconnect for part of the trip, but if the kids are always immersed in a movie, your family can miss out on the experience of being on a traveling adventure together. Finding more interactive ways to pass the time as well as healthy food alternatives can make for a more pleasant and memorable experience.

First, food and healthy snacks are very important for keeping everyone in high spirits. Besides saving money, planning ahead can provide for an entertaining travel adventure. One way to insure a fun trip is to make rice krispie treats or brownies in the shape of relevant road trip objects. Whether you are going through certain states and want to make the snacks in the shape of those states, or if you will be looking for certain animals, this can be an educational and fun prep event so add this to your road trip checklist!

Scenic Road Trip Rest AreaThe wasted space of ice in coolers can be frustrating when worrying about bringing enough for all to enjoy. Freezing water bottles in advance is a good way to keep drinks cold for an extended period without taking up that valuable cooler real estate. Consider doing this with juices as well. It has the same cooling effect and gives kids something else to drink on the road.

Books on CD or IPod, these can be an enlightening and entertaining way to pass the time.  With audio books even parents in the front seat can tune in to the stories. You can choose books relevant to the trip or others for pure entertainment. While the children might complain at first, you will find them drawn into the story in no time. You can check out books from the library, Cracker Barrel, or purchase them through, or other online stores.

Road Trip Bingo is a game we have played for a long time, but make your own boards based on the road trip you are taking. This will help keep kids engaged especially if you have a special prize. Keeping a day open, or part of a day open for a “kid’s choice” activity, choosing this activity might be the perfect prize for winning road trip bingo. You can put together a list of signs, roads, animals, etc for the players to search for along the road.

TurtleScavenger hunts are always fun, and can be played while on the road. Turn it into a photo scavenger hunt and watch how creative your children can be. A great prize for this would be a little extra spending money on the trip. Kids always like to purchase their own souvenirs, so offering this as incentive can make the road trip even more entertaining. Examples of photos would be certain animals, land marks, talking to a waitress, a person picking their nose… you get the idea. The more challenging the photo request the more creative the kids will get.

Mad Libs have always been an excellent interactive car game. Many seem to have forgotten them recently, but building a story as a team is not only entertaining but also educational. If you want to take it a step further, you can begin by having the kids make a list of the different types of words. This can sometimes help the answers be more creative rather than have them use the same verbs or adjectives repeatedly.

Car Trunk with DogThe license plate game of the past can be given a bit of a make over. First, pick up a traditional map of the US from a local gas station convenient shop.  They usually have static US maps that can be attached to the windows of cars. With stickers you can mark off every state license plate you see on the way. If you have more than one child you can make it a competition to see who can fill up their map first. This can also be utilized to teach state capitals as well. You only get the point if you can name the state capital.

Postcard stop is fun for the new digital camera age. Instead of purchasing postcards along the way, choose from your family’s collection of scenic photos taken at your various stops. Or, pull over spontaneously when a family member sees something they think will make a great postcard. This can be a fun way to document your trip.  In addition to sending copies to your grandparents and other family and friends, you can all vote on a picture you can use during the holidays for your season greetings card. provides a wonderful service for people looking to create professional looking post cards, photo books, calendars, or other types of cards and stationary from your digital pictures.  What a great way to permanently capture your road trip vacation memories!

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Pharaba Hacker-Witt (Visitor Review)

I work and live in Los Angeles, but travel as much as I possibly can. My brother and sister are young enough to be my kids, so I have taken the lead in planning all the family vacations, learning tons along the way! From Europe to Canada to Mexico to road trips all over the United States, I have done and planned it all and can't wait to hit the road each and every day.

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