The Journey, the Destination, and Five Road Trip Hacks to Get You There
Summer is the season of road trips, and we’ve got you covered with this list of essential road trip hacks! On any trip, we eagerly await the destination, but we don’t love the journey as much. Why not make the journey a part of the road trip family fun? Our list of road trip hacks will get you to your destination free of whines, cries, and groans. The kids will have such a ball that they’ll remember the drive as being a big part of their summer fun!
Hack #1: Create a physical time map
For young kids, a five minute stretch on the road can often feel like hours to their little bodies and brains. Avoid the dreaded “Are we there yet?” question by using a visual time map. Cut out a thin strip of paper to represent the length of your trip. A good place to display it is the roof of the car, above the sun visors. Next, create end markers to place on both ends of the paper strip. For example, if you begin your journey in California and end in Oregon, cut out the state shapes to use as markers. For any fun stops along the way such as visiting a waterfall or stopping to pick apples, cut out additional markers. Lastly, use a cutout of a car or picture of the family to mark how far along you are in your journey. Move the marker as you drive, and the kids will always know exactly how far you are from “there yet!”
Hack #2: Have fun grab bags on hand
All kids love surprises, no matter how big or small. To add a little fun to the kids’ time in the car, create mystery bags before you leave. Fill them with candy, small toys, word searches, a voucher for picking the next three songs, or coloring pages, and hand them out at various parts of your drive. Label them with “Do not open until _____,” and fill in the blank with a certain time, a city you’re going to pass through, or an event like “until we see five red trucks.” Be as creative as you want, and the kids will have so much fun riffling through their surprise bags!
Hack #3: Use a shoe organizer to hold supplies
Sling an over-the-door shoe organizer onto the back of the front seats so the kids can have easy access to napkins, trash bags, toys, books, and other supplies. Mom and Dad can store supplies in the shoe organizer as well, such as battery packs, sunscreen, wet wipes, and whatever else you may need to access quickly on the road.
Hack #4: Use a tackle box to hold snacks
Tackle boxes are great because they have a bunch of built-in compartments. Use a clean tackle box to organize the kids’ snacks. Add healthy snacks such as dried fruit, pretzels, dry cereal, nuts, granola, and whatever else the kids enjoy snacking on to each compartment.
Hack #5: Use a cookie tray as a backseat desk
A cookie tray makes an excellent on-the-go desk! If your kids are in car seats, the cookie tray lies across their laps and rests easily on the car seat armrests. The cookie tray’s raised edges keep crayons, markers, and colored pencils from rolling off, and you can even use magnets to hold down the corners of coloring pages.