Who doesn’t like going on an adventure? Well it’s summertime so everyone knows what that means- packing up everybody in the car, and possibly a furry friend as well, and heading out to explore places unknown. Sometimes it can be a pain to think about what you need to bring, so we thought of a few good ways to keep everyone entertained and satisfied until the need for the next rest stop arises. We even threw in a few general tips for comfort and preparedness for any road trips for good measure.
Traveling with children can be tricky, small bladders and small attention spans can wreak havoc on a long car ride. An easy option is always to give a child a mobile device and headphones, but who says that’s the only option? So we put together a list of ideas to help anyone being road trip ready!
Activity books and markers – an old school option with good merit. These days, markers and crayons come in a multiple shades and are double sided. These can be a great option as there is less to keep track of and leave children with less to fumble around for with two colors in one.
Dry erase markers – car windows make a great dry erase board for a car ride. The awesome part of this idea is that it works no matter how many kids are in the car. One child can draw to their heart’s content and multiple children can play games like hangman or Pictionary.
Pipe cleaners – some many creative options, so little time. This option comes in lots of great colors and is reusable again and again with no mess and even easier clean up. Other ideas might be to make a phone line with paper cups or the kids trying to create things that everyone else has to guess what it is – the possibilities are really endless.
Sing-a-long CDs or books on tape – family activities at their best! Plenty of options here can involve the whole family. Books on tape lets everyone have story time or the kids get their own stories through headphones if they desire different stories. Also something to remember, the public library is a great resource for these materials if not traveling far or for very long as check out times can allow for two or three week loans!
Hand-held games – some hand-held electronic games can actually be a great option for kids. There are games like Simon or Brain Trainer that lets kids learn or exercise their brains while keeping them busy in the car. Who says fun can’t be educational fun? Old goodies like a rubix cub can be an awesome idea for the kid that loves puzzles.
Activities with no extras required – the car games everyone can play together. Things like finding license plates from other states, counting cars in a single color, or taking turns to make up a story together. Want to make it educational? State capitals are a way to go! It’s as simple as asking if I’m going to Alabama, what’s the state capital there? A family spelling bee can work as well.
The one necessity on any car ride, no matter how far, is always snacks! Sometimes it can be a challenge to not only figure out what to bring, but what in the world to bring it in.
There’s lots of options for storage, have no fear. Some good ideas for the cold stuff would be those small disposable coolers or zip coolers can allow for each child to have their own bags for food. Flip top containers help to keep track of the lids and come in just about any size needed for any kind of snack. A great choice are the slim storage containers with multiple dividers has opportunity for placing lots of different bite sized eatables in one place. Reusable food pouches are also handy as they can be used for the ride to your destination and back, with the added benefit of making homemade organic mixes to go in them. Also don’t forget to bring those clips to close any sealed bags brought for the trip.
Now that the storage options are all figured out, what is there to put in them? Trusty juice boxes and water bottles are the obvious choice for something to drink, but what about the snacks? The divided storage container is really a great choice, especially if the car is low on storage space. Things like animal crackers to bite-sized carrot pieces and cheese squares fit nicely inside them. Chips can actually be a great option and healthy too! Chips designed for dipping can have things put inside them like cheese squares to stay away from messy dips with who knows what in them. Hummus is also a great way to go as its thickness makes it hard to spill and is easily homemade and healthy! Things like olives or fruit can also be pushed down in to it for added topping.
Traveling with a Furry Friend?
Long travels or vacationing can often mean the whole family is going along, including the family pet. It can be difficult to coordinate a trip with a member of the family that can’t communicate as easily with everyone else. Here are some basic tips to make the ride with Fido go a bit more smoothly.
The night before leaving take away food and water after the final nightly bathroom break for the family pet. The next day coordinate the pet’s eating and drinking with family meal times so everyone can take bathroom breaks at the same time once on the road to minimize stops along the way.
A piece of home is always a good comfort for nervous pets, like a favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Just be careful about bringing along that favorite squeaky toy.
Good behavior in the car should always be rewarded and small bite sized treats are an easy carry on or reminding the kids to pet the dog every so often can help too.
A lot of distractions can go along with a long trip, if the family pet likes to stick their head out of the window, never forget the doggy seat belt to maximize pet safety!
See? With the right preparation, traveling with the kids and any furry friends will be a breeze this summer! From foods to activities, we’re here to make your trip as stress free as possible. Here’s to a fun ride and happy travels this summer!