These 10 Road Trip Hacks are Your Guide to Traveling With Kids

road trip hacks feature image

Mom Life is a Highway … With a lot of Potty Breaks

I consider myself a veteran road-tripping mom.  My family lives in Southwestern Ontario and I drive there with my two kids about every six weeks. It is a three hour drive and crosses an international border so to ensure a stress free trip, I’ve got our method down to a science.

Snacks, toys, rest stops, books, music, and more snacks are basically the key to making it through a long drive with littles. And, lots of coffee for mom.

Heading out to spring break or summer vacation? Check out my hacks from a seasoned road-tripper and please comment below if you have any no-fail advice for our readers.


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10 Road Trip Hacks for Parents that Will Transform Your Travels

1 – Pack in Laundry Baskets

Laundry Basket Road Trip Hack

This is a hack I learned from my mom and I love it.  

Laundry baskets are made for clothes so naturally they keep things neat! Plus you can see everything you’ve packed. I am also all about not having to make everything fit perfectly in order to close a zipper.  

And, the best of all? As you pack up after your trip, put your dirty clothes into one and clean clothes into another!

2 – Tidy Your House Before you Leave

Clean House Road Trip Hack coffee cups

This is another hack from my mom because she knows everything.  I love it now but not so much when I was a kid!

Coming home to a clean house is essential for a good transition back to regular life.

3 – Pick up Grocery Order on the way Home

Family Fare Fast Lane Shoppers

Before you leave, as part of your tidying up, remove things from your fridge that will go bad while you are away.

Then fill your cart up at Family Fare Fast Lane with the essentials you’ll need upon return. Send in your list at the end of your trip and make a quick stop at your nearest Family Fare to pick up what you need. Sooo easy. 

And if your road trip coincides with a major vacation time (think Spring Break), you’ll beat the long lines!

4 – Pack a Cooler With Easy to Eat, Fresh Food

Healthy Snacks Road Trip Hack cooler

Road trip food can be costly and quick stops usually means unhealthy options. Pack a cooler with easy-to-grab, healthy choices like bananas, apples, premade sandwiches, yogurt, and water.

5 – Give Each Kid a Car Blanket

Car Blanket Road Trip

My sister taught me this one. She has a big vehicle and making sure everyone is a comfortable temperature during a road trip is next to impossible. Take along a few to keep warm or one fun option is to make a fleece knot blanket.

You could even do most of the prep at home and work on the knots as part of an on-the-road craft!  Check out instructions on how to make one here.

6 – Put Together Color and Play Trays

Color and Play Tray Road Trip Hack

My daughter loves to draw and color so before a road trip we always visit the dollar store and stock up on coloring books, stickers, and crayons.  My son, on the other hand, loves to play with toy cars.

For both of them I have large trays to rest on their lap so they can play and color as we cruise down the road!

7 – Visit the Library for a Good Audio Book

Library Road Trip Hack books and DVDs 1

Before a road trip, head over to your local library and stock up on some new books!  We love getting I Spy books during road trips. And, for older kids, they have great audiobooks (did someone say Harry Potter?) to make your time in the car fly by!

8 – Fill Your Grab and Go Bag

If you’re planning on stopping overnight on the way to your destination, pack an easy to grab bag with a change of clothes for everyone and essential toiletries.  Bonus hack: book a hotel with a pool! Nothing better than hitting the pool after a long day in the car to use up your kids’ cooped up energy!

9 – Embrace Rest Stops

Rest Stop Road Trip Hack 1

Rest stops are a perfect place for a quick pit stop. Take a break to stretch your legs, use the restroom, and let the kids run around a bit.  

Depending on the time of year, rest stops are fun places for a little picnic! My son can sit there entertained just watching the big trucks come and go!

10 – Gather Classic Road Trip Games

License Plate Game Road Trip Hack

Classic road trip games are a fun way to pass the time on the road. I Spy with my Little Eye and 20 Questions are fun ones for littles. The License Plate Game is one my favorites and with this free printable your kids will learn geography too!

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