Have you ever been tempted to skip the airport lines and take an epic road trip to enjoy some much needed family time? You envision a fantasy family trip, hours on the open road…laughter, memories and fun galore. And then—it hits you. 2 toddlers, 8 hours on the road and not enough snacks and entertainment in the world to make this road trip the dream vacation you imagined.
Fear not! We’ve been there and the sh*t show CAN be avoided with the right planning and tactics to keep your road trip companions entertained. Here are 10 ways to get you started.
- Play your kiddo’s favorite playlist (and let’s be honest, there are a few songs on the new Encanto soundtrack that even you are loving). Come on the road trip prepared with a go-to playlist and be sure to include a white noise song or two to play on repeat when they are sleepy and in need of a car nap.
- Grab an old-fashioned DVD player or tablet preloaded with your kiddo’s favorite movies or shows. We suggest comfy, colorful headphones that stay in place and can handle rough play.
- Bring a couple PopIts for your sensory-seeking little one! You can choose one with numbers, shapes or ABCs if you want to incorporate a “find and pop” game.
- For older kids, choose a drawing board or LCD drawing tablet. Invisible ink coloring books are another easy and mess-free option.
- Be prepped with fun and favorite snacks. If you follow a strict no food in the car rule, this is your time to temporarily ditch it! Nothing can keep a hungry kiddo calm like some yummy snacks. On the go? Drop a couple of Little Spoon smoothies in your bag to keep handy without the hassle of spoon feeding mid drive.
- Podcasts! We personally love Circle Round, Smash Boom Best, Brains On, Wow in the World, Forever Ago, Peace Out, But Why? A podcast for Curious Kids. Not only will your little one listen mesmerized, it will also spark great questions for conversations after the episode.
- Reclaim the classics: I Spy, Who am I, Count the X, Would you rather, and telling jokes. Get ready to fake a good laugh to keep the entertainment going.
- Sticker activity pads. They will keep your little one engaged and practicing their fine motor skills as they remove and place stickers in different scenes throughout the activity pad. Themes range from habitats and dinosaurs to princesses and pirates.
- Books! From Lift the Flap or Look and Find books for toddlers, to workbooks, crossword puzzles and word searches for older kids.
- Last and way over the top, the luxury road trip accessory, the travel tray. Pockets, compartments, bottle holders, space to draw or place a tablet and just about everything you can think of. The travel tray gives your kiddo independence and in return, you might just get a few minutes of alone time.