Surviving Road Trips WITHOUT the kids being glued to a screen

We road trip it A LOT. With family in southern Alberta, northern Alberta and Victoria, my kids are quickly becoming long car ride experts. Whether you are driving for 2 or 20 hours, a little pre-planning can go a LONG way to making that drive pleasant…and without watching Frozen on repeat ten times.

IMAG19021. Pack an “activity bag”. Invest a bit of time and money and purchase some age-appropriate colouring books, sticker books, thinking puzzles, and a pencil case (or two). We also have window markers, some fidgets, cards and a variety of travel sized board games.  Of course, pack along some books for the kids to get lost in.  Non-readers? No problem. Crayola makes a HUGE range of products. Colour Wonder Markers and paper, Window Markers, Non-drying out plastercine, etc. When I’m looking for new stuff to add to the bag (yes, you will need to update this occasionally), Crayola products are my first go-to.  Also, be sure to keep the bag hidden away so it is new, fresh and exciting when you bring it out.

2. Snacks. Don’t know about you, but my kids eat non-stop in the car. Whether they are hungry or bored, I don’t know, but I need food in the car. A huge variety of snacks is key here. Cut up apple, grapes, cheese (Babybells are great cause they can be un-refridgerated for a good long while), crackers, cookies, juice boxes, water bottles, cold pizza, or some easy sandwiches or wraps. Variety here is key.  A quick bite to eat can quickly diffuse a cranky kiddo.speaker-and-headphone-splitter

3. Books on CD (or downloaded books on iPhone/Pad/Pod).This was a tip I learned from my SIL. BOTH her boys suffer from horrible car sickness (pack the ginger tablets and gravol), so reading and colouring are out of the question. Books they can listen to have been absolute saviours.  If you have more than one child, and they are close enough in age to like the same books, invest in a headphone splitter, then they can each have their own set of headphones, but listen to the same story. My kids are totally HOOKED on this right now. They have discovered a series of books called 39 Clues.  They are at the point now that they ASK to go for longer car rides so they can listen more! Even better, they have been FREE from the ever wonderful Edmonton Public Library.  We use the Hoopla App, or Overdrive, both of which are compatible with EPL.  Side benefit of this? The kids are happy, using their imagination, and QUIET. My husband and I have enjoyed listening to our own music and having adult conversation while the kids enjoy great literature.

So whether you are heading to Canmore for a ski weekend, or just need some peace and quiet on the way home from the dayhome, these three strategies will make your life just a little bit easier.


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