Traveling with kids can be challenging to say the least, and the more you have, the harder it gets! Long trips in the car can be especially difficult. Below I have some snack and activity ideas and other tips that help make our long travels more bearable!
The best time to leave for a trip with kids if you are traveling during the day is right after they wake up in the morning and have eaten and gone to the bathroom. Make sure to pack plenty of snacks for them to eat on the way and have some activities to keep them entertained too!
Snacks for the Ride
First, I get each of the kids their only little basket with the snacks they like. Then I put little baggies of each thing in their basket. This way each child knows what is theirs and they (or you if they’re too young) can control their own snacks. This also cuts down on the “HEY, THAT’S MINE!” that will inevitably happen if they are sharing a basket.
Some great road trip snacks for kids that are easy for them to handle themselves are:
- Fruit snacks
- Granolas (here’s the ones my kids like most)
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (handmade or frozen)
- Apple slices
- Favorite candies (not chocolate because it can get messy if it melts)
- Cheese/string cheese sticks
- Applesauce or other squeeze pouches
- Plantain Chips
- Carrot sticks
Also make sure you take some type of drink or non-spill drink cup for each child too! If you have a toddler, these snack cups are great because kids love being able to hold them and feed themselves AND they don’t spill!
Depending on your child’s age, certain travel activities may or may not work. I have some suggestions for little and big kids (since I have both!) and these should work for either driving or flying. The longer the trip the more things you should stock up with! Also try to save some for the trip back too just because having something “new” that the kids haven’t seen before is helpful in keeping them occupied.
We let our older son bring a tablet, Nintendo Switch, and we have a movie player that hangs on the back of our seat that the kids will watch movies on sometimes during our trips. The kids often get bored of these things (plus the younger one doesn’t use these things yet), so I like to have extra activities on hand to give them other things to do.
Activities for younger and older kids:
Water Wow! are a must-have any time we travel! Even my toddler, who doesn’t really “color” yet, likes to play with these! They each contain pages with different images and you use a brush with water to “paint” the page and the images “magically” get colored in. They have so many options from ABC’s, numbers, castles, dinosaurs, farm animals, etc.
These foam planes were a hit with all three of my kids (1, 2 and 8)! The 1 and 2 year olds had to have me or their dad assemble them but they still were able to hold them and play with them after that. The 2 year old liked to put the stickers on (and take them off again of course). He was occupied with these for a good two hours on a recent flight, so I would say they were a win!
Depending on your child’s age, any age appropriate book will probably work. What I find that works best to keep my kids occupied are interactive books. This book about airplanes has lots of tabs and flaps, which could keep all kids interested, but my toddler especially loves finding and peeling back the tabs even if he can’t read.
This memory game is a great travel game because there are no loose pieces! There are different boards that can be switched out in the back and a score keeper at the bottom of the board to keep track of points. My older son was able to play this game by himself as well as with others so it was a good choice.
These were another great choice because my kids especially like to peel, place, remove and replace stickers over and over again. This sheet contains many stickers and my kids both spent some time creating and recreating scenes with these. They also thought it was funny to put the animals and people in funny places or upside down.
Activities for older kids:
Scratch art is another great travel activity! This is not only time consuming for kids but they enjoy scratching off the coating to reveal the picture underneath! It does leave the little flecks of the scratched off coating behind, so keep that in mind, I still think it was worth it though!
Activities for toddlers:
When my toddler was first learning out how to buckle and unbuckle he really loved this board! He also liked to zip and unzip the zipper, but the button snap and shoelace were a little hard for him. Still, it was great to bring along on car rides because he would sit and play with it for a long time and again, no mess!
I don’t know about other kids, but if my kids were into something then they looooved to do it over and over again! This board with different kind of locks was perfect to take in the car for my little to lock, unlock, open and close and repeat a million times! Great way to keep him occupied for traveling.
Are there any travel snacks and activities for kids that have been helpful for you? If so, let us know in the comments below!