How to Survive a Long Car Ride with Kids

Going on a trip with your children? Follow these steps.


  1. Image titled Pace Step 1
    Pace. Allow enough time for rest stops. Two hours of car time, then a break, makes a good pattern.
  2. Image titled PackASpecialBackpack Step 2
    Pack a special backpack or bag for each child, with crayons, books, toys, activity sets, stickers, and/or handheld games. Also, pack some new wrapped surprises for little kids. But don't give out all the loot at once!
  3. Image titled PrintOutSomeSimpleGamesToPlayInTheCar Step 3
    Print out some simple games to play in the car -- see the link at right.
  4. Image titled Play Step 4 1
    Play. Bring story for the whole family on the car stereo system, or bring individual players for your kids. Play pint-sized board-games. Clue, Sorry, Trouble... are oldies but goodies.
  5. Image titled FindPlayrooms Step 5
    Find playrooms. Burger King and McDonald's have great playrooms on major highways. Let the kids burn off energy while you order their food "to go" to eat later in the car.
  6. Image titled GoToPlaygrounds Step 6
    Go to playgrounds. Every school and most parks have them! Little limbs need to shake, rattle, and roll.
  7. Image titled Picnic Step 7
    Picnic. Buy the fixings' at a deli or grocery store, and find somewhere scenic where the kids can run around. You save money, too.
  8. Image titled BringPotties Step 8
    Bring potties. it's worth bringing a training pottie, if your child has need-to-go-NOW emergencies; although if they're older, then they'll have to hold.
  9. Image titled LetThemSleep Step 9
    Let them sleep. Kids fall asleep easily in the car, and a snooze can be a great way to let the miles fly by. Just be sure to allow lots of wakie-wakie time. Rousing a child from deep sleep because "we're there now" is tough.
  10. Image titled Rush Step 10
    Rush: is a four-letter word when you Travel With Kids!


  • Make sure your child goes the toilet before the trip.
  • Give your children pillows and blanket just in case they take a snooze.
  • Make sure the kids have fun!
  • Bring a first aid kit for any potential injury.
  • If you have a DVD player, bring it!
  • Always carry baby wipes no matter how old your children are.
  • Let your kids make noise and play right before you leave so they'll be calmer for the trip.
  • If your child gets sick, simply pull over and clean up the mess. (It would be a good thing if you know your kid is going to get sick. Bring paper towels, a plastic bag, and some spray.)
  • If your infant and toddler are crying, simply pull over and stop the crying by nursing or using a bottle for the infant and a snack for the toddler.
  • Bring a potty for your toddler!
  • Bring a travel pillow or a regular pillow every rest stop get out shake off and stand/sit and relax.
  • Bring appropriate devices for children 6 or up.


  • Your child may grow bored of the toy you give him/her, make sure to switch the toy every hour or even every 20-30 minutes.
  • Never say, "We're here!" to wake your child up, when you're not at your hotel/motel. It may cause tears and disappointment.
  • Your child may be cranky when you arrive to your hotel/motel.

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Categories: Road & Rail Travel | Family Vacations