Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Road Trip Travel Bucket for Kids!

Long road trips, anything over 10 hours, with the kids never crossed my mind until this year.  Let’s get real!  2.5 hours to the lake or my in-laws was enough for me and the kids to be cooped up in the car.  Once in awhile I would forget how painful it is to be stuck in the car for 6 or 7 hours and we’d drive up to Calgary only to realize that it’s just not really worth it, LOL.  BUT the girls are older and way easier to deal with in general; they understand how to entertain themselves more, can be logical for the most part, and understand a “LONG” trip is really a “long” trip.  So, when the idea popped into my head in early March to drive across three provinces, approximately 20 hours each way, to visit my sister I paused long enough to really consider it.  The kids flew their ahead of time and Logan and I did the first 20+ hours on our own, read about it HERE, and then we all made the trip back together.  I will mention that at this time I don’t want to tackle the distance in one shot but I loved that we were able to spread over several days with activities and visiting various places.

Regardless of the pits tops, we knew we were going to be stuck in the car for hours and hours and HOURS.  First thing I came to terms with in my own mind was:

a) Technology and screen time were going to be my friend.  I know, I know.  What did kids do before tablets?  Here is the thing, I DON”T CARE.  Sorry, but I don’t.  Generally I am very diligent about how much screen time is allowed, max one hour on a drive, but for this trip, I needed to get real.  So, though I was going to encourage them to look out the window, I was also prepared to just give in and enjoy the scenery myself without complaining.  The good news is, due to some of items I am about to show you the girls actually didn’t spend more then 2 or 2.5  hours of the 7 hour of driving  on their tablets.  WIN!  

b)   Eating was not always going to be super-dooper healthy but we would do our best by packing apples, snap peas, oranges, crackers and cheese in the cooler for snacks.  This is another hard thing for me because I love to eat balanced meals but sometimes you just must indulge and go with the flow. 

 I hit Pinterest for car ride ideas and of course it didn’t let me down.  I had a plastic bin that sat between the girls in the backseat and contained everything they needed including markers, pencil crayons, pencils, window markers, wipes, books, grade leveled workbooks, some cards, journals, a personalized binders and their tablets. 

Personalized binders and their journals were the most used items by far.  In the binders I printed off:
  • Roadtrip ScavengerHunt:  This was a HIT people.  I told them when they got half of them they would get a treat and if they got all of them they would get $5/each (which I haven’t paid them yet because they’ve already forgotten about the money).    This scavenger hunt kept them busy for at least one hour each day we traveled, three days in totally.  They loved it and found many of the items hilarious, especially looking for a driver that was picking their nose.  

  • A map from each of the legs of our trip.  I personally loved this and it kept them looking at the sings of all the places we passed from point A to B. 

  • Journal entries.  Anya used it but Halie just jotted things down in her own journal.

  • Blank paper for doodling.

The other item they used a lot for drawing and writing messages were the window/chalkboard markers.  There are many colors to choose from and they are super vibrant.  The only downfall to them was that you must shake them for a while before the ink makes it to the tip of the marker, but that kept them entertained too so maybe its not so bad.  The baby wipes were perfect for wiping the windows down and starting over.  

Since we traveled through the mountains, the kids were really entertained to see new terrain and ended up using their technology to take their own pictures along the way.  They were less impressed once we re-entered the parries😊 

Our favorite two games to play all together on road trips are, Would You Rather?,  and Categories.

What hacks do you have for traveling with kids?  I hope you enjoyed the post and you were able to get some new ideas. 


  1. I found the same thing too about the amount they actually spent on the screen in the car (usually through the prairies)..but if I brought other entertainment- they usually spent a lot of time one it. Love your picks!

    1. Thanks Dee. I know you guys travel with the kids a ton. This was such a positive experience that I can definitely see us doing another version of the trip in the next couple of years.

  2. I just love the dry erase/chalk marker idea for the windows and that is a NEW one for me! My daughter would love that! Great tips!


    1. Thanks Carrie. They are super nice and so vibrant. I absolutely love them, especially on the chalkboard.