On the road again for holiday travel

by Brittany Gilbert

Tis the season for holiday travel.

Whether you drive one hour or 20, if you have kids, you know it’s better when you can keep them busy. Just in case you’re tired of playing “Frozen” over and over, here are some tips to make traveling a little more fun for everyone.

Get the kids involved in planning for the trip. Not only can this take some of the preparation off of you, but it can also give your kids some excitement about the journey and some insight to the time and energy you put into planning family trips.

Give them a few dollars and let them shop the dollar sections for goodies to use for games along the way.

Food is always an exciting part of a family trip. Have your kids make a munchable necklace. Any snack food or candy that can be threaded on a string can be used for this fun treat.

You can create a binder with printouts for activities like “Road trip BINGO” or “I spy.” There are websites with free printables — try momsminivan.com. Get some plastic sheet protectors to help with organization and re-use the activities on future trips.

Create a playlist of songs for the trip.

When you’re on the road, you want things to go as smoothly as possible. While some mishaps are inevitable, some travel tips may help eliminate avoidable issues.

Have your own snacks pre-made instead of spending money on less healthy, more expensive options at a gas station. Use a tackle box or sewing notion box with several compartments and fill each section with a different snack option. Bite size snacks can help cut down on messes, so ideas for snacks include trail mix, popcorn, Chex, M&Ms, etc. A tip for healthy snacks: yogurt and applesauce are messy on their own, so stick a straw through the top instead of having them use a spoon.

Make a kid-friendly map of your trip so the kids can keep up and hopefully keep the “are we there yet” questions to a minimum.

You can highlight the road you take so they can follow easily. Place number markers along the way and have activity bags for them to open. These bags could have fun games to play or the treats you picked out.

Bring along those department store catalogs and have your kids create their wish lists. If they’re older, let them cut out their wish list items.

To help with organization, use a car seat or a shoe organizer to help keep toys, books, snacks and anything else handy so that you aren’t digging around for items. 


Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have two sons and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at [email protected].