Monday, September 26, 2022

Road Trip Tips and Tricks

Hello friends! I hope you all had a nice weekend! The kids had Friday off school so on Thursday afternoon we all picked up Lily Grace at carpool and headed to the mountains for the weekend. 

The weather was BEAUTIFUL!! The perfect little taste of fall! Think 40ish degrees in the morning, but in the low 60's by the afternoon. It was a dream. 

We did some hiking, some playing in the town playground, and for Liam... a lot of throwing rocks in the creek. 😂 

At one point while hiking Liam said "I don't want to walk anymore, I just want to throw things" and we all cracked up. How soon can we sign this kid up for baseball? 😉

Anyway, on the drive back to Charlotte I realized our family does a LOT of weekend trips. Between Devin's parents living near the beach (roughly 3.5 hours away) and mine living in the mountains (less than 2 hours away), we are pretty well practiced in the art of a road trip. Since we've taken so many road trips, we have figured out a few tips and tricks for making the car rides as smooth as possible. I figured I'd share a few with you today in case you travel with young kids too (or any age I guess!). I feel like none of these tips are groundbreaking, but sometimes it helps to see something you already know written out in front of you. Maybe there will be something that is new for you, that would be great! Before we get started I will note that my car does not have a TV in it, so the kids do not watch movies on our road trips (we do have tablets-- there will be a note on tablets at the bottom). If you have a TV in your car and choose to use it, go for it! Whatever makes the trip a little easier right? Here are our tips and tricks for making road trips a little easier:

- Keep them busy! I think the most important thing when road tripping with kids is to keep them occupied so you can focus on driving safely. I make sure our kids have plenty of fun activities to do in the car, and they can easily access them. Earlier this summer we bought this car organizer that goes in between the kids seats. This thing has been a game changer! I put books, coloring books, crayons, toys, etc. in there and the kids can grab whatever they are in the mood for. 

- Audiobooks. Eventually the kids get sick of their coloring books/toys/etc. Roughly a week or two before our trip, I check out a bunch of kid audiobooks at our local library. If you are big Disney fans, these song and story ones are GREAT! Our library has them for all the Disney movies and I'll try to grab 6-7 per road trip. They start with a few songs, then play the stories which are roughly 20 minutes. We usually listen to a few stories on the way to our destination, then some different ones on the way back home. If you have a Prime membership, there are several on Prime for free:

Not too bad right? You should check out whatever other free audiobooks are there too. 

- Keep snacks handy, and a lot of them. Whenever the kids start to get a little cranky, a snack always seems to be a cure all. It gives them something else to focus on for a few minutes, makes them happy, and then whatever was bothering them a few minutes prior has been forgotten. 

- Mystery snacks! No matter how long the car trip may be, kids are still kids and they will get restless at some point. I like to keep a bag of "mystery snacks" in the front with me and use them as a little motivation for good behavior. Each hour if the kids have been on their best behavior I let them pick one snack from the "mystery bag" (just a reusable grocery bag). We stock the bag with things I don't usually buy like granola bars or these sugar free fruit roll ups (these are REALLY good by the way). Not that there's anything wrong with these snacks, I just don't think to buy them because I don't walk down that aisle. 

- Tablets. We personally only use these as an absolutely desperate last resort because getting our kids to give them up always causes a battle. That being said, do what works for you!! Everyone's family is different, and every trip is different. One time on the way back from Hilton Head (typically a 4 hour trip) we got stuck behind a bad wreck. What is normally a 4 hour trip ended up taking closer to 7... I did not have enough snacks or activities packed! Luckily I had thought to bring the kids' tablets in case we got desperate, because we sure as heck did get desperate!! At the end of the day, all that really matters is that you arrive safely at your destination. If a little screen time helps to get you there safely, then do what you gotta do!


If you have any road trips planned for the fall-- here's hoping they go as smoothly as possible!

Today I am linking up with Sarah and Holly for Hello Monday. Have a great week!


  1. These are such good tips. How cool about the audiobooks for kids...I had no idea! The mountains with that cool air sounds wonderful. We are getting our first cool front here later this week, and I'm just happy to be out of the 90's!

  2. Love these ideas- my kids would love to go on a road trip with you! :)

  3. We always listened to audiobooks in the car (even while driving around town!).. but while my boys still want plenty of snacks they told me if I had gotten an audiobook for our trip this summer they wouldn't have heard any of it anyway. They are all at that age when they just put on their headphones and either listen to music or stream movies to watch on their own devices.