It’s been an exciting summer for our family! We’re moving to California (new job for Mike), and after looking at the expense of flying a family of six AND shipping a minivan we decided to drive. We done a couple short road trips, including a mini test drive to Atlantic City for a business trip Mike had last week. This will be our first big road trip with kids! We’ll be taking a roughly-3500 mile route across the country, with lots of stops at children’s museums thanks to an ASTC museum membership. I have always want to see Niagara Falls, so I’m thrilled that we have that planned as one of our stops!
Our family road trip survival plan
In the kids backpacks (each child will have their backpack by their seat):
- ALEX Desk to Go*, Art Pad*, and colored pencils* for each of the three “big” kids
- Post-It Notes (so they can create mini art galleries around their seats)
- Owie dolls
- Travel felt boards
- Dress-up bear felt sets
Note that their backpacks start off quite empty. I’m sure they will find things to add as we travel.
*This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.
Snacks for the car:
- Cheese sticks
- Contigo Kids water bottles*
We keep a trash can in the back of the car to prevent the minivan from getting trashed.
In the front of the car:
- Fruit snacks (emergency rations)
- Small plastic animals and new books to give out as surprises
- Audio books (see links below for recommendations from fellow bloggers – that’s where I’ll be turning for inspiration!)
- See if we can find a license plate for every state (plus Washington, D.C.)
- Find the letters of the alphabet on street signs
- Who can find the next mile marker first? (Frequently much more competitive than you might think)
For hotel rooms and our stay in Utah (the kids and I will remain in Utah until we find housing in CA – haven’t been very lucky in that department so far):
- Workbooks (at grade level, from Costco)
- Legos – in plastic shoebox sized bins for easy storage
- ALEX Giant Art Jar*
I drove across the country several times with my family as a kid, but this is my first time doing a trip like this with my own family! So I looked to my fellow kid bloggers for advice. Here are a few posts I’ll be using as a resource as we prepare for our trip – and I’ll be collecting even more ideas on my Traveling with Kids Pinterest Board!
- Surviving a Roadtrip with a Toddler from It’s a Long Story
- Road Trip: 10 Easy Activities and NO Electronics from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide
- Road Trip Games for Kids from Pragmatic Mom
- Car Trip Busy Box from Play Dr. Mom
- An even longer road trip from Nine More Months
- The Ultimate Road Trip Guide for Families from KC Edventures
- Traveling with Tots, 25+ Tips for Car Trips with Young Kids, and Audio Book Recommendations from Adventures in Mommydom
- Quiet Road Trip Activities for Little Ones from Mama Papa Bubba
What do you recommend we bring or plan? What are your favorite car games?