How to Keep Kids Entertained During Road Trips

The holidays can be a stressful time for families. Throw a road trip in the mix, and you're looking at Meltdown City. Good thing Mighty Mommy has 6 tips for surviving a family road trip. 

Cheryl Butler
2-minute read

How to Keep Kids Entertained During Road Trips

The holidays can be stressful enough, but when you throw a road trip or two in the mix, that could be the final straw that sends you over your breaking point.  

Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be the case. I have 6 quick tips to keep your kids entertained while traveling on the road:

1. Be prepared.   Make a list and check it twice and be sure to include healthy snacks, juice and water, the traveling potty if you have one, paper towels and sanitizing soap, as well as wipes in case of accidents.  For older kids, don’t forget their smartphone and iPod car chargers, as well as lots of extra batteries for any gadgets they use.

2. Don’t go the distance.  Plan on plenty of bathroom and stretch breaks throughout the trip.  It will be well worth the extra time you tack on to your travels. 

See also: How to Squash Sibling Squabbles

3. Surprise them with a “goody travel bag.”   Pack things like new coloring books and crayons, small dolls or matchbox cars, puzzle books, simple crafts, a journal for keeping a diary during the trip, and maybe a little pair of binoculars for games of “I Spy.”  For older kids, you can print a map and let them highlight the route with you. Also, pack travel games such as Trouble or Yahtzee or allow them to get a new game app for their phone or iPod.  

4. Audiobooks are your friend.  Preload their iPods with appropriate choices of audiobooks or select one or two that the whole family can enjoy together.

5. Map out the route in advance and come up with landmarks that the kids can be on the look- out for. You can turn this into a game and give out little prizes throughout the trip.

See also: The No Whining Zone

6. Bring along disposable cameras, if your kids don’t have a camera on their iPod or phone.  You’ll see the “travel” portion of your trip through your child’s eyes this way.


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.