There is nothing like a good ole road trip with the family to bring everyone together. For some, this could be the start of many “are we there yet”? questions or I need to use the bathroom stops. With spring upon us, it is the perfect time to think about taking some time off with your kids or planning for upcoming summer vacations.

I think the best way to prevent repetitive questions and frequent needs for stops is a little preparation! Think of when you go on a work trip or adult getaway. You likely pack things that provide comfort and ease and keep you busy. Kids need that too! It makes time go by faster and makes the means for a much more peaceful trip.

In my house we pack what I like to call a “busy bag”. This can be packed for our weekly church visit or a long car ride. Basically it would have things kids could benefit from to keep them busy.

Tips to Create a Busy Bag

  •  Reading material Comics, books, kindle or puzzle books. Whatever your child enjoys reading can be packed. I always sneak something in that he might have not looked at in a while like a word search book or search and find book. books
  • Something to listen to: My travel DVD player and headphones have been the highlight of our road trips! Talk about a great way to pass time. I often will visit the library and have my child pick out 2 movies. One for the way to our destination and one for the way home. You can also pack an iPod for listening to music or books on CD or tape.
  • Something to snack on. Boxes of raisins, fruit leather, cereal bars or pretzels. Keeping your childs blood level stable will help with their mood and will help not having you have to stop for snacks.
  • Homework. This one is a bummer. However! if you are taking a trip on a long weekend and school is the following Monday, it will help to have the homework done in advance and for your child not to have to get it all done the night you get home. snack
  • Something to write. I pack blank paper, doodle pads, pens and colored pencils. My son loves to create comics and draw cartoon characters. Give them a clipboard and a game of Tic, Tac, Toe or Hangman can be passed around from child to child.

Some other things to consider would be giving your child a pillow and bringing their stuffed animal. This can provide comfort when staying in a hotel room. Take breaks so everyone can get out and stretch and use the bathroom. We normally plan where we will stop and when in advance so will remind our child when to expect us to stop.

Whereever you end up going with your family, you can make the travel getting their just a fun and comfortable for your child. Giving them the option of creating their busy bag will help them feel independent and a part of the planning for this special trip. The important thing is to get out their and do it. You will be creating lifelong memories. Family time is precious time!