This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.
This August my family of four will hit the open road to travel from our home to Richmond, VA for our family reunion. This will be the second-long distance trip for my four-year-old. We traveled to Missouri to visit my older son two years ago. When traveling with your kids, you should prepare a handy checklist of things to do before leaving home.
Here are some tips I’ve curated over the years from personal experiences or from others:
Safety first. Always make sure you to have your car serviced before traveling. The year we traveled to Missouri I needed 4 new tires. Can you imagine being on the road and having a flat or worse a blowout? I also signed up with a road protection service such as AAA. This year we’re renting a car because my car has over 197K miles. Renting a car is an option if your budget allows it. Always remember to have an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, jumper cables, and first aid kit.
Snacks. Whether you’re a health nut or not, packing snacks and drinks can help distract the little ones with something to do. I always bring a small cooler that fits nicely between the two boys. It’s easy to reach and monitor whether they are drinking a little too much.
Activities. My boys both have internet-connected tablets. They can watch their favorite shows or movies while on the road. What’s great about this is there are no arguments over who gets to watch their favorite movie first. I also pack Dollar Store coloring books, colored pencils, and crayons for when they’ve had enough of the tablet and need something else to do.
Audiobooks. When all else fails we listen to family audiobooks on my favorite library app Hoopla. This app is free with some library memberships. This app makes listening to audiobooks so easy and simple while traveling. We just hook up the audio cable to my phone and voila!
Pillows and blankets. Don’t forget the pillows and snugglies. A long road trip means at some point the kids will fall asleep. I hate it when I see my son’s little head bobbing and wobbling while he’s sleeping. Having their favorite blanket makes falling asleep so much better.
Prescription and OTC meds. Don’t forget the meds. I pack everything because one kid is bound to get sick. Whether it’s a fever or stomach ache I’m prepared with our OTC/prescription medications to mitigate any sickness while we’re away. And we don’t have to search for an open store at 12 AM.
Bonus Tip: I allow my kids to take a couple of toys with them. These are entertainment while on the drive or at the hotel. I do keep the toys to a minimum so we’re not looking for 15 toys the night before we’re leaving the hotel.
These are some of my favorite tips when traveling with my children. What are some things you do to prepare or use when traveling with your kids?