Monday, June 5, 2017

Road Trip Bags for School Aged Kids (aka how to reduce travel bickering)

Do you have summer road trip plans?  Ready to pack up your family and hit the open road?  It's all fun and games until the kids keep whining and the radio won't pick up a decent signal.  Or maybe that's just me?

I've shared other traveling tips in the past and now my sweet angels (ah-hem) are both school aged (5 3/4 and 9 1/2 yrs old). In preparation for a week long trip this summer that includes 3 separate (!!!) days of driving I prepared the following keep-em-busy-organized-and-fed bags.  Perhaps I should call it a KEBOAFB instead.  Hmm, still not working.  I'll have to think about that some more.l

Anyhoo, I have been preparing these bags-of-fun (ooo that's better) for a while now; picking up goodies at the Target Dollar Spot, dollar stores, clearance sales, etc.  

The bags are personalized for each of my precious pumpkins from Shutterfly using free codes so I only had to pay shipping.  They ended up costing $5.50 each.  Well worth it to me as they're:

1. Adorable
2. Fold able
3. Reusable
4. Easy to figure out which goes to which child! (aka no fighting)

Inside each bag I included (so far)

-new book(s)
-activity book(s)
-art supplies
-sticky note books ($1! on clearance)
-activity to do at the hotel (growing dinosaur eggs)
-a couple child specific goodies

Other things to remember/consider packing for road trips include:

*Game player packet w/charger (or extra batteries) and games.
*pillows/blankets to get cozy
*ipods/ipads with individual playlists and games

I found this fantastic road trip book a couple months ago and put it away for this trip.  It has activities and car games to help make the trip more interactive.  You could also get car bingo or other road-trip specific books/games for travel. 


And don't forget snacks!  I made bags for each day of travel that were clearly marked.  And yes, I'm keeping Day #2/#3 somewhere else since my kids are awesome but not super-human.  If they had all the snacks in a bag they would eat them!

For travel friendly car snacks I recommend:

-Apple Sauce
-Snack Bars (I'm all about fruit/nuts lately, protein for the win!)
-Gummy Bunnies
-Hard candies (they can take awhile to eat, careful with the smaller kids for choking hazards)
-Pretzels (less messy than crackers)
-Fruit Tape
-Jelly Beans

And don't forget to pack in a separate cooler:

-Cheese Sticks
-Yogurt Sticks (freeze them first if possible)
-juice boxes/water bottles
-cubed meat chunks
-apple slices

You get the idea.  The more you pack ahead the less junk you'll be tempted to buy at a random 7-11 with questionably clean restrooms and selections that only included beef jerky, cheese in a can or candy bars that are most likely expired.  Just saying.

Now I'm not a travel scrooge, we'll plan stops for Slurpee's and M&M's here and there, I just prefer that the snacks be more healthy and less $$ if possible.

I plan on putting the bags-oh-fun in their carseats the morning that we take off.  I'm excited to see their reactions but preparing myself for the inevitable "no fair she got _____".  Sigh.  

ETA: Guess what they were a hit and I didn't hear them say "no fair"!!  Hooray. 

For more travel trips check out:

Road Trips with Babies & Pre-Schoolers
Traveling with a Toddler - Airplane Activity Kits
Drugging Your Kids and Other Ways to Survive a Red Eye Flight
Disneyland with Small Children - Tips and Tricks

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