Road Trip Survival Guide
Road trips have our heart. Each summer, we love hitting the highways and byways of America with our families—windows down, music up, and nothing in front of us but a giant stretch of open road. But being cooped up in a car for hours on end can make kids restless, resulting in endless choruses of “Are we there yet?” To avoid this fate, we’ve put together a handy road trip survival guide, full of games, tips and activities. Happy trails!
- The Perfect Playlist
Before stepping on the gas, curate a road trip music playlist to keep spirits up—and toes tapping. Let each family member choose a few favorite tunes so that everyone’s tastes are represented. Some picks: “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen, “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys, “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf and “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus.
- Are You Game?
Our favorite way to pass time? Good old-fashioned car games. A few of our favorites:
- Going on a Picnic: A great memory building game! Each player names a different food they’re bringing on a picnic, starting with Player 1 and the letter A. For example: “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing Apples.” Player 2 builds on it by adding the letter B. For example: “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing Apples and Bananas.” And so on. It’s tough to make it to the end!
- I Spy: One player spots an object and the others have to guess what it is based on a clue such as: “I spy with my little eye…something blue.” The trick is to choose an object that stays in sight the whole time, such as a pair of sunglasses inside the car, or a bumper sticker on the van directly ahead. If the object is simply whizzing by, it doesn’t count.
- Punch Buggy: Give your seatmates a playful tap (not a punch!) when you spot a VW Beetle, otherwise known as a Volkswagen Bug. You can switch things up by tapping when you see other items, too—such as out-of-state license plates, a designated restaurant chain or even passenger pets!
- Rest Stop Recess
Make the most of family rest stops with fun physical activities to burn off energy and get everyone’s blood pumping. Have an impromptu parking lot dance party, or use sidewalk chalk to draw a hopscotch board in a remote area of the lot. Pack your trunk with sports equipment such as a Frisbee, a volleyball, or a hacky sack and find a patch of grass to play a pick-up game. Don’t forget to stretch first!
- That’s Entertainment
We normally limit screen time, but road trips are a worthy exception—within reason. Whether it’s a portable DVD player, a tablet or a handheld game, give everyone a set amount of time with their electronics and then put them away. Bonus points for geography-based games!
- Brand New Bag
Break up the boredom by surprising kids with what we like to call a “bag of tricks.” Take any bag and fill it with dollar store goodies such as stickers, toy cars, puzzles, crayons and coloring books, etc. Inexpensive or not, they’ll be drawn by the lure of something new.
- Snack Attack
Everyone knows that when traveling with kids, snacks are non-negotiable. Rather than rely on gas station finds, pack your own unexpected mix of tasty, travel-friendly treats. Think trail mix, oatmeal cookies, pretzels, string cheese and, of course, Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks. Available in single serve pouches, they’re a perfectly portable, non-messy choice that will make your whole car happy!