Road TripMany families pick up and go during Thanksgiving and winter break. That means many parents may want ideas on how to keep the kids entertained before the vacation begins. With a little planning, you can avoid a trip full of whining or fighting kids and hearing “Are we there yet?” on a loop. With these tips, the fun will begin before you arrive.

Five Tips to Keep Kids Happy on a Family Road Trip

1. Stop often and explore. Parents and kids just want to get there, but doing so in peace may take a little longer than you’d like. Stopping can be a good thing. Especially if you stop at a few pre-planned spots along the way. Find a park on your route and spend 20 minutes burning some energy. You’ll be glad you did!

2. Pack a variety of snacks in individual lunch boxes. It’s easy to pack the sweet snacks but too much sugar is never a good thing, especially when cooped up in a car. Pack fruit, water, frozen cheese sticks (they will be good and ready in a few hours), popcorn, and a few sweet treats. Mix it up and be careful with kids eating out of boredom. Give everyone his or her own lunch box of snacks and you’ll avoid reaching and passing food every five minutes in your trip.

3. Purchase travel-themed books to help keep kids excited about the trip. Road trips always sound fun to kids until it’s time to sit in a car for more than an hour. Keep kids excited by getting some travel-related books for the trip or travel guides for children. Ask your kids to find fun things to do on location. Your local library is a good source to find travel guides for kids.

4. Plan a little screen time. Pack a few new DVDs for the trip or stop by a Redbox in between stops at the gas station. You can return your Redbox at any Redbox location. Perfect for road trips. Try not to allow too much screen time as hours of TV on long road trips gets old fast.

5. Let them pack travel-friendly toys.  I let the kids pack one bookbag each of toys, games, books, etc. They always have fun trying to find the best things to pack, and this helps them take ownership for some of their own fun.

How do you make road trips fun for the whole family?

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