In our family, summer=roadtrips! We love to take our family on new adventures, and we’ve found that for us, a car is the best way!! I want to share some of my must-have essentials for summer road trips with kids today! I’m Brianna, mama to 3, wife to a military helicopter pilot, and you can find me camera in hand, dreaming of new places to visit with my family! I’ve shared some of our adventures on my blog if you want to adventure along with us.
Our last road trip was about 8 hours (and 8 hours back!) up the Pacific Coast Highway from San Diego to San Francisco – it was BEAUTIFUL! That many hours with 3 kids in the car can feel daunting, but it’s not if you break it up with fun activities, planned stops, and keeping your expectations moderate. I find that if I go into a road trip knowing my sweet kids might need to make extra stops, or might needs extra breaks, when they happen, we enjoy them, instead of dread them!
You might be like us, and have tv’s in your car.. this was something we personally didn’t want but it came with our vehicle model, but the beauty of road trips is seeing what is right outside of your window, so that is another expectation we set with the kids, letting them know we didn’t bring any movies this time (ahem, we keep a backup in the glovebox just in case LOL) so that we could enjoy the car time together and the scenery!
I carefully packed each child’s bag that would be with them inside the car with belongings I knew they’d enjoy, that weren’t going to make a huge mess, and a variety of items, so hopefully, they wouldn’t get bored. But hey, if they were bored, there is always the view right outside of the car 😉 The first items I pack are a book, a notebook with blank pages, colored pencils (I find that markers are a MESS and crayons melt!). I picked up pencil pouches from Wal Mart for $1 – easy peasy to keep things organized!
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics – the types of toys keep my kids happy for HOURS! Examples of STEM learning toys are gears, magnetic blocks, legos, etc. If we bring these types of toys, we make sure to have a ziplock bag, or pouch like I mentioned above to keep those toys contained. Sure, toys fall on the floor, and that is okay! A favorite activity of our family is for mom or dad to pick what to build (for example, a boat!) and then everyone tries to make their version of a that thing with their toys – my kids prefer gears the most! We found ours for $3 in the dollar spot at Target!! We snagged as many as we could find!
This is the true star when we travel, it makes it so easy for the kids to write, draw, enjoy their gears, everything! Items are less likely to fall, and they can zip it up when they get out of the car and be on the go! It really makes a world of difference when you are traveling with kids for long car rides! This is the one we purchased off Amazon. We like that it hooks to the back of the seat in front of theirs so it doesn’t fall down easily! It has a spot for a tablet if your kids use those as well!
Roadtrips with your kids can be so rewarding, I encourage you to try it tech-free! What are some of your must-haves when you travel with kids? I’d love to hear them in the comments!