Travelling with Kids

Travelling With Kids - How To Make Road Trips Work

Before you load up the car for your next holiday, read this, see how you can make travelling with kids easy.

Just the thought of sitting in the car for hours on end with the kids constantly whinging, fighting and the ‘Are we there yet?’ on repeat is enough to make a parent cringe and that is before you have even left. Travelling with kids doesn’t have to be this way. Here are a few things you can do to make the trip smooth and happy for everyone.

Things you can do to ensure a happy road trip

Not every child will enjoy road trips but unfortunately for some, this is just a fact of life. Not everyone can afford to fly to a luxurious overseas destination every school holidays so instead they opt for an interstate vacation (or even just a nice place a few hours away). Regardless whether your accommodation is in a hotel, cabin or even with family, you don’t want the long drive to be painstakingly horrible. Whichever way it is that you enjoy your holidays, make the journey there just as much fun as the destination!

Pack Snacks

The first rule to parenthood – bring snacks! Just like you would to the shopping centre, the park and anywhere else you go with kids; snacks while travelling is essential.

It is important to keep a few things in mind though. Be aware of the amount of sugar the food contains because they will be hyped up on sweets with no way to burn off that extra energy. You don’t have to cut out lollies and sweet snacks completely, but you should also incorporate healthier food. Think along the lines of fruit / vegetables, cheese sticks, sandwiches / wraps. Giving the kids something to snack on will keep them busy for a few minutes and give them one less thing to complain about. Packing snacks will also reduce your costs along the way, no need to get expensive service station food.

Charge Digital Devices

If you are a parent that prefers your child to avoid or restrict usage of digital devices as much as possible, on long road trips you might want to rethink your stance on this issue. While it is fair that kids should be kids and enjoy the outdoors, make their own fun and embrace the real world; allowing them to use their tablets, gaming devices throughout the duration of the trip could be a sanity saver for you!

Give your child a camera and you will not only keep them entertained for hours, you will also have the chance to see the world through their eyes. Kids tend to see things differently to adults so it is always fascinating what they find interesting.

Charge up all digital devices and ensure there is enough space on memory cards so you have the option of handing them over if the kids get really restless.

Old School Games / Activities

Kick it old school – go back to basics and add some family fun to the trip. Think of all the games you used to play on long trips; red car, the ABC game and eye spy. There are so many fantastic options that the kids would love – you can read lots more here. Make the most of road trips as a family because they won’t happen forever, get involved and play the games with your kids. Show them how you used to do it!

One thing that is often forgotten these days is the good old colouring book. Grab a couple of these from the cheap shop and a packet of crayons and your little one will be thrilled!

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Stop for Breaks

Stop for breaks! This is for your safety as well as breaking up the trip for the kids. Every couple of hours, pull over, get out and let everyone stretch.

Let the children play for a few minutes and enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and freedom. After being couped up for hours everyone needs a chance to freshen up and prepare for the next stint.


Even though medicine is extremely important, it is often overlooked when packing for a holiday. You never know when your little one may become ill or start teething and require pain relief. There is nothing worse than a crying child / toddler / baby that just needs some relief but can’t have it because you forgot to pack it and now have to find a chemist. Consider keeping a travel size pain relief in the car, nappy bag, etc. so you always have it on hand.

If you have a child that gets car sick, invest in carsickness wristbands and vomit bags. You do not want to risk it!

Day or Night

Will you be travelling during the day or through the night?

Both of these option work for different people. While one family might prefer to travel through the night so their children sleep the entire way, others will opt for daylight hours. This could be due to not being a confident night driver or the fact that they have a love of seeing the sights in towns along the way. Regardless of your preference, ensure you get enough sleep prior to leaving!

Travelling with kids can be tough. They will test your patience, they will need to go to the toilet 15 minutes after leaving the rest stop and they will eat until you have no food left. But if you use some of these ideas mentioned above, your family road trip will be much more bearable for both you and your children.

Get ready for adventure, pack those bags and have some fun!

How do you ensure the kids are happy when on family road trips?

Kell Kelly


Tags: Travel
Kell Kelly

Kell Kelly is a mum, a wife to her childhood sweetheart and a writer. She shares her home in the picturesque Hunter Valley wine region with her husband and 4 children. When she isn’t working at home, folding laundry or chasing the kids to put on their shoes; she enjoys discovering her surroundings, taking in the great outdoors and spending some much needed time with her husband. Prior to...

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