Summer is the season of road trips. When I was younger, road trips were all about piling in a car and having a wild music and caffeinated beverage-fueled adventure. Drive 15 hours straight? Why not! Teenage American Freedom at its best!
These days road trips are a little different. With two kids, the playlist includes some popular KidzBop tunes and of course the occasional screaming tantrum. Time is definitely added to the trip for several snack and bathroom breaks…there are a few essentials that make the trip a little more fun for everyone. In addition to the things we pack for the car, making each child their own personal “Road Trip Kit” is a special tradition in our family that makes a road trip seem more like a party and keeps the kids interested the whole way there.
Here are our essentials for a Kid’s Road Trip Kit:
1. A pencil or other small box or case – this makes it “theirs” and it is pretty inexpensive to get fun designs with your kids’ favorite characters on them.
2. A small sketch book and new (washable) markers or crayons (or a custom dry erase board and washable dry erase markers)
3. Sunglasses (could be ones they already own)
4. Candy (minis work best!) and healthy single serving snacks like granola bars and natural fruit leather
5. Mix CDs of all their favorite songs…you can even leave them unlabeled and play “guess that song” as they are playing!
6. A Wildcard Surprise – this can be a selection of things from the party supply store and/or a favorite small toy they have wanted. If you have girls, it might be fun to include flavored lip balm, scented hand creme, and candy necklaces, for boys you might choose an action figure or a pretend magic wand or electronic game.
7. Tissues and or a small pack of baby wipes (just trust me, every trip has at least one minor messy disaster in the back seat…)
8. A small paperback board book or game book (depending on the child’s age)
9. A disposable camera to encourage your child to take pictures of his or her trip