21 April 2018

Suz’s Road Trip Tips

I have been meaning to write this post for years.

I mean years.

Also, there is a chance that I already wrote this post and forgot about it and couldn’t find it?

So anyway. You already know that we travel a lot on airplanes (those tips are linked on the left) and that we’ve gotten pretty good at that. Not that it’s easy or fun quite yet (but I have hope for a few years when B is older) but we do it!  Well, we also have been taking LOOOONG (I’m talking 24 hour road trips) since before we had any children and then many times with children. So we’ve learned a lot in that category also.

So here are my top tips, starting with the best one EVER…

1. Snack Boxes!!! 

What do we hate hearing more than “Are we almost there?” in the car? (I have no tip for this, sadly.)

The answer is: “Can I have a snack?” Especially if we heard it approximately 15 seconds ago. And 15 seconds before that. And 15 seconds before that. You get the point…

I have the solution. And it truly works.

It’s a snack box. One for each child.


The goal here is to make many snacks readily available. But those snacks must be able to be eaten independently or this DOES NOT WORK.

It needs to be a box or bag that they can open alone. And each snack inside needs to be something they can open. If they can’t open the package or peel the orange, then pre-open or peel it yourself and put it in the box pre-opened.

Pack those suckers full of all kinds of things. Although I do try to steer mostly away from sugary things because that just riles ‘em up and that doesn’t really help our cause, now does it?

My older kids get identical things in their boxes to cut down on bickering. If it’s not something they normally like, oh well. They have three choices there… eat it, not eat it, or trade it. But you provided them with sustenance and that’s what matters.


I also include an empty baggie for trash and a baggie with couple wipes in it for them to clean their hands after anything sticky, cause I’d want to wipe my hands after eating an orange in the car, you know?

Soooo the beauty of this is that your kids now have loads of snacks available. You tell them “Those are your snacks for today. Eat them whenever you want, but there’s no more after that.”

And it works magic, most of the time.


I have one who will hardly touch the box. She knows it’s there and if she’s hungry she knows she can have it. But because it’s there she doesn’t whine about snacks nor does she feel hungry. I have another who will eat half of it in the first 10 minutes. Rationing is still something she’s learning to grasp, ha!

Give this a try! It has helped our family so much!

2. Hoard the water.


People. Do you want to stop every thirty minutes for a potty break?

Noooooo you don’t. I don’t either. So I hoard the children’s water bottles up by me. If they ask, I pass it back for a sip and then it comes back to me. Is it slightly annoying to have to hand them around? Yes it is. But it is less annoying than stopping every 30 minutes? Definitely. Dehydration? Pfffffft. We can re-hydrate upon arrival.

3. Avoid the sandwiches.

I know that sandwiches seem like the perfect ‘pack for the car’ meal.

But c’mon. How often does this happen?


Our car is usually so full that the bread never really made it out without some injuries. It took me a long time to realize that we should just skip the bread.

What do we do instead?

My favorite two things to pack for road trip lunches are:

1. Cold pizza. Because what is easier than that? And it’s not crumby. And it’s really not very greasy when it’s cold either!

2. Chicken Salad with pretzels. My kids like this. Dipping is fun. And pretzels aren’t crumby either. It’s also quite compact.


Sometimes I’ll pack these divided containers, fill them up as we are driving and dole it out that way.


It sure made these two happy many years ago!



4. Braid that long hair.

If you have kiddos with long hair, and ESPECIALLY if you’re driving through the night… braid those locks to avoid this…


Because this is nightmare to brush out.

Okay, there you go. Happy road tripping!

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