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10 Tips for Traveling with Kids

Traveling with KidsPlanning some traveling with an upcoming weekend or holiday? 

We care that you have safe tires on the road so that your traveling experiences can be as pleasant as possible and worry free! Before traveling with kids, check over your tires to make sure there are no issues including bulging, uneven wear, and/or low tread. Check to make sure your tires are properly inflated too. If you want us to take a look at your tires and let you know if anything needs to be fixed or replace, stop in. We don’t want you stressed and stranded on the side of the road.

10 Tips for Traveling with Kids

  1. Pack travel friendly snacks that are easy to eat in the car. We have a Pinterest board set up and dedicated to lots of ideas for snacks while traveling: Travel Snacks
  2. Regardless of the time of year, dress in layers. Whether you are running the heat or the air conditioning, everyone is either hotter or cooler than the rest. Having short sleeves, long sleeves, and a blanket along will keep the whining hopefully at a minimum.
  3. Have wet wipes and hand sanitizer along to make minor messes and clean up a snap.
  4. Leave special blankets or stuffed animals in the vehicle when you stop to take a break. That reduces your chances of leaving something important and irreplaceable accidentally behind.
  5. Have a garbage bag or container along.
  6. Plan some travel games and activities, including some that will be new to the kids. We have a Pinterest board with plenty of travel ideas: Road Trip Entertainment
  7. Look ahead and plan a few kid-friendly stops along the way including family friendly restaurants, outdoor parks, and children’s museums.
  8. If installing car seats isn’t an issue, consider mixing up the seating arrangements throughout the trip for everyone to experience a different vantage point.
  9. Consider a family game that all can play, including the driver such as trivia questions, Scategories, Would You Rather, and other read aloud games.
  10. Print a map of your travel plans, and include stars at the start and finish. When you get asked “how much farther”, it’s easier to show kids on a map where you are and help them with timing of the next stop, etc.

Entertaining Young Kids on a Long Car Ride

puppets entertain kids on long car rides check your tires firstIf you have babies and toddlers to entertain in the car, things like iPods and travel games won’t work. While you can pack toys and books to keep them entertained, chances are they will want something more interactive at some point.

Ideas for Entertaining Kids in the Car

One idea is to pack puppets. The parent or guest in the front passenger seat can easily entertain young children with puppets, actions, songs, games, or just make them dance to the music on the radio. Older kids might be willing to give adults a break and entertain with the puppets that always seem to hold attention of young passengers.

~An added bonus to those along side you on the interstate glancing over to your vehicle. Be sure to make the cow or horse give them a little wave!

Before heading out on any road trip, but sure to check your tire pressure and tread. If you aren’t sure about your tire safety, stop in to either our Bloomington or Anoka, MN locations and we’ll help you out!

Minnesota Crossword Puzzle

This Minnesota themed crossword puzzle will keep everybody busy on your next car ride. This puzzle is meant as a family activity, as kids of all ages will know some of the answers. Good Luck!

Print your free Minnesota themed crossword puzzle

Answer Key

A New Printable Travel Themed Maze

This maze was created for kids who like a little more challenge. It’s not your typical “easy” maze; this one might take you awhile to travel the entire tire-shaped maze to arrive at the zoo!

free printable maze

 Click Here to print your Trip to the Zoo Maze.

Enjoy the free, printable games and puzzles by the TireZoo. If you like this one, you might also like our Travel Word Find. Parents might like this blog post on family road trip vacation tips.

Free RoadTrip Games: Travel Word Find Puzzle

We’re working on creating a series of fun, free, and family friendly travel games you can print to take with you on your next road trip.

free word find puzzleClick here for a FREE “Travel” related word find puzzle from The TireZoo

 you have an idea for a kids’ game for the car or a story you’d like to share, please let us know.

How We Survived Our 936 Mile Road Trip

Road Trip with KidsAre you planning a long road trip for your family vacation? We did, and obviously we survived to tell about it. Our family of five decided to head cross-country to meet up with some friends for an extended weekend, making the long drive part of the “experience”. I can honestly say that our trip went better than we expected, and we’re even willing to do it again.

That’s not to say we didn’t worry about incessant complaining from our older kids or unstoppable crying fits from our two year old. We braced for the worst and prayed for the best. We landed somewhere in between with some great memories.

I attribute pre-planning (Hey, I’ll take the credit) to making a major difference in how well our trip went, as well as how quickly we were able to arrive at our destination. We crossed five states and 936 miles in 15 hours. We made it both ways with only one stop per state! Yes, that’s right. I’m happy to share what we did, and I hope you have a great trip too!

*Disclaimer: We have a Durango with plenty of room, a DVD player, and allow eating in our vehicle. If you don’t…I’m sorry.

10 Things That Got Us (And Our Kids) Through A Long Road Trip

  1. Early To Rise makes the kids crabby and parents tired, but with some good coffee it worked great. We were on the road by 5am, which means we were in a pool at our destination shortly after 8pm!
  2. Two Coolers of the smaller variety worked great for storing beverages right behind the front seat of our Durango, and putting food toward the back of the truck where our oldest could reach out food for the rest of us.
  3. Fast Food by way of packing coolers, saving money, avoiding extra stopping and eliminating excess calories is the way to go. I let each family member place his/her order ahead of time, and I shopped accordingly. I made up sandwiches and snacks that made everyone happy. Having food ready when someone was hungry was really great.
  4. Clipboards made travel games, writing, and drawing much easier for the kids. I put some crayons in baggies and clipped them to the clipboards. These were really handy and fit easily under the seats once we got there.
  5. Water Bottles with squirt tops that are hard to spill work great for the kids to sip on. We just kept refilling the water bottles or the baby’s sippy cup, as needed.
  6. Movies that have not been seen before by the kids hold their attention much better than those they have seen a thousand times. But you don’t need to spend money. I posted on Facebook to my friends that I was looking for some kids movies for our vacation, and I got an overwhelming response. We simply stopped at a friend’s house and “shopped” their movie selection.
  7. Travel Bingo and other travel related games were a huge hit with our kids.
  8. Mandatory Bathroom Breaks happened each time we stopped for gas. We multi-tasked big time, but it worked great. The idea is simple; every time we NEEDED to stop, everyone went to the bathroom (changed diapers). This way we got gas, bathroom breaks, and a much needed stretch all at once. We also threw away trash.
  9. The Element of Surprise works great and helps break up the trip if you can pack some fun items to pull out when the kids get bored. Some great ideas are pipe cleaners, fun foam, suckers, “I Spy” books, hair bands and barrettes to do each others’ hair (works good for girls).
  10. Kennel the dog. I can’t imagine throwing our dog into the mix. He pulled me aside and thanked me profusely for not subjecting him to the chaos anyway.

What about you? Do you have any tips for surviving a long road trip with kids? Any usual items you packed that came in handy? If you liked this article, you might also like: One Mom’s Story of Traveling: Traveling the Mountain Highs and Valley Lows

Are you interesting in writing a guest travel piece? Do you have a great road trip story to tell, fantastic family vacation destination, or tips to help other parents cope while on the road? Email us at social@tirezoo.com