An Australian road trip is a very exciting holiday for the entire family. However, the idea of a road trip with the kids can be quite daunting. These tips and tricks in our road trip with kids survival guide will help you be prepared and keep them occupied so that everyone has a great road trip holiday. Preparing ahead of time is key. Before doing anything, check out our Long Distance Road Trip Checklist. If you are planning to hire a car for the road trip, then this might help you decide: Which is the Best Rental Car for You. Lastly, you might want to get some packing tips on How to Pack Less and Travel Light. You will see that many of our tips are about preparing ahead of time.
Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Game Image Source: Pinterest
Eye Spy Road Trip Game Image Source: Pinterest
Road Trip Bingo Game Image Source: Pinterest
Road Trip Car Organiser Kit: Image Source: Pinterest
- Bring plenty of snacks and different things to keep them busy. If you plan this ahead of time, you can ensure that you will have healthy snacks and be able to deter them from eating too much junk food, or candy. Hyper kids hopped up on sugar for a road trip is a terrible combination. Instead, bring a cooler with water, fruit, and more of their healthy snacks. Try to choose bite size snacks and give each passenger their own garbage bag so that the car doesn’t get messy. Give them the chore to empty their garbage bags each time you stop.
- Give them their own map. This prevents the age old road trip question that has driven many parents into insanity: “Are we there yet”? There are different ways to do this in an age appropriate format for your kids. If they already have electronics, then a GPS tracker app might work for you. If your kids are smaller and not using devices, then a printed map will help do the trick.
- Speaking of maps, you should map out your entire trip, not just the destinations. Look for places to stop for bathroom breaks or places where everyone can stretch their legs for a bit. This will help break up the trip for you and the kids and prevent them from getting too hyper in the car. Make sure everyone goes to the bathroom when you stop for the bathroom!
- Car games are a great way to pass the time. If you want your kids to pay attention to the scenery instead of their mobile devices, then try printing out car bingo or a treasure hunt game ahead of time. Depending on what your children like and what is age appropriate, you can also make this as sort of an eye-spy checklist. This ensures that you have options for kids who don’t yet read or those that do. These are great ways to keep them alert and also appreciate the scenery. You can customise these games to include landmarks you know you will pass along the way. Other fun ideas include magnet trays, so that the toys don’t go flying all over when you turn, washable window markers, and glow in the dark stickers for a quiet night time activity.
- Each kid should get their own car kit. In addition to a garbage bag, include wet wipes, antibacterial gel, a compass, notepad for taking notes or journaling their trip, fun crayons, washable markers, or pencils, and their own map. You can customise your kid’s kits with age appropriate things for them. You can find bath caddies or office supply caddies at the dollar store that can be perfect for holding all these goodies. You should also try to set up the car organizers that fit over the back of the seats, these help keep everything organized and save space too. Plus, everything your kids need or want will be right at their fingertips and you won’t have to try to reach for anything while you are driving. As part of your car kit, in addition to car tools and supplies (see number 9 below) you should also have a car first aid kit for your kids.
- Check the weather for each stage of your road trip so that you can plan accordingly.
- Headphones for each kid. If your kids have their own electronic devices, then make sure to bring headphones and plan for a time (maybe during nighttime driving) when everyone listens to their own thing.
- Download mobile travel apps ahead of time. You might spend a bit of time getting your kids’ devices all set up with apps to keep them entertained, but don’t forget about your own phone. We previously highlighted The Best Mobile Apps for Travelling in Australia. Those tips should help you be prepared digitally too.
- Make sure your car or rental vehicle is in the best condition possible. We previously featured 6 Roadside Repair Quick Fixes. This can help you be prepared whether you are hiring a car or travelling in your own. Be sure to have the recommended roadside repair quick fix tools and supplies. Also have plenty of extra water for your car and your family to drink when travelling in Australia.
- Try not to stress out. Keep on the top of your mind that this is supposed to be a fun family road trip vacation. Know that not everything will go as planned and kids have meltdowns.