1. Use Planning and Entertainment Mobile Apps
If you have the right apps on your phone, you can have an amazing family vacation. Parents can use the DealNews app to find coupons and the Foodspotting app to help you find new restaurants that local guide books might not have picked up yet.
Hotels.com is a great app for sifting through accommodation options with children’s attractions. You can easily reserve your stay via the free app. YouTube and Spotify are great tools for music since they offer thousands of songs and playlists for children.
You can keep the backseat crew busy with mobile games such as the familiar favorites: Super Mario Run, Animal Crossing, Minecraft, and more. Road trip-specific mobile games include Geo Touch, Road Trip Bingo, a karaoke app, Smule, and Road Trip Travel Games, which is a collection of child-friendly road trip classics such as Cloud Shapes and Slug a Bug.
2. Play Offline Car Games
People used to take road trips before cell phones and tablets came along and you can be sure that parents back then would minimize backseat squabbling with the same classic car games that are still played today or their variations.
A road trip staple is I Spy. The first player says “I spy with my little eye something…” and then proceeds to give a clue to something that they are able to see that other participants need to look for. The Alphabet Games is another popular pastime, which involves players finding objects starting with each letter of the alphabet.
For cross-country trips, a great way to pass the time while helping school-aged children learn the names of states is playing the State License Plate Game. To play, make a list of all the 50 states, then have the children try to spot a vehicle with a license plate from each state, like a backseat version of a scavenger hunt.
3. Gather Tools and Toys for Child-Friendly Travel
Fighting off backseat boredom can be a major issue when taking road trips with children, finding ways to avoid excessive noise and messes can also be quite the challenge. Fortunately, it is possible to make it all a bit more manageable by using car toys and organizational gadgets.
For the little artists on board, the Color Wonder Art Kit from Crayola is a mess-free alternative to standard crayons and markers. Its coloring pages come with special makers and stampers that will only show up on actual paper and not on clothes, skin, or even your car.
Travel Bingo boards feature slide-able squares for police cars, trains, and airplanes. No chips or stamps are needed. You can even find road trip-specific Mad Libs and magnetic checkers on the market, as well.
When it comes to organization, you can get seat-back bags, collapsible dishes, and trash bins at target to keep everything tidy. Otherwise, you may have to use shower caddies for meals on the go, or putting cupcake liners in cup holders to ensure that they remain clean.
4. Car Sickness Management
Children are often prone to car sickness, which can pose another challenge. If you suspect that somebody in the vehicle will suffer from motion sickness, you should consider traveling with some disposable bags (medical-grade if possible).
Before resorting to using disposable bags, however, try keeping the sickness in check using peppermint or ginger food products, which are clinically proven to help prevent nausea, and by putting the queasy passenger in the front seat where they can see the horizon.
The reason why drivers hardly ever get motion sick is because the act of driving in itself engages motor skills. The front seat also has less movement compared to the back of the vehicle. While some foods can help with nausea, consuming less, in general, will help prevent getting sick. For instance, spicy foods can actually irritate the feeling further.
5. Find Fast Food Alternatives
Quick-casual restaurant chains are not only abundant but also relatively cheap, so it is easy to find yourself in a fast food rut when away on vacation. With a bit of planning, however, it is possible to track down healthier and similarly priced options that will please the children all the same.
When the family is on the go, try looking for supermarkets with deli counters or even salad bars (like Kroger and Whole Foods stores), local farmers markets, or food trucks that you can find on the TruxMap app. Keep the carpets in your car free from fast food debri with car mats and bootliners from https://www.yourcarparts.co.uk/
You could alternatively keep a cooler packed with picnic provisions, low-sugar beverages, and healthy snacks so that you aren’t at the mercy of roadside food stops. Find a scenic pull-off at which to stop and enjoy a pick-me-up while you stretch your legs.