Road Trips are often one of the highly anticipated summer events, but also a balancing act between wild merriment and wearisome monotony. Yes, roadtrips have their ups and downs, and making yours go as smoothly as possible is all about anticipating needs and being prepared. Roadtripping with kids in particular can be demanding, and will challenge your patience, driving abilities, and sanity before reaching your destination. Thankfully, we’ve compiled some of the best road trip hacks for parents so you can spend more time enjoying the road and less time threatening to “pull over.”
1.Stay charged with multi-port adapters
While you might normally limit your kids usage of technology at home, on road trips they’re going to be your biggest ally in keeping your kids entertained. One cell phone, tablet, or gaming system can provide hours of entertainment, so stay prepared by providing adequate charging devices. USB chargers with multiple ports are must-haves on road trips for families who need to charge multiple devices. Portable chargers can also be used, and are great to have in remote areas or during power outages and other unexpected events.
2. Finally use old DVD cases to keep kids busy
Chances are if you have kids, then you have DVD cases that have been missing their DVDs for years. Now you can get some use out of old cases by converting them into personal coloring cases for your kids. Complete with paper storage and a pocket for multiple pencils, it’s a great way for keeping coloring tools confined to one small area.
3. Use the element of surprise to keep your kids guessing
Catch your kids off guard with the element of surprise by making travel “grab bags” filled with treats and toys to open once you reach certain destination points. Chances are your young kids will grow bored of playing with the same toys the entire trip, so mix it up and keep them guessing by staggering their sources of entertainment.
4. Repurpose old cloth as a seat protector
Multiple snacks and craft supplies like crayons and markers are great for roadtrips, but less great when they’re smushed into the car upholstery. Whether it’s made from an old crib sheet, blanket, or craft fabric, a backseat cover will save your seat (and your peace of mind) during your road trip.
5. Get the Most out of Cramped Space with a hanging shoe organizer
Getting the most out of limited space is the key to road trip survival, and the back of front passenger seats are areas that should always be utilized. For starters, they’ll save you from having to reach back and hand your kids something they need every 5 minutes by serving as your kids personal storage area.
For this hack, you can use a hanging shoe rack or other hanging organizer to hold snacks, toys, bottles, books, and more.
6. Keep your car smelling fresh using a clothespin
No matter how well you cleaned your car before the trip, somewhere down the road you’re going to be thankful you brought this. Simply attach a clothespin to your air vent and put several drops of your favorite essential oil onto it. Voila! Homemade car air freshener.
7. Stay on top of messes with a portable spill-kit
Sticky hands, dirty shoes, and snotty noses all come with the territory of road tripping with kids, but you can stay on top of inevitable messes by putting together an on-the-go spill kit. Fill a shower caddy or small tote with paper towels, facial tissue, and wet wipes. You can also include toilet paper and hand sanitizer and you’ll also be prepared for any emergency roadside bathroom stops.
8. Make a seat-belt cover for a more comfortable napping
Being confined to a small area for several hours can become uncomfortable. To keep crankiness at a minimum, it’s a good idea to bring items that make napping easier. You can hack your seatbelt by making plush seat belt covers that double as a headrest or pillow. This also makes wearing a seatbelt more comfortable, and small children will be less likely to try to sneak out of them.
9. Keep trash under control with an old cascade container
The amount of trash that road trips can produce is pretty impressive, so you’ll want to stay on top of it to prevent your car from becoming littered with snack wrappers, used tissues, empty bottles, and more. You can repurpose containers, such as a cascade detergent container, into a portable trash can that fits well into cars. Make sure to line it with a small plastic bag to easily tie up and throw away trash along the way.
10. Create Your Own Snack Containers
Snacks and road trips go hand-in-hand, but you can avoid spillage, torn bags, or stale snacks by creating your own reusable container. Old containers like pringle cans or bottles of creamer are good for repurposing, but you can also use a mason jar and orange juice bottle to make one as shown here: