When planning a long road trip with kids, it’s just as important to pack and organize the car as it is to pack the items you need on the trip! Sure you need food and snacks, but it doesn’t hurt to stock up on activities, games or crafts to keep the kids busy! Here’s a breakdown on our road trip car organization methods that we are continually improving and changing as the kids get older.
Each summer for the last few years we’ve taking the 450 mile trek from our home in central New Jersey to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Our Honda Pilot is still a screen free environment and I’m happy to report we complete this 7-8 hour trip with our 2 kids without resulting to any electronics. Since I know many of my readers will be completing some spring break road trips in the next few months, I thought it would be a great time to share how I organized our car this year:
- Snack cooler – let’s start with the obvious! We pack a large cooler that we put on the floor where I can access and pass things from the front. For this 8 hour trip, I normally pack:
- Bagels for breakfast
- Cold cut sandwiches for lunch
- Extra water bottles to refill their reusable ones
- Dried snacks (pretzels, crackers, goldfish, Veggie straws)
- Granola bars (these are their current favorites)
- String cheese and Gogurt
- GoGo Squeeze applesauce
- Car seat organization – Hailey is in a Britax 5 point harness car seat while Brielle has moved into a booster, both which include 2 cup holders type stations. (Brielle’s doesn’t have true cup holders but a curved shape with an elastic to hold the cup in place) I fill one cup spot with a reusable water bottle and the other a hard plastic cup which is used to hold any of the dried snacks I give them on the ride.
- Behind the seat organizer – Before our trip this year I purchased this two pack of organizers where I can keep some items within reach:
- A cheap magnetic doodle board fits in the top big pocket, which, by the way, is shown on the package to hold an ipad.
- Between their car seats – I purchased this plastic basket at Target in the regular home décor section and the blue 3 pocket basket in the dollar spot. 2 of the cups are filled with an assortment of crayons, markers, and a pencil to be used for crafts. The larger spot held a pack of baby wipes to clean up any messy hands and two blank notebooks for drawing. The larger space at the back of the basket always holds some books the girls can flip through and some activities (see below) as I slowly reveal them during the trip.
- Activity bag – This one sits up front with me! I hoarded some items gifted at their birthday and stocked up on a few others that I could pull out.
- Design your own jewelry kits – The girls were gifted the bangles and bracelet kits from this bundle and they were a big hit! They are just stickers which are easy for them to peel and not something that can fall and roll around on the floor.
- Magic Ink pictures – These entertain both my 6 and 4 year old. These include a magic ink pen that reveals colors or pictures when you complete the activity in the book. Last trip they enjoyed this Moana one and this Minnie Mouse style one.
- Sticker puzzles – I found these square numbered ones and this more challenging Coco version that includes a variety of shapes and sizes that my 6 year old loved at the Dollar Tree. This Unicorns and Magic Paint by Sticker book was added to her collection for her birthday!
- Velvet Coloring Boards – Again found at the Dollar Tree and a big hit with these girls, who don’t color with markers often. It was so cute to hear them compliant each other on their “beautiful drawings!”
Here’s a breakdown on more activity kits and travel tips I shared from last year’s trip!