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Are you traveling this holiday season? Whether your road trip is taking you across state lines or just to a neighboring city, being prepped for anything in the car is a major must when you have kids! So I put together this simple list of tips for road trips with kids to make your trip a little smoother!
The first step – stop by Phillips 66® to fill up your tank. Phillips 66 is our go-to spot to fill up for our road trips near and far they’re all about helping families Live to the Full to spend more time enjoying the journey together.
Fun fact: using Phillips 66 gas can also actually help clean your engine (a plus for this busy mom!) – Phillips 66 uses performance gas, which has 3xs more detergent additive than EPA minimum required, so just five tanks of Phillips 66 Performance Gas results in a cleaner engine. WIN/WIN!
You can also download the My Phillips 66 app, which lets you pay at the pump using your phone (always a mom win!) AND you save $0.15/gallon (up to 30 gallons) when you pay using the My Phillips 66 app now through 3/31/20.
Double-Check Your Car
Before you hit the road, be sure your car is ready to roll (safely!). Double-check when your last oil change was, how your tire pressure is, make sure car seats are installed tightly and correctly, etc.
Timing is Everything
We always try to travel when it’s most likely for our kids to fall asleep. Whether that means pulling out of the driveaway at 11pm to get them to fall asleep for the night or leaving right after lunchtime for an afternoon snooze, everyone is much more manageable if they’re asleep ;).
Master the Art of Distraction
Road trips can put you into survival mode – and that’s OK! A few ideas to keep kids busy and distracted while staying safely buckled:
- Allow Special Snacks – maybe it’s a novelty food or treat or drink they don’t get all the time. Maybe it’s lunch at a fast-food restaurant you don’t usually frequent – anything out of the ordinary will be ‘special’
- Set the Rules on Screentime – honestly, we don’t allow tablets or movies in the car *except* for road trips… then it’s fair game!
- Bag o’ Tricks – grab a few *new* (or new to your kids) car-safe activities to give your kids on the road. Ideas:
- WaterWow books – these only use water to ‘color’ the picture so the worst that can happen is someone gets a little damp
- ColorWonder markers/paper – these markers are clear unless they’re used on the special paper which is GENIUS!
- Magnet Drawing Board – endless hours of drawing on these, perfect to keep in the car 24/7
Make A Playlist
One of my favorite tips for a road trip with kids… having a family-friendly playlist can totally help set the mood. If you’re heading to Grandma’s for Christmas, make one of kid-friendly Christmas jams. I found this one with a great mix of classic songs – this also has a ton of options.
DIY an Emergency Car Kit for Kids
Whether you’re road-tripping near or far, it’s always a good idea to have the emergency essentials on-hand (versus packed away in a hard-to-access suitcase).
It’s pretty simple to put together your own Emergency Car Kit for Kids – your exact needs will vary based on the ages of your kids. Here’s what we included in our car kit:
- a change of clothes for each child – I actually just did a set of two-piece pajamas that can totally work as a substitute top or bottom but also as pjs for an unexpected overnight stay
- car-safe snacks – just in case. I threw in a few apple sauce pouches and granola bars but small bags of goldfish or chips would be a good choice, too
- sunscreen – as a note, sunscreen expires and doesn’t last in the heat, so don’t leave it in the car during the summer
- first aid kit
- hand sanitizer
- towel/blanket – this one doubles as both
- diapers & wipes – even if your child doesn’t wear diapers, they make a great absorbent towel in a pinch (think a wet slide, a major spill, etc) – and I swear I’ll carry wet wipes for the rest of my life 😉
- hairbrush/hair ties
- spare underwear for everyone
- roll of toilet paper
- plastic bags – for trash or any other emergency
I just gathered all my supplies and packed them in the basket and popped it into my trunk. Easy peasy!
Phillips 66 is dedicated to helping you Live to the Full – check out my Tips for Taking Your Kids to the Cardinals Game + Our 5 Favorite STL Places for Families + The Top iPhone Tips & Tricks for Moms.