Whether you’re hitting the road for a weekend on a sunny beach, or driving to grandma’s for the holidays with the family, travelling with children can get a little testy. Instead of listening to constant whining and a chorus of “are we there yets,” take one, two or a few of these simple tips and tricks to keep kids content in the car.

Play a road game:

Sometimes those old games that your mom and dad played on the road are just the ones to keep your tech-generation children occupied. One easy car game is the license plate game. Make a list of all of the states and have your children keep an eye out until they find a license plate from every state. Another simple game is 20 questions. Think of a person, place or thing and let your children ask yes or no questions until they can guess what you’re thinking. Playing a game with your children is a great way to keep their minds active and to include multiple members of the family at one time.

Make an activity book before you leave:

Tons of websites with free coloring pages, word searches and riddles can be found through a simple web search. Load the pages into a three-ring binder, add a pencil pouch with pencils and crayons, and give it to your child either before the trip starts, or when they start to become fussy. The activity books are completely customizable and are easy to put together in a moment’s notice.

Make surprise bags for your kids:

Encouraging children to keep a pleasant attitude during a long road trip can be tough – but not with this hack. Take a trip to the dollar store and load up on age-appropriate toys for your children. Turn it into a game. Tell the kids that they will get a surprise when they get to a certain mile marker. Store the toys in little gift bags and give them their toys at the appropriate time. The little goodie bags are sure to be a hit that will keep your children grinning all the way to your destination.

Schedule a pit stop every two hours of your trip:

There are lots of reasons to take pit stops. Maybe your children need to go to the bathroom, the car needs gas, or everyone’s hungry and it’s time for a meal. Pit stops need to be around 10 to 20 minutes to give growing and energetic children an opportunity to run off some energy, stretch their leg and play outside of the car. In this day and age, you can plan a pit stop on the fly by looking up a park or playground on your phone, around the area that you’re travelling through.

Bring pillows and blankets on your car ride:

One problem that parents still face today is comfortable travel. Kids often end up cranky when they get a kink in their neck from falling asleep flopped over in their car seat. To remedy this, purchase special pillow designed for travel, and be sure your little one stays snug in a comfortable blanket when travelling.

Use these hacks to keep your little ones calm and collected during your road trip and to keep you sane and happy as well!

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