With so much to explore during the summer months, we spend a lot of time in the car. From ventures into the mountains, to the end of the summer vacation to spend those precious last days in the pool, we’ve quickly become pros at traveling with the kids.

Along the way we’ve learned a few tips to keep the kids calm while we’re in the car –

Don’t Buy individual Snacks
Buying individual snacks is a good way to break your road trip budget. Make a quick trip to Costco to purchase large bags of snacks and portion them out while you’re in the car. Find containers that have quick snap covers for the kids, along with reusable drink containers and buy a specific color for each kid coming along on the road trip.

Plan Ahead to Occupy
Sticker books, activity books, and dry erase books are some great ways to occupy the kids in the car. They give the kids something to do with their hands, and a bit of a break from whatever is playing on the DVD Player, or the iPad.

Get New Apps
Before any road trip, we take the iPads from the kids and clear all of the apps and movies off of it. Starting fresh, we load them up with apps and movies, television shows and music that’s going to be ‘fresh’ and new, and keep them occupied while they’re on the trip. Usually, I’ll buy an iTunes card on sale and split the difference between them, giving them a few new options that are going to make the first lag of the trip simple.

Plan to Stop
Rest stops aren’t going to cut it when you’re travelling with kids. You’re going to want to plan to stop somewhere the kids are going to be able to get out of the car, run around, and get rid of some of that pent up energy. Look for playgrounds that are close to the route where you’re driving, cool parks upcoming and consider stopping every few hours for twenty minutes. When you change the way that you travel to include this essential ‘running around time’, you’re going to change the way that you think about road trips. While you’re stopped, try running around yourself – chances are that you need it too.

Find Your Inspiration
From road trip bingo to card games and board games meant for the car, there are lots of places you can find inspiration and print, buy, or click and play these games online. Plan diverse activities suitable for the age range of the kids in the car and you’re going to have an easy road trip with the kids – and feel better when you get to your destination.


Lori is a twenty-something Canadian Mom blogger, a mother of two girls, passionate about shopping, savvy with saving and quick to share her favorite things in Edmonton and beyond. A stay at-home Mom to Olivia (5) and Violet (2), she’s connected with a large online community of Moms, in addition to an offline community in Edmonton. You can follow her at www.frugaledmontonmama.com.