Road Trips with Kids: The Essentials


With the long weekend fast approaching, many of us are planning family road trips for a last getaway of the Summer. We have done plenty of car trips over the years, so I thought I’d pull together some tips for road trips wth kids!

I think the longest road trip we have ever done was Edmonton to Winnipeg when my girls were really little. We left home at some insanely early hour in the hopes  they would sleep for the first few hours or at least have a few naps during the 13-hour trek. It worked, for the most part, but here are the rest of the tips I adhere to when planning our short OR long car rides!

The Basics

1 – Fuel up the car the day before, it’ll save you time on the morning of, so you can just hit the open road.

2 – Make sure all maintenance on your vehicle is up to date, the tires are at the correct pressure levels and all fluids are topped up, like the windshield washer fluid. A drive-thru vehicle maintenance shop can usually do this for you in under 30 minutes.

3 – Buy a set of booster cables to keep in your car. You never know when you or someone else may need a boost. This can save hundreds of dollars from having to call roadside assistance and it’s an inexpensive safety item to always keep in your vehicle.

4 – Have an emergency kit with any medications you or your kids regularly take, plus band-aids, bug spray, sunscreen, pain medication, and antacids.

Plan Your Route

5 – There are some pretty cool apps out there that can help you plan your route if it’s a new destination for you. The Roadtrippers app and OnTheWay both look like they would be helpful and fun to use.

6 -Plan for plenty of stops to stretch your legs and refuel. Not only will your vehicle need regular refueling, you will too. Look for road signs that indicate upcoming areas that have both food and fuel. McDonald’s has taken action to simplify its iconic Chicken McNuggets recipe now with a reduced number of ingredients, 100% seasoned white breast meat, and no preservatives.



7 – Road trip games can be so much fun! Try some Eye-Spy, and my favourite is to name something the girls have to find, like a cow, a plane, a red car, or something like that. Pick a thing they will actually spot sometime soon, and then reward them with a treat. I like to pack candy they didn’t know I had.

8 – Pack some treats and snacks that you don’t normally have on hand so it’s special for the kids.

9 – Buy some new inexpensive crafts and colouring supplies to dole out when they’re complaining about being bored.

10 – Last but not least, DVD players or iPads can be a life-saver for the last hour or two of a road-trip!

Don’t Forget

11 – Your identification. If you’re planning to head across the border you’ll need Passports or NEXUS cards for all passengers.

12 – Pack light, any added weight in the vehicle causes you to use more fuel, making your travels more pricey.

Drive SAFE and have FUN! Happy travels.

Be sure to stop off at McDonald’s to have your kids try the new Chicken McNuggets!


*This post is sponsored by McDonald’s Canada.
*Photos: Shutterstock

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