9 car hacks to make traveling with kids easier

Car travel needn’t be hours of mess and whining. These handy car hacks will make the trip a pleasurable one. By Lisa Witepski


“I love spending time in the car with my kids,” said no mom ever. If it’s not the whining that gets you – why do they have to start asking “are we there yet?” the minute you leave the driveway – it’s the mess.

ALSO SEE: Top tips for traveling with your baby

Here’s how to stop both from becoming a problem

  • Before you leave, place an old sheet over the car seat. Simply shake it out from time to time to stop crumbs from taking root inside your car.
  • That shriek to let you know your little one has dropped her lovie or dummy is blood curdling – especially since it’s not like you can turn around and give it to her. Solution? Tie it to a cord, with the other end attached to the car seat.
  • Turn a shoe holder into a travel entertainment centre, filling each compartment with an activity like a colouring in book, a snack pack, a few wipes – whatever they need. Hang it on the back of the front seat, within easy reach. A shower caddy, stuck on the back of the seat with suction cups, does pretty much the same thing.

ALSO SEE: 7 tips to keep your kids busy and calm in the car

  • Make your own on-the-go art kit by lining an old DVD case with paper on one side, and pencils on the other.
DVD pencil case

Image Credit: pickystitch.com

  • Keep kids distracted for hours by creating a treasure hunt. Fill a pencil bag or cosmetic purse with rice, then throw in some trinkets and jewels, which they have to find.
Treasure hunt

Image Credit: momtastic.com

  • A loom band or beading container makes a perfect stack storage unit. Fill each compartment with something different, like dried fruit, Oatees or mini rice cakes.
  • Another clever snack solution is to create a “‘necklace” by stringing together snacks like pretzels. They’re easy to transport, plus kids will love the novelty factor.
  • Freeze your juice bottles overnight before a car trip. Heat is a major contributor to tetchy moods, so this is an easy way for kids to keep cool and quench their thirst at the same time.
  • “‘Are we there yet?”’ bags will keep the kids excited and (hopefully) put a lid on the whining. Stuff large envelopes with little toys and edible goodies – things that they can play with on-route – to be handed out throughout the car trip. Here’s the catch, though: you only get a bag if there’s been no nagging or squabbling for an agreed upon length of time.
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