Good to Know: Road Trip Tips You’ll Be Thankful For

The hilarious George Burns said “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family – in another city.” And so as Thanksgiving approaches, you might just find yourself packing up the car for a road trip to visit those relatives.

Laurie March Road Trip Tips

If you’re kid-free, all you’ll need is a latte and a great playlist – but if you’ll be traveling with little ones, I recommend some additional preparation. Here are some deep thoughts and travel tips from my buddy and Good to Know co-host Dan Pashman, me … and a car full of screaming children.

In addition to these Good To Know ideas, there are a few other boardless (bored-less?) games I love to play to pass the time and keep the peace on the road.

Together Tales

Become a family of roving writers! Each person in the car takes a turn adding a sentence onto a silly story. And to kill even more time, record them on your phone and play them back in their ridiculous entirety. It might even be fun to share a few of them with the grandparents once you arrive (so they can truly appreciate the journey you’ve made).

Tell Me the Tune

I don’t know about you, but I am always shocked at kids’ abilities to memorize and recognize lyrics, songs and even band names. Try turning to a radio station (or your kids’ favorite album, depending on their ages). Let them listen to 5 seconds of a song and see if they can guess the song, band or next lyric. The prize can be getting to choose the next full song the car will hear as you drive along.

Laurie March Road Trip Tips

Peek-A-Boo Poems

Everyone in the car will choose one word they see on a sign or billboard. Once you have all of the words down, everyone in the car will write and recite a poem using all of the words. This is a great game for the whole family (as long as you’re not driving through Nantucket).

So there you have it — some travel tricks to try this Thanksgiving. It goes without saying that arriving safely and soundly is always our most important goal, but arriving calmly and cheerfully would be wonderful, too. And it’s completely possible when you arm yourself with pre-planned activities and sanitary strategies that will keep everyone acting and looking their best this holiday season.

Check out the photo galleries below for more kids’ toys to take on the road. Bon voyage, turkey!

12 Responses

  1. Reggie says:

    These are all gems…thanks for putting it together. I do see a book in the near "future". Travel with a 2 1/2 yr old grandson can sometimes be daunting….you saved the day again. Who would have thought magnets:)

    • Laurie_March says:

      Reggie –

      Traveling with a 2 1/2 year old is a magical, frustrating, intense thing. Can't wait to hear what else works for you!

  2. Carley says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE these ideas… GORP!

  3. Bonnie says:

    Love the one outfit per day in the plastic bag!! Decorated shoe box full of fun is something for each child to look forward to on the road. Wish I had these tips years ago!!

    • Laurie_March says:

      It's a known fact. Kids make mess. Locking down one complete wardrobe change per kid per bag makes for easy 'updating' their messy duds!
      :)

  4. Barbie Ford says:

    Awesome ideas

  5. Jillian says:

    Road Trip survival 101 – The Children Edition. I LOVE it!! The dry erase markers on the window is a brilliant idea!

  6. Anne Herbert says:

    Love these ideas! Will definitely be using a few!

    • Laurie_March says:

      Aww… can't wait to hear how they work! The baking sheet magnet stuff is just gold. Wish I'd had it on long trips when I was a kid!

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About Laurie March 

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I help solve remodeling dilemmas as The House Counselor on HGTVRemodels.com, and you'll also see me offering how-to advice on DIYNetwork.com. I'm not afraid to be filmed in my ...

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