1 September 2017 | Written by Phoebe Joiner

7 Tips for surviving long car trips with kids

Back to Blog

Road Trip Activities For Kids

Long car rides with kids are never easy missions to take on. In the run up to the school holidays, we’ve researched what works well for parents to come up with our 7 must-know tips for surviving these journeys.

1. Bring Entertainment Packs

Make sure you’re equipped with an entertainment pack that will fix any boredom spells during the journey. We’ve made a Kiwi roadside games pack which includes games for the whole family to play as well as puzzles and crosswords for those lazy afternoons at your destination. Get it sent fresh to your inbox for free by using the form at the end of this article!

2. Borrow Mary Poppin’s Bag for your Snacks

You know the bag that holds everything and doesn’t seem to end? You’ll need something similar, filled with a variety of snacks. When boredom strikes, kids will almost definitely ask for snacks. Never run out of snacks. Keep them healthy and tasty, with a few really delicious ones for when the going starts to get tough.

Expert Tip from Art of Manliness: ‘Before deciding to bring something, it’s worth taking a moment to think like a small child. Ask yourself, “If I mashed this thing into my face, or onto the carseat, what kind of mess would it make? And how hard would it be to clean up?”’

 3. Be Prepared

If your kids are susceptible to travel sickness, make sure you leave the house with motion sickness tablets, plenty of baby wipes and spew bags to hold the unmentionable. Usually you can purchase these at your local doctors or online. Or you can get inventive and bring anything around the house that’s watertight. Children’s paracetamol is another must-bring if you don’t want to be stuck in the car with a headache-ridden child! Check out these travel essentials by Babycenter for more inspiration.

4. Find Attractions Along the Way

It’s always worth doing a bit of research on any attractions in nearby places along the way. By stopping for a longer amount of time to do a fun activity with the kids, you’re making the travel day just as eventful as the days to come. If you’ve got time to spare, it could even be worth doing a detour from the main route to pass through a place with an exciting attraction. See if there’s anything on along the way with EventFinda.

5. Be Strategic with your Roadside Stops

Regular stops to stretch the legs, empty the bladders and fill the tummies are a must when you’re going a long distance. Families can make the common mistake of driving through towns and trying to stop as little as possible only to arrive with tired and grumpy kids. It’s important to sync your driving stops with your kids usual daily routines.

6. Plan Family Activities Ahead

Know what’s happening in the area you’re heading to, scout local websites for any family-friendly events or activities, and make plans during the day around those. If it’s a popular activity such as the luge in Rotorua, make sure you’re prepared to get up early to avoid the queues. Having a plan in place such as popular local attractions can also be used to encourage your kids to look forward to the holiday while you’re driving down there, and focus less on asking for the 10th time ‘are we there yet?’

7. Make a Travel Advent Calendar

Taking inspiration from the picture above, fill mystery packages with little surprises (treats, toys, games, jokes) and write on the front “open when reached xxxxx”. Once you reach that town or landmark, let the kids open the surprise package! This will keep them focused on smaller lengths until a reward rather than the bigger goal of waiting for the final destination.


Over to you…

Have any words of wisdom or secret weapons up your sleeve when it comes to car trips with little ones? Share them with us in the comments below! 

Get our Roadside Games Pack delivered fresh to your inbox – free!

* indicates required


View our other “road trip” blog posts:

Back to Blog
Next article
Your guide to the top wine tasting spots in the North Island

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Please complete all fields.

Close mobile menu
Search holiday homes List your home