Skip to main content

It’s great to get out of the house and explore, but when you’re traveling long distances with small children, road trips can feel daunting! No matter the distance, they’ll probably still ask “Are we there yet?” before you reach your destination. Never fear – we compiled a list of easy road trip hacks, on-the-go snack ideas and stress-free packing tips to keep your family happy on the go:

1. Make a Road Trip Snack Box

Save time and money with a road trip snack tray, organized with fruits, veggies, salty snacks and sweet treats. You can make a large snack tray to pass around the van or create smaller options for the front seat and the back seat. 

Repurpose sealable plastic lunch containers or pick up a divided bento box with a lid. These work best for smaller children who might have trouble passing around a tray. The more you can have at hand and ready to go, the less you’ll need to strain and stretch to reach back and help out.

2. Pack On-the-Go Desserts for Easier Snacking

Bring along a little taste of home with a container of baked goods. We know you’re busy packing for the trip, so opt for desserts that are easy to whip up and won’t cover your car with messy icing. Cookies and dessert bars fit nicely in rectangular containers, can chill in a cooler and should leave little to no mess

3. Play Car Games to Keep the Kids Entertained

Tablets and phones are great for keeping kids occupied on long car trips, but batteries can run out and reception can be spotty on the road. Plan ahead in case you get disconnected with these fun car activities for kids:
  • Busy Boxes: Whether it’s a metal lunchbox of letter magnets and blocks or a clipboard of coloring pages, a little prep work can go a long way.
  • Road Trip Scenery Checklist: Get the kids engaged as they search the scene for common sights like a cow, horse, a car in each color, construction zone, police car, bridge, etc. Create a list and work together as a family or make it a friendly competition for best eagle eyesight.
  • Are We There Yet: This activity is a test of wills. Start each family member (you and the driver included) with a bag of candy like REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures or JOLLY RANCHER Hard Candies. When you hear another person ask “Are We There Yet?” you earn a piece of candy from their bag!
  • Milestone Surprise Bags: Map out a few milestones along the way like cities or miles traveled. When you reach each one, surprise the car with a bag of special treats and a game.
When you’re traveling with toddlers, even the best ideas are sometimes met with a tantrum. Take frequent breaks and search out playgrounds to release some pent-up energy. Inside the car, keep snacks and activities within arm’s reach. Consider a sunshade or makeshift curtain for the window when they finally doze off.

4. Keep These Road Trip Essentials on Hand

fathers day tackle box

In addition to packing your suitcases, it’s a good idea to stock the car with quick-reach supplies.

  • Tuck charging cables for phones and tablets in the center console or the glove compartment for easy access.
  • If you’re having lunch on the road, use plastic shower caddies to hold the kids’ food and drink.
  • Purchase car seat organizers or reuse a fabric over-the-door organizer to keep the kids’ items organized and accessible.
  • This is old school, but consider printing out your directions just in case your GPS loses signal.

5. Make a Road Trip Playlist

Keep the serotonin levels high with a fun and funky playlist featuring a little something for everyone. You can create one the night before or take turns adding songs to the queue. 
Another technology tip is to download music, audiobooks, movies and TV episodes for uninterrupted entertainment.
Make road trips a little sweeter with some Hershey-inspired snacks and treats. Have you ever thought about a road trip to visit us in Hershey, PA? HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction has chocolate-inspired activities, gifts, desserts … and every kind of Hershey Candy you can think of!