As a military family we have crossed the country a few times on road trips with kids. At this point we have the plan boiled down to the best tips when it comes to our favorite cheap road trip activities for kids.
When road tripping, small parts and a lot of stuff just do not work well. They make a major mess.
Keeping things simple, organized, and planning for the inevitable messes helps to prep a fun time for the kids and you.
Favorite Cheap Road Trip Activities for Kids
Road trips with kids are fun. Of course you can have more fun by being a little prepared. No crafty skills needed for this prep.
I like making each child a little collection of activities for our road trips. These are some of my favorite cheap road trip activities for kids because they do not require a lot of crafty skills or prep work.
You just need a binder and a backpack for each child. That is all the organization required to make this work for you on your next vacation.
5 Favorite Cheap Road Trips Activities for Kids
We picked up a pack of stencils at a thrift store for pennies. They have lasted years and I incorporate them into our cross country road trip a few years ago.
We moved from Virginia to California and I needed the big kids to have activities that they could keep organized on their own but that would also lend to some focus for hours at a time.
Stencils are a great way to keep kids creating and occupied in the car or hotel during stops.
New Crayons and Coloring Books
Every road trip a new box of crayons is a must. They get used a lot and nothing gets kids excited to draw and color more than fresh boxes of crayons and coloring books.
I always put the box of crayons into a zip top bag because I have learned a few things. The crayon box will break, it is easier for kids to bag crayons rather than fit them all back into the box, and soft storage containers fit into backpacks and car pockets easier.
Color Wonder Books and Markers
My kids love Color Wonder books-even as they get older. I always grab one for each child or the plain Color Wonder drawing paper. These keep my kids coloring for a while. They are simple and keep mess down.
Printable Mazes and Coloring Sheets
The binder comes in handy for storing the stencils and any printable activity sheets. I slip the stencils into plastic page protector sleeves. It keeps them in a handy place.
I also hole punch drawing paper and put that into the binder too. Adding some printable mazes, fun letter coloring sheets or other printable activity sheets is great.
Simply print the sheets, 3-hole punch them and insert them into the binder. You have a contained, handy on-the-go activity book that can be used in the car, hotel or in restaurants along the trip.
I often “go shopping in my house” for random games that the kids have not used much. Adding them to our road trip backpacks creates new interest and helps us keep the kids off of electronics for the majority of the road trip.
Large tic tac toe games, travel games, or these road trip activities for kids are easy to keep in backpacks or the pockets in the car seats.
It is simple to create some fun in-car activities for kids without sticking a device in their hands every day.
Those are my top 5 favorite cheap road trip activities for kids.
For even more fun road trip activities for kids, check out this list of 10 travel activities too!
I hope your next road trip is fun with some great time together as a family.
What are your best road trip tips? Leave a comment below to share.
Enjoy your time at home!
Color Wonder markers are a Godsend! These are great ideas that will definitely come in handy for our drive to the beach in August. I have a 3.5 year old who no longer sleeps as her primary travel activity.
Jaimi Erickson says
I am so glad this list will be helpful! Have fun on your trip. 🙂
Leah Hudson says
I love the stencils! I have never thought of that one! What a wonderful idea!
Jaimi Erickson says
Thanks, Leah. They were a great find.
We LOVE wondercolor! And stencils, what a great idea!
Jaimi Erickson says