Planning a Family Road Trip with Young Kids is a sponsored conversation on behalf of HP. #HPFamilyTime
Last summer we started a new family tradition — an annual road trip. We headed out to Georgia and had an amazing family vacation at Callaway Gardens. This year we’re doing it again. We’re leaving soon which means I’m in the middle of planning a family road trip once again. This time I not only have to think about keeping a toddler busy, I also have to be prepared to handle an infant while on the road!
I just got home from traveling on a plane with C, so I’m feeling like I can handle just about anything! But I have a feeling I will be packing a lot more than I’m used to. I would rather have more than we need instead of running out diapers or clean clothes while on vacation!
Planning a Family Road Trip with Young Kids
One of the biggest challenges I face when planning for a family trip is figuring out what everyone needs without it getting crazy. Packing for a family of five that includes three different generations can be a bit overwhelming. So I focus on the basics first:
- Clothing – I pack a outfit for each day of the trip plus 3-4 extra sets of clothing for each child (and for me, just in case something happens).
- Shoes – This is one place where I can get carried away so I make sure that I really stick to exactly the pairs that will get worn.
- Bathroom basics – I don’t take anything more than we really need. Since I don’t wear a lot of makeup, I don’t pack anything more than the basics. But I make sure to have toothbrushes and travel toothpaste! I don’t always buy a lot of travel size supplies but toothpaste is definitely a space saver. One little tube can last us all a week without a problem.
That is the easy part of packing these days. I can get all of that together quickly and without much thought.
But when it comes to on the road entertainment, I make sure that I am even more prepared.
Entertainment on the Road
When it comes to being prepared for a family road trip, keeping everyone entertained seems to be key to success. So there are a few things that will be in the van with us when we head out on the road.
- DVD player – Last summer we had a portable DVD player so W could watch his favorite movies during the drive. This year we have a new mini van that has a DVD player. I think it will get a lot of use and I have saved some new DVDs to surprise W with once we’re on the road. I think J also has plans to watch a few movies if the kids sleep (when he’s not driving, of course).
- Laptop – Although I have vowed not to do much work while on vacation, I will have my HP Pavilion x360 with me on our trip. It’s a touch convertible PC that transforms with a 360-degree hinge. So it easily converts from notebook mode to stand or tent mode. This actual means we can take advantage of WiFi at our hotels as a family. W is a pro at using a tablet so it will come in handy for keeping him entertained as well.
- Books & Activities – I have also stocked up on some new books for W to look at while we’re on the road. He loves to “read” these days. I’ve also stocked up on the markers that don’t color on anything but the magic paper so they’re safe for use in the car and in hotel rooms. W’s travel bag also includes a brand new reusable bingo game that we can play as we drive!
Road Trip Bingo Game for Kids
While planning for our road trip, I was brainstorming with one of my friends and we came up with the idea of a bingo game for W to play. But I could only find ones designed for much older kids. So with the help of the HP ENVY 5530 e-All-in-One printer, we set out to create our own game that would work for younger kids!
By using pictures rather than words, it was easy to adapt a bingo game to younger ages. We also used pictures that were extremely easy to identify like stop signs, trucks, and gas pumps so the kids would be able to keep a watch out on their own. I get sick if I read too much in the car so having a game where I don’t have to read to W is important!
I think that W will be thrilled with his new activity page. I’m going to save it until we’re at least a few hours down the road! Now that I feel prepared to take the kids on the road, I need to make sure I’ve printed off all of our important documents (like the map of our route, hotel reservation confirmations, and theme park ticket confirmations) so we can hit the road!
Print Your Own Bingo Game!
You can print your own copy of Road Trip Bingo! Click on the image below to open the .pdf file and print! It prints on a regular 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Then if you have a home laminator, I recommend laminating it so it can be used again and again! It’s perfect for adding to a little travel pack for the kids! (Or click here to print!)
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about preparing for a family trip?