Skip To Content

    18 Brilliant Hacks And Tips To Make Traveling With Kids A Lot More Enjoyable

    Because there's only so many times you can hear, "Are we there yet?" before you lose your mind.

    We asked the BuzzFeed community to share their best tips and hacks for traveling with children. Here are some of the most useful responses:


    1. Use empty baby wipe containers and pencil cases to easily store snacks for long car rides.

    "Use a baby wipe container for each kid with an ice pack in the bottom to store cut fruit and cheese in Ziploc bags that they can easily open. You can also use a plastic pencil case for each kid to store dry snacks in Ziploc bags all within reach. Keep them busy with a binder filled with coloring sheets inside sheet protectors and a set of dry erase markers."


    2. Use a frisbee as a travel plate.


    "For food in the car, you can’t beat a frisbee as a plate. Turn it upside down and the curved edges keep things from rolling off. And when you need to get out and stretch your legs, you have a game to play."


    3. Keep them occupied with aluminum foil. Seriously.

    "Aluminum foil. Seriously. $3 at the dollar store and my kid was occupied from Chicago to Nashville. There was art, sculptures, lots of balls in various sizes, and the cardboard tube was used as a sword, and to point and poke at everything he could."


    4. Wrap up surprise toys and snacks to open periodically.

    Tim Cocker / Via

    "We spent a lot of time driving between SoCal and Idaho when I was a kid and what my mom did was make up a backpack full of goodies for each kid. Half were snacks (a Ziploc of Goldfish, box of animal crackers, etc.), wrapped in foil and half were small trinkets or toys covered in wrapping paper. Roughly every hour or at predetermined times, such as certain pit stops, we got to pick one thing to open — either a snack or a toy."


    5. Create personalized road maps to follow your trip.

    "When they were younger, I printed a map of the trip, with our route outlined, and marked stars on each of the major stops or major cities, and laminated them. They could follow the GPS and road signs and see how far along we were and check off how far we had come."


    6. Triangle crayons won't roll away.

    nopintesenlasparedes / Via

    "TRIANGLE CRAYONS! They won’t roll. Also making a 'schedule' in 30-minute increments before the trip, and letting the kids help make it."


    7. Layer hotel towels in the crib for a sick kid/baby.

    If your kid is vomiting, put down layers of hotel towels in the crib. Peel up a layer after each episode."


    8. Play a clever game that costs them quarters for misbehaving.


    "When we went on road trips as kids my mom gave us each a roll of quarters and said anytime we were fussing at each other or were generally rude/annoying we lost a quarter. At the end of the trip we could keep whatever was left. You better believe I sat and read my book the entire way to Florida."


    9. Use bungee cords to hang toys in the car and baking trays as play surfaces.

    "My husband and I have three kids. We drive instead of flying. I take a bungee cord and attach them to the handles in back. That way I can hang toys, or whatever off it. Window clings are fun too. Baking trays are great for magnets and as a great backing for coloring pages."


    10. Use a pool noodle to separate kids in a hotel bed.

    rachachavow / Via

    "If you have two kids that need to share a bed in a hotel room, buy a pool noodle from the dollar store. You can slip the pool noodle under the sheet to create a barrier. Now both kids will have their own space and won't accidentally kick each other all night!"


    11. Ship the extra baby stuff to your destination.

    "If you're traveling with babies or toddlers, instead of trying to pack enough diapers, formula, and baby food for the whole trip, buy some of the basics you need online and have them shipped to your destination. Most hotels and resorts will hold your packages for you, and it's so much easier than trying to pack for a whole trip."


    12. Make laminated travel bingo cards.

    cmckinney / Via

    "I made road trip bingo cards and laminated them. On the reverse side of the cards they have tic-tac-toe boards. They each get a dry erase marker and they can play together or against each other. The bingo was a great success. Winner gets a prize — choosing the type of restaurant we eat in, a souvenir at a gift shop, or an extra snack."


    13. Honestly, just dress them as cute as possible.

    "Cute hats on the kids, especially if the hats match. Increases the likelihood that staff will soften their hearts and help — even in a busy airport when your flight has been canceled for 'maintenance issues.'" —cynthiav4cdc20f0e

    14. Reward them with the chance to choose the trip music.


    "We get most of the snacks and drinks the day before we leave so stops are just for gas and bathroom breaks. Lots of toys. They also get to pick two songs every 30 minutes of not fighting. Time starts again once the radio goes back to Dad."


    15. Put all of your liquids, including baby food and medicines, into one plastic baggie to get through security faster (and easier).

    "In the airport, when you pack a diaper bag, put all the liquid, food, and medications in a plastic bag and pack it at the top. When you go through security all you have to do is pull out the plastic bag for them to check instead of digging around for it. Last time I did this a TSA lady thanked me for making it easy."


    16. Let them use dry erase markers on the airplane or car windows.

    bike_junkie / Via

    "Dry erase markers for drawing on the window!"


    17. Give them something to look forward to with pit stop purchases.

    "When we moved from WI to FL last fall, we let our daughter pick something (under $5) at each of our many stops because 22 hours of driving needs way more distraction than just some stickers and candy. She picked up on the extra surprise she was getting and it was great for her to have something to look forward to when we were driving four to five-hour stretches."


    18. Use Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard-approved inflatable car seats for easy packing. / Via

    "Bubble Bum inflatable car seats are amazing! They flatten and roll up for easy storage, and when you're ready to use them, just blow a few puffs of air! You instantly have a sturdy car seat for ages 4 and up. We used these on a recent vacation and it saved us from having to lug bulky car seats through the airport and at the beach."


    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Make sure to follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!

    Want awesome parenting tips in your inbox twice a week? Sign up for the BuzzFeed Parents newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form