As the summer season winds down and back-to-school shenanigans loom in the not-too-distant future, many families are gearing up for vacations and weekend trips to close out the season. If you’re planning that last hurrah road trip before the school bells start ringing, it is understandable that excitement for the much-needed family time is coupled with stress and anxiety over the thought of traveling with the kids. With their short attention spans and high energy, we can sympathize with your panic. Before you start hyperventilating, have peace of mind that it is possible to have a stress-free road trip with your kids and still keep them entertained.

Whether you’re traveling to see family, explore new places, or revisit old stomping grounds, surviving that last road trip of the summer is easier than you may think with a little preparation and savvy packing skills. All you need to do is pack a backpack full of family travel goodies prior to your trip. These car friendly kits are the ultimate solution to keep the cute little rascals occupied on the road.

We call it the “Sanity Saver” backpack and these are some essentials to pack in there.

Road Games


Small games, such as travel bingo, tic-tac-toe, and card games are sure to grab their attention for a while. If you have some extra prep time, creating a road trip scavenger hunt or travel trivia game will thwart stretches of boredom and liven up the road.

No Fuss Snacks


Your clean car is destined to end up in a heap of disarray and chaos post trip, but no-fuss snacks won’t add fuel to the messy fire. Healthy fruits, string cheese, granola bars, and prepared snacks that won’t crumb, are all road trip friendly. Using travel food containers is also a must for futile attempts at keeping things somewhat neat in the backseat.

Books and Kids Magazines


Before you go for the easy route of tablets and video games, get your children’s imaginations stirring with storybooks and children’s books they will enjoy. Trust us, your kids will be captivated by the fairy tales, heroes, and magical mystery tours that books bring to life.

Favorite Doll or Toy


Security blankets, rag dolls, and favorite toys are a must for any road trip. Not only will it keep them feeling comfortable and more “at home,” but also a favorite doll will work to calm them down when the long drive makes them antsy.

Creativity Tool Kit


A blank sketchbook with crayons, markers, and stickers will keep them entertained for hours (we hope). Another fun idea is to get some pre-stamped blank postcards that your kids can decorate and send to family and friends with notes from the road.


What are some of your family travel lifesavers and tips for keeping kids entertained? Let us know what works for you when it comes to packing and enjoying your family road trips!