We all want to save money on our travels. One of the best ways to save on your family vacation is to drive to your destination. Even if you have to rent a car, this is still the economical choice especially if you have a large family. Before you hit the road, though, make sure you make these DIY road trip survival bags for kids for a smooth trip!
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Let’s face it. Those miles stretching on can make you start to question the value of savings once your kids start getting cranky and hungry an hour into the drive. Fancy DVD players and portable game systems can help but they won’t keep them fed.
Additionally, do you really want them plugged in the whole trip? Instead, save your sanity and engage your kids with these DIY road trip survival bags.
Step 1: Choose Your Bag
Using what you have is the best way to save money. I recommend drawstring bags if it is an option. They are convenient, inexpensive, and most importantly incredibly easy to wash.
Kids are messy! The easier to clean, the better. We used these Humana bags that I got for free at a scrapbook crop I attended. These drawstring bags from Dollar Tree are a great budget-friendly option if you don’t already have some.
- Keep your child’s motor skills in mind when choosing your bag. Not all children can work zippers or buttons which is another reason I recommend drawstring bags.
Step 2: Delegate Snacks
Next, add some snacks to your road trip bags. Don’t just buy those single serving packages to toss in the bags. Instead, save money by purchasing full-size containers and dividing them among snack bags.
Another great way to save on snacks is to make your own. Granola bars, dried fruit, and cucumber chips are all easy and healthy alternatives to store-bought.
- To prevent kids from mindlessly munching during the trip, set an alarm on your phone for every hour or two of the trip. When the alarm goes off, kids choose 1 of their pre-portioned snacks to eat.
Step 3: Add Activities
Lastly, add activities to the bags. Add your kiddos’ favorite small toys such as cars, action figures, and dolls. Another great item to add is activity books and crayons.
If you need some budget-friendly ideas, here are some we love (don’t buy all of these, I simply want you to have multiple options to find what fits your kids):
For Older Kids
Step 4: Don’t Forget These Extras
There are some extra items that will make the trip easier that you may not think of. You will definitely be glad you have them on the trip.
- These are essential for hydration and are much better for your kids than pop or Kool-Aid.
- Small towels (or washcloths) are perfect for small spills and dirty fingers in the car.
- Add a few wet wipes to a plastic resealable bag for each kid’s bag. This lets them easily wipe up messes without you trying to toss napkins back while driving.
- You can’t predict where the sun will shine and sometimes tinted windows or sunshades just don’t cut it. Have a pair of sunglasses your kid can pull out to ward off those mid-trip whines.
These DIY road trip survival bags will help you have a smooth road trip and not begrudge the money you’re saving. They also help you to monitor what your kids snack on and what they play with.
If you have an extremely long trip coming up check out these Kids Car Activity Binders complete with free printable activity sheets and a trip tracking coloring page. Simply add them to your bags before you head out and you will have everything you need to make your road trip go more smoothly.
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