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Road Trip Busy Bags

This is how to make road trip busy bags to keep your kids busy on your long trip. We also have many family road trip games and ideas to make your family vacation the best possible. From toddlers to teenagers these ideas will keep them smiling and help you keep your sanity.

road trip busy bags

We love going on family road trips! We have done many over the years with our three girls. I am always ready for our next adventure. There are many important things to keep in mind and take along with but one thing is for sure, you need road trip busy bags! One of many tips on our road trip blog. (originally published 6/15) Sponsored by Oreo.

Here are some road trip busy bag idea we’ve used to keep our kids occupied in the car. They put smiles on their faces and keep us from hearing “are we there yet” too often.

Each Summer, and an occasionally during Spring Break, we pack our car full of comforts from home and head out on a long trip. We like to keep our day driving to about 8 hours each way. We’ve have been on so many that we have learned the best ways to keep our kids busy on those long trips.

Any activity, game, or treat is helpful. A variety of them is better yet! Of course you need to make sure to bring one for each child, so to begin with. You will want to find a few containers like these!

Road trip busy bags

Sometimes I fill an empty wipe container like you see here, and other times I fill gallon storage bags. It just depends what I have on hand. Because I’m frugal I would always suggest using what you already have.

Then head to the store for additional items to pack the busy bags for your kids. With the room you have left I would make sure you have some of the following things;

  • I start by finding little items around the house that they haven’t played with in a while
  • Pick up a few items at the local dollar or grocery store
  • Then head to the grocery store last to grab snacks and a few treats to pack into their little containers

If you want to include a lot of things then have them use their school backpack. Or you can grab a new “cool” bag or suitcase to put everything in as an extra treat!

Road trip tips and busy bag ideas

Road trip busy bags

  • Always pack a treat. My kids love Oreos (these small packs are the perfect size to satisfy a sweet tooth)
    • Lollipops are great too since they last a while.
  • Small notebook
  • Pencil – colored pencils – pens if they are older
  •  Small toys – cars, army men, or ponies (depending on what they like)
  •  Stickers
  • Word search – crossword puzzles (depending on their age)
  • Glow sticks and bracelets
  • Handheld Etch a Sketch
  • Calculator (believe me it keeps them busy even if they’re little)
  • Sticky note pad (they’ll think it’s “super cool”)
  • Squishy ball
  • Flash cards
  • iTouch or small gaming system – this one has 560 games built in
  • Book
  • Ear buds or fun headphones

Free printable road trip I spy game we have here you can print for everyone in the car to do.

 road trip busy bags

Kids atlas is great if you’re traveling a long distance, they can find where you are and where you’re going.

  • iPads with a set of kids headphones (better than ear buds for little ones)
    • Download movies before you leave for them to watch
    • Download their favorite music so they can listen on the road
    • Use your phone as a hotspot so they can access the internet or get a mifi unit from your cell provider so you can get internet on the road
cat headphones

Here are 100+ road trip games for kids too that don’t cost a thing and you can keep on hand to play a game in the car…there are so many beyond i spy now!!

I have also created multiple containers or filled gallon ziploc bags for each child if it is a really long trip. Every 2-3 hours we are in the car they have a busy bag for that timeframe.

Since I have 3 children, I figure out how long we will be traveling, the route we will take, and when we will stop for a potty/busy bag break…..and I start packing.

road trip busy bags

When we stop for gas/a bathroom break I rotate the bags for a new set if they are getting antsy and that helps! Make sure when you stop to have them get out and walk around.

Even if they don’t have to go to the bathroom I have them try, and at least get them moving for the 10-15 minutes we are fueling up….it really does help!!

I can’t tell you how helpful these road trip busy bags have been on our vacations! Of course we talk quite a bit, discuss where we are and where we are going, but having some quiet time with fun activities makes the road trip not just bearable but actually FUN….imagine that! 😉

Where are you planning your next trip??

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Kanika Bakshi

Thursday 5th of July 2018

Interesting post. I would love to try your this idea on our upcoming trip so that our trip will be more fun. Keep sharing such helpful posts.

Christina @There's Just One Mommy

Monday 22nd of June 2015

Love the calculator idea! Mine love playing with one at home, never thought to pack one in the car. Perfect!

Linda Nortje

Saturday 13th of June 2015

Think you have it covered perfectly !


Friday 12th of June 2015

What an awesome idea!! I live that you re-used the wipes container to create your kit. :) totally pinning for later.

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