Smoother Summer Travel

big family on bike

Photo by bike enthusiast and Flickr user Mikael Colville-Andersen

Getting from A to B on your summer holiday can be a lot of hard work! You know (or can google) your family’s packing list staples, here are some bonus things to make the journey smoother.

This is always the first thing I pack:
tree branch Music Branch 3-Way Head Phone Splitter
It allows allows 3 sets of headphones to use the one jack. Shared entertainment for the kids, that you don’t have to listen to.

I download books from the library on my kindle. The library is also good for audio books.
Here are some books I love to read with kids.
Podcast are also great, check out the Story Pirates. has a great offer through until June 30 $6 for 3 month Gold membership (usually $45)

Wet Wipes. Always wet wipes.  Stickiness and sweetness does not discriminate based on age.

Pre-prepared Imagination: I think up 3 games both the kids and I will enjoy that require minimal supplies; preferably none.
Currently my favorites are:
Family Trivia/ I’m thinking of a person/ 20 questions
What can you see that starts with …. and can you make a rhyme about it?

Snacks! portion controlled in resealable containers/ bags.

Ceareal Box Trash Can


photo from

Activity bag, great for the wait time at restaurants- here is what is in mine.
photo-9 A toy, a notebook or paper that fits in the bag, some washable crayons and sometimes a book too.

Travel mugs for everyone!
We have the Zojirushi one at home. We love and use it year round! I use the Thermos one at work with kids and they hold up to the challenge.
They both keep liquid hot or cold for hours, don’t leak or spill, are comfortable to use and easy to clean-WIN!

Make sure your kids know the information they need to find you again if you get separated. I have a wristband from RoadID that has my name, a contact number, blood type, NKA (no known allergies) and birth year incase anything happens when I’m running alone.


You can custom make temporary tattoos. I like for their fun designs. It is a good idea to use your number and not name so strangers can’t get overly familiar with your child.

Music play lists:
I use Spotify and Pandora myself and have found Pandora to be a little more on point with kids stations. I like: ‘Curious George’ and ‘Indie Kids’ stations for the younger ones.

Other things I think are great ideas:

  • Scrapbooking Envelope- entrusted to the child for them to collect memorabilia along the way.
  • Chalk- easy to transport, canvases everywhere.
  • Using the rest stop to let the kids run out their energy while you order food and then eating once you’re back on the road to save time.
  • Bank of America’s Museums on Us program. BoA customers receive free entry to a range of cultural institutions the first weekend each month.
  • Junior Ranger Program– With over 200 across America you will be surprised where you can find them.
  • Trunki purely because I find them too cute!!!


    This gleeful travel moment captured by Jorn Guy SuB and shared on Flickr