How to keep kids active on long car journeys (Guest Post)

Long car journeys can be stressful for all of us, but for kids with heaps of energy, they’re an even bigger challenge. If you’ve got a long car journey with the kids looming, and the thought of finding ways to keep them occupied and active fills you with fear, Izzy from PassSmart has written a guide to help you! No one wants to be kept inactive for long – least of all kids – so follow these few simple steps and your journey is sure to run smoothly.

children car travel tips

Credit: Andrew Currie @ flickr (

Active brains

It’s not always possible to keep the kids physically active when you need to get from A to B, but you can always keep their minds active. By playing games like ‘I spy’ and word association you can keep them entertained and help them to learn new words. Car games like these are great alternatives to sitting them down in front a portable DVD player, even if they are a little more noisy.

If it’s a bit of peace and quiet you’re after, you could buy them a puzzle, activity or sticker book which they can complete whilst you’re driving. It’ll keep their brains active and they won’t be asking, “are we nearly there yet?” every three minutes. Everyone’s a winner!

Pack healthy snacks

It’s tempting to grab quick and easy meals when you’re on the go, but packing your meals and snacks before you leave is often a healthier and cheaper option. Pack healthy alternatives to sugary snacks and you’ll keep the kids energy levels up without putting them into a sugar-induced frenzy. Carrot and celery sticks, grapes or trail mix are all good car snacks.

You should also arm yourself with lots of bottled water, especially in the summer. Keep the family hydrated, but be prepared for plenty of toilet stops.

Take lots of breaks!

You and the kids will need to take lots of breaks. Stop off somewhere they’ll be able to stretch their legs and have something to eat. They’ll burn off some of that excess energy and you’ll get a well deserved break from concentrating on the road.

Depending on where you stop off, there may be somewhere for the kids to have a proper play. Some motorway services, for example, have play areas. Alternatively, if you’re traveling on country roads, you might be able to find somewhere more scenic to have a rest. Find out what rest stops there are on your route before setting off, so you’re not struck with panic as lunchtime approaches.


Pack some pajamas and blankets so the kids can get some shut-eye when they need it. Technically this one’s not keeping them active, but it will keep them from becoming incredibly tired and grumpy. They’ll get some rest, and you’ll get some quiet time. Win, win!

Izzy, writer of this guest content and blogger at, wishes you a very safe and stress-free journey!

One thought on “How to keep kids active on long car journeys (Guest Post)

  1. Jim

    You said it… it’s really difficult to pack healthy snacks for the kids when on a trip. And if you manage to do so, they wouldn’t even bother eating them as they’d prefer chips more than anything else…Agreed, if you don’t take a break from driving mishaps could happen.


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