When I was a kid, summer was pretty much synonymous with “road trip.” We spent hours loaded into the car as a family, checking out different places both near and far. When I was younger, some of those trips didn’t seem too exciting and some of the travel seemed very long, but looking back now, those trips were packed with some of my favorite memories. Wherever we were going, we were going together as a FAMILY.

Whether you’re setting out on a road trip or maybe gearing up for a plane flight with your family, the Hawaiian Shaved Ice team has put together some traveling tips for families with children. These tips won’t make your trip any shorter, but maybe can help make things a little more manageable.

Road Trip with Children

Snacks - Pack healthy snacks in kid-friendly containers (think small reusable containers or bags). If you’re in the car, you’ll want to be able to pass back a small container -- not the whole box -- of something like crackers so they aren’t ALL spilled or ALL eaten. Sugary treats, which can definitely be a fun reward, might backfire with kids hopped up on a sugar high (a.k.a. hyper, loud, and maybe even fussy).

Beat boredom - Pre-load your kids’ tablets with fun games, songs, tv shows, and/or movies. There are plenty of apps that are fun yet educational at the same time. Portable DVD players are also a great idea. Check out our family-friendly movie list for ideas. You can always pick up and drop off movies at places like the Redbox along your route. Be sure to have easy-to-use, comfortable headphones for the kids -- perhaps even with a backup pair. You can also make or purchase games to play along the road like travel bingo, license plate tracking (try to find as many states as possible), I spy, or have a road trip scavenger hunt. Keep a stash of “new” items to dole out over the hours of your travel, so there’s something new and novel to keep the kiddos entertained.

Tune out the fussing & tears - It’s bound to happen. The kids will fuss or fight. They’ll want to get out of the car, but try to keep going if they aren’t wet or hungry. Try to have a mantra (“my children are safe” is a good one), and remind yourself that they will eventually stop fussing or maybe they’ll even fall asleep. If you are the passenger, consider bringing some headphones for yourself. If you’re the driver, repeat your mantra (or turn up the radio).

Make Stops - Build in some extra time during travel to get out of the car. Stretch your legs, grab some food, maybe even have a picnic or play at a park. Accept that it might take you longer to get where you’re going, but you’ll get there eventually. It can help to plan out stops to find fun, kid-friendly attractions before you hit the road.

What are some of your best road trip tips, especially when traveling with children? Those of us with kids here at Hawaiian Shaved Ice can certainly use all the help we can get! Share them with us on our Facebook page.