A Guide to Family Road Trips with Children

Man, woman, and two kids (girl and boy) in winter clothes sitting front of a car and smiling

Family road trips are more than a way to get from Point A to Point B; they can be bonding experiences, too. Pack a trunk full of all your favorite essentials, a few travel games, and get ready for an adventure. In addition to family fun, road trips also lead to the formation of foundational memories that will last long after your little ones are back at home.

Packed and ready to go? Here are some of the benefits of taking a road trip to get you out the door and on your way!

Relaxing into the road trip

Two pairs of feet relaxing at the back of the car. One blue, red and blue suitcase kept on the right side of the car with a white cowboy hat on top.

With idyllic routes and open highways, driving across the state or even the country makes for the perfect excuse to take a digital detox and escape daily stressors like meetings and homework routines.

Road trips bring families closer

Family sitting on a picnic blanket eating fruits and smiling at each other

At home, wrapped up in school or work, spending time with family can take a backseat to other responsibilities. However, a road trip makes it very easy to spend countless hours together, opening up new opportunities to bond. Play games like “I Spy,” enjoy unscheduled stops at lookout points you just can’t pass by, and tell stories of family history and past adventures. Long stints in the car getting from one destination to another give you and your family the chance to listen and learn from each other. Taking a road trip with your little one can give you a clearer window into their mind and sensibilities, bringing you closer to them with each mile you drive.  

Road trips can broaden children's interests

One parents and two kids in winter clothes on a hike

Visiting different places inspires children to explore various subjects and places, helping them develop unique and varied interests. One way to ignite their curiosity is by involving them in the planning process, giving them the opportunity to make decisions about what they want to see and experience. Once you’re on the road, visiting different sites, museums, national parks, historic landmarks, and trying out adventure sports may pique your child’s interest and lay the groundwork for a new hobby or passion. For example, encounters with wildlife in a national park could inspire them to study birds, or listening to a bluegrass band play could encourage them to pick up an instrument. Even if they don’t try out a new hobby upon returning home, you can rest easy knowing that your child has knowledge and appreciation of new subjects and the world around them.  

They can be as educational as they are fun

Two little girls sitting on the boot of the car and looking at a map together.

While road trips are often characterized by excitement and adventures, they can also pave the way for learning. On a road trip, children may find themselves out of their comfort zones, leading to experiential learning and the application of concepts they’re already familiar with. For example, going camping or going for a hike can give real-life relevance to concepts your little one may already be familiar with, like how the heart works harder to pump blood during exercise, or how certain creatures like lizards camouflage into their environment. To keep the learning going, pack some learning kits, travel games designed around certain skills, or printable worksheets and a clipboard.

One of the trickier parts of traveling with kids is keeping them preoccupied on long drives and avoiding calls of “I’m bored!” and “are we there yet?” To make car rides more engaging for all involved, bring along some road trip games designed to be fun and help boost learning. These Skillmatics games are specifically designed and curated to optimize both!

Travel games for road trips

1. Guess in 10 Marvel

Calling all the Marvel heroes! Guess in 10 Marvel is an exciting and interactive card game that will motivate children to bust out their superhero knowledge. Much like 20 questions, this game is all about figuring out the correct superhero through a series of questions. Easy to carry while containing tons of your favorite Marvel characters, Guess in 10 truly a super travel game!

2. Guess in 10 Series

In addition to Guess in 10 Marvel, Skillmatics has designed a range of Guess in 10 playing cards that cover various topics for your family to explore. One pack contains all the animals that can be named, while the other contains names of countries of the world. If you’re feeling particularly patriotic, try out the box on the States of America and challenge each other to identify the most states. Compact yet engaging, these boxes seamlessly blend challenges, excitement, and knowledge for hours of learning and engagement.

3. Write and Wipe Activities

Six double-sided activity mats, 12 brain-teasers, and countless hours of fun! These Skillmatics activity mats are designed for specific age groups and come with lots of  challenges and activities that will keep your children engaged during a long car ride. With easy to wipe and use markers, the mats can be used on repeat.

4. Found It! Outdoor Edition

A fun spin on the classic I Spy game, Found It! combines the classic with the modern. A great way to put down electronic devices and focus on one’s surroundings - this game can be played on picnics, at the beach, and anywhere you end up exploring this summer! Found It! was designed to inspire curiosity in the children and enables them to explore their surroundings in a relaxed and interactive manner, resulting in numerous learning outcomes like identifying objects, spatial mapping, and counting.

5. Paint By Stickers

This is a colorful and creative game to carry during the road trips - it leads to minimal mess and maximum entertainment. The perforated sheets contain ten different animals that reveal their colorful aura as the stickers are peeled off one-by-one. The sticker themes cover animals in vibrant shades that will also improve the vibrancy of the car journey. This game will be even more meaningful for the children after a visit to a national park or a particular city’s zoo.

This is an exciting game for the family to enjoy –– it’s a fast paced card memory game that matches the pace of the journey. Road trips present lots of opportunities to try new cuisines, and this game can be a perfect complement to those excursions.

In remembering to pack fun and engaging Skillmatics games for your road trips, these adventures will be even more enjoyable as you create lifelong memories with your family.

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