Ultimate Car Trip with Kids

The best ideas, activities, conversation games & food hacks!

Car Trip with Kids .png

It seems that at this time of year in South Africa, most people are hitting the road for some form of long car journey. Last week we looked at routes from joburg to Cape Town and had some brilliant suggestions on where to stop for little

Thank you so much for all your great suggestions on where to stop on route to Cape Town (from Joburg). Such great advice - I thought I would ask for more - this time for your top tips on car journeys with children (babies / toddlers / teenagers) what do you do to make it enjoyable for the whole family (is that even possible, I hope so).

Here is a sneak peak into our plans and preparations for our 16 hour road trip to Cape Town for Christmas, with 2yr twins, 4yr old and Ridge Back Dog!

I would love to hear your favourite car games, snacks, and audio books, apps, films……… SHARE in the COMMENT section below. 

Preparation for your journey 

  • Plan your route - depending on the age of your children involve them in planning the journey - designing /reading the map, and researching any good stop overs for coffee / lunch/ activities or stay overs.

  • Download new films /Audio Books/ TV shows and Apps onto your iPads / iPods

  • Charge iPads / iPods day before your journey.

  • Pack the car - this post has incredible ideas on where to store food, wipes, you name it!


  • I pack a ‘hand luggage’ bag for a long car journey, which has changes of clothes in, extra nappies, sun cream, snacks, sun hats, jumpers - so the vital things are accessible.

  • Finally a couple of bin bags (that are accessible during the journey).


Prep for Kids Activities

- Head Phones, we have set for each child with a splitter so 2 people can listen to the same device.

I came across this idea on pinterest and just love it! Take a baking tray (or cookie tray) and then it becomes your child’s table, they can eat lunch on it, play with play do, draw. Do puzzles, you can even make your own magnetic puzzle pictures up from photos! Thank you Burlap and Denim  

Holiday Packs - Pack of ready made activities that would be new and interesting for your child to do. The lovely Anitra is put them together - contact her to place your order.  082 577 4716. 





Babies / Toddler Toy

I have been meaning to make some of these for ages, think its a great idea for the car, and the twins are at the perfect age for them (2yrs) 

Security/ Emergency   

- What happens if you break down (make sure you have your road side assist details and insurance details, and if traveling in a foreign country you know the relevant accident protocol) 
- First Aid Kit
- Medical Aid details
- Certified copies of your passport and driving licence
- Road Atlas (dont rely on GPS) 

On Route: 

Food / Snacks / Treats

Whilst I try to limit the amount of food my children eat in the car and limit the amount of sugar they consume, car journeys and plane trips that all goes out the window. They eat and eat and eat, thankfully none of the kids are car sick, but maybe something to watch out for. 
I do try to save the snack until mid way through the journey, or give them some and have another bag hidden away. Travelling means - lolly pops (suckers), raisins, crisps / chips / dried fruit. 


What was your favourite car game to play as a child? tell us in the comments at the bottom of the post  

I Spy - Classic, slightly adapted for our daughter - we use colours, I spy with my little eye something Blue 

Counting - How many red cars do you see 

10 items in a category - Name 10 fruit items, 10 colours, 10 road signs

Would you Rather - Someone asks a question - would you rather x or y, everyone else has to choose, go to the beach or play in the snow/ eat a bug or spoon of sand /  

Shopping Game - I went to the mall and brought - a spade then the next person says I went to the mall and brought a spade and a ice cream, then the following person - I went to the mall and brought a spade, an ice cream and t-shirt………… the first person to miss an item is out you keep playing until you have a winner.  You can adapt the category so I packed x y z in my suitcase to go on holiday/ visit granny. 

Audio Books

Brilliant if you can find some stories that are nice for the whole family to listen too (often sends our kids to sleep too!) 
- The BFG by Roald Dahl
- Harry Potter - JK Rowling
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit J R R Tolkien
- The Midnight Gang - David Walliams
- The Spiderwick Chronicles - Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
- The Strange Case of Origami Yoda - Tom Angleberger
- Kids Musical CDs (brilliant with their head phones on) 

Kids Activities  

Old Wallet and cards
Pack Cards
Torches / Head torch
Paint with Water books
Sticker Books
Lacing Things
Pip Cleaners  
Velcro bits (Antria’s activity packs) 
Junk Mail Magazine/ Food catalogues (Florence picks out photos of food she would like to buy) 

Want some more ideas - here are another 40 tips for you.

Tell us how you prepare and enjoy your road trips? What have we forgotten? What are the latest Apps you have come across for your kids? Audio books? Games? Share below