Why is it that when packing for holidays with kids they seem to have way more stuff than the adults do despite being smaller? Multiple suitcases, backpacks, and toys that need to be squeezed into the car.

Holidays are great, but most kids find the journey hard, due to boredom, car sick, lack of movement, or fear of the unknown.

Some of these ideas are for older kids, but you might find that with a little adaptation, younger children can enjoy these games on the car journey too.


  1. Plan activities at the destination: Research your destination and plan activities that will appeal to kids. This could include visiting parks, playgrounds, museums, or other attractions. Having a plan will decrease the anxiety about the unknown and give them something to look forward to. 
  2. Involve kids in the planning process: Let kids help choose activities for the car ride. Let them see the map and plan breaks. This will help them feel more invested in the trip and excited about what’s to come. 
  3. Bring food. Lots of food. Water bottles. Something to clean hands before and after eating.
  4. If car sickness is an issue talk to a pharmacist or GP before travelling. See if sitting in different positions in the care helps. Try listening to music.
  5. Games and toys.


I am not against my kids listening to music, playing electronic devices or watching movies when we are travelling. But, car journeys can be a great “family time” to engage and have fun together. Ideas of non-electronic games are:

  1. “I spy” – an oldie but a goodie.
  2. Stickers and colouring in books. Use a cutting board or baking tray to lean on.
  3. Car bingo sheets – these are super simple to make. Add words like traffic lights, parked white car, kangaroo, horse, police car, helicopter, McDonald’s, tractor, and stop sign. For kids that can not read, print pictures and stick them on a paper sheet. If it’s a huge success – get them laminated for next time.
  4.  Storey starter game – start a storey and the next person adds a sentence. “I was walking in the museum when I heard ….”
  5. Conversation cards. You can make your own, download or buy these. They have questions on them “You are sailing to a deserted island – which three things would you take with you”?
  6. Audiobooks
  7. Silly sentences. Say a sentence with a mistake in it and the kids have to tell you the mistake. “The spider was big, black and hairy, he Cralwed towards me on his 6 legs”.

With some planning and organisation, playing games with kids on a road trip can provide an excellent opportunity for family bonding, entertainment, education, and skill development. The trip will be part of the holiday, getting the family to know a little more about each other while having fun. Plus the trip will go quicker than constantly being asked”are we there yet”?