Survive your next family road trip with DIY travel activity bags that keep kids and teens occupied and entertained…Road Trip Goodie Bags (with free printable tags)
Man, I am totally tripping….
ROAD TRIPPING that is!!
Since we are still in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of our big travel plans have all been canceled so we’ve been doing A LOT more road trips with the kids.
And because 2020 has pretty much sucked in SO.MANY.WAYS. we are trying our best to squeeze the most amount of fun out of things we do with our family.
On top of that “fun list” is bringing back the old school style road trips.
Back in the olden days when I was a kid, my parents would make little packages of snacks and activities to open every hour to help make the ride go a wee bit faster and to help keep us kiddos entertained during the long periods of riding on the drive.
Looking back, the time spent together on these vacation trips were some of my favorite memories.
So, I decided to take a page from that early 80’s playbook of child-rearing and get cracking on some ROAD TRIP GOODIE BAGS for our next family road trip!
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The first task at hand…I hit up the local dollar store…ya’ know, the Dollar Tree and the Dollar Spot at Target, grabbed some brown lunch sacks, made some fun printable tags, and I was off and rolling!
Seriously y’all, if you haven’t done this for your kids…do it! They will love it! No matter the age, whether you have young children or older kids like me, it’s a great addition to any long car trip you have planned!
Picture Proof Above: Happy Teen holding a road trip goodie bag!
Listen, my kids are teenagers, and when you are an adolescent, you are way too cool for school….and even THEY loved it, so I guarantee your kids will too!
Prepping for a vacation, especially if you are traveling by car, can be stressful, so I’m going to make one thing easier in life for you…I made the cute printable goodie bag tags just for you for your next road trip !!
So all you’ve got to do is buy some “goodies”, print the tags, and fill the bags with all the fun stuff you’ve found. I’ve made them for our last two trips, and if my pandemic weary mind can do it, you can too!
Seeing the kids happy while you are logging the long miles in the car will totally be worth any extra effort it takes!
Here’s a breakdown of the steps one by one and some helpful tips for you…
1. Stan with the Plan – Prepping Your Road Trip Goodie Bags
The first step in planning your epic road trip goodie bag extravaganza is to first take into consideration how long your trip is going to be. So first you need to count how many hours you will be in the car on your road trip!
My rule of thumb is to plug in the destination in my Google Maps app and if the trip is 6 hours, I’m gonna make 5 bags (starting at hour one)…if it’s 9 hours, then plan for 8 bags to keep the troops happy and so on. However long your trip is will determine how many bags you make.
We did not open bags as we returned home but if you want to really be industrious, you can make double the amount for your return trip home. Have at it, momma – you will certainly earn the distinction for “Mom of the Year” with that one!
2. Get the Goods – What to Purchase for Your Road Trip Goodie Bags
The next step is to visit your local discount store or Dollar Tree and load up on some cheap yet entertaining “goodies”.
This is the time where you let your cheesy mom factor shine!
If you have teens, think about what your kids loved when they were little and run with it! Mine loved those magic pen coloring books like these below, so yep, I picked up a set of those! Hello, Disney Princess toys!
Was silly putty a fave in your house? Then grab it!
Remember you don’t need to spend tons of money! Buying expensive items is not necessary, and I would actually caution against it. Search for items that won’t break the budget! Stick to the cheap stuff!
You’ll be surprised how much your “big kids” like the little kid’s things because it brings back some good childhood memories for them!
Also, be sure to get some junky snacks…my kids don’t normally get junk food, but hey, you are on vacation, so get a little C-R-A-Z-Y…hello, Ring Pops and Kinder Joy eggs!! Grab a fun snack that your kids love!
*A word to the wise*…don’t overload your kids with too much bad food, especially if they are not used to eating that
poison…um, I mean sugary goodness. On our first road trip, my son ate every single crappy treat I packed, and he didn’t feel so great when we arrived at our end destination #liveandlearn
Our goodie bags had the following items:
- Bean Boozled Game
- Fidget Spinners
- Ball of Whacks Puzzle Game
- Cheez-it Snacks
- Kinder Joy Chocolate Treat
- Road Trip Bingo Game
- Other Random Entertaining Toys
Also, if you are short on time and don’t want to run all over town looking for goodie bag items, you can order some super fun things on Amazon…
ROAD TRIP GOODIE BAG IDEAS
– Travel Connect Four Game
– Magic Snake Puzzle (OMG, This was my fave in 3rd grade)
Oh, yeah, and one more tip…you don’t have to buy all new things!
Some of the items I grabbed from the store and others we had around our house, so be sure to check out your own stash of small toys at home!
I looked through our game cabinet and found a few things we already owned that would be boredom busters in the car, like the “Ball of Wacks” & Rubik’s Cube….and I know you’ve got a fidget spinner somewhere around your house!!
If you have younger kids, I would suggest packing some simple crafts like coloring books, one page Hidden Picture worksheets, or even pipe cleaners to make shapes or “sculptures”.
Heck, you can even plan some fun family competitions for the car ride…”Who can make the silliest face”, “Name that Tune” or the “Quiet Contest”. Anything that will help pass the time!
If you need more inspiration, I created a whole board of Road Trip Ideas on Pinterest filled with all sorts of creative car activities and games!
3. P.P.S. – Print, Pack, and Staple Your Road Trip Goodie Bags
Once you’ve gathered your goodies, it’s time to package them.
I’ve made these bag tags just for you…
Oh, and I have two versions for you…one that’s more colorful…
and one that uses less ink…um, have I mentioned that I am frugal? (yes, even with computer ink!)
When you are ready to label the bags, you can put a specific time for kids to open them or you can write the location along your road trip…for me, going the location route seemed to be harder for me to figure out, so I went with the time….K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple, Sister!
Once you’ve packed the bags, added the tags, and stapled them, you are ready to roll, mama!
See, now wasn’t that easy!?!? (Hint – the answer is “YES”)
Also, do you have all the essentials for your road trip? Check out my 13 Road Trip Essentials!
And, now you’ve got the recipe for a fabulous family road trip!
What do you think?
Did you find any amazing finds at your dollar store that I should add to my list…my kids would love some new ideas in our rotation!
Until next time, cheers to being a Rocking Road Warrior, and cheers to YOU!🥂