This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.

Family Travel Hacks: 20 Ways To Keep Kids And Parents Happy

Plan, plan and then plan a little more.

Let's get one thing straight: there's no such thing as easy travel when you've got kids — but there are things you can do as a parent to make travelling as a family slightly easier.

Below we've round up 20 of our favourite family travel hacks that will keep parents sane and kids entertained.

Create A 'Spy Bottle'

Fill an old water bottle with grains of rice and tiny trinkets. They'll be so busy looking for all the items they'll forget to ask if you're there yet.

Keep Supplies Within Arm's Reach

Attach a shoe caddy behind the driver's seat so kids can reach their own toys, books and blankets.

Make Your Own Colouring Set

Do you have an old DVD case? Create extra fun for your little one with it! 🎨 #ParentingHack

A post shared by Teach Kids to Cycle! (@bikybikyuk) on

Repurpose an old DVD case by turning it into a colouring kit. Place pencil crayons or markers on one side and fill the other side with blank pages.

Stay Organized With Zip Seal Bags

Putting kids' clothes in labelled zip lock bags makes packing so much easier, especially if you are travelling with more than one child.

Make Mason Jar Snacks

Combine old applesauce containers and mason jars to make snacks like dips and chips more portable.

Use Muffin Liners To Keep Cupholders Clean

Enough said.

Clean Up With Lint Rollers

#ParentHack from #Magtek - Lint rollers are great for cleaning up kids' craft messes!

A post shared by Magtek Mechanical (@magtekmechanical) on

Try as you might, you won't be able to keep the car free of crumbs. Fortunately all you need is a lint roller to clean it all up.

Use Old Cereal Canisters As Garbage Bins

Prevent garbage spills and funky smells by using a cereal canister with a lid as your garbage bag. And don't forget to toss the trash at every pit stop.

Freeze Your Sponges

This lunch box hack is helpful on the road too. Wet and freeze a sponge and place it in a ziplock bag. It will act as an ice pack, without the frosty mess.

Make Use Of Mirrors

Attach mirrors to the head rests on back seats for a better look at what kids in rear-facing car seats are getting up to.

Catch Drips With A Coffee Lid

Parenting hacks #parentsbelike #momlife #parentinghacks

A post shared by Sexy Moms Rock (@sexymomsrock) on

Letting the kids eat sticky treats in the backseat isn't the best idea, but using a coffee lid as a drip catcher is a great one.

Create Dividers

This is needed for my kids. #parentsbelike #parenting #parentinghacks

A post shared by Sexy Moms Rock (@sexymomsrock) on

Can't stop the kids from fighting with each other? This dad has the right idea. *If you're going to try this we'd recommend something a little more secure (and maybe even softer) since the cardboard could fall out of place when the brakes are hit.

Use Carry-Alls As Food Trays

Help keep your CAR & ONESIE clean! #cleaneating #parentinghacks #lolonesies

A post shared by LOL Baby ( on

You might be used to reaching into takeout bags for your fries, but chances are your kids aren't. Set them up with their own caddy to make eating on-the-go easier.

Pack Learning Games

Keep the kids distracted (and educated) with this fun magnetic spelling game.

Use A Re-usable Wine Bag As A Sippy Cup Caddy

Too many cups and not enough hands? Try this hack and keep juice cups and water bottles upright at all times.

Store Snacks In Old Wipes Containers

Small snack bags and cups are oddly shaped and take up too much space. Put all of your child's snacks in one container for a portable snack pack.

Use A Plastic Shopping Bag As A Makeshift Bib

Woman at the airport just called me a genuis haha #parentinghacks

A post shared by Kim Gallo (@kiggiemallo) on

Forgot a bib? Use a plastic shopping bag then turn it inside out and use it as a garbage bag later on the trip.

Use A Scarf To Keep Their Heads Upright

Help keep their heads from bobbing around during a flight or long drive and use a soft scarf to hold their heads back.

Create A Reward System

If games can't keep them from misbehaving, maybe this trick will help. Place a clothes pin on the visor for each child in the car. For every pin still up when you reach a rest stop, that child gets a prize.

Pack A Fun First Aid Kit

Accidents are bound to happen, so keep a first aid kit in the car at all times. This one even includes "monster spray" to banish hotel monsters that keep kids awake.

What are your go-to tips for travelling with kids? Let us know in the comments below.

Also on HuffPost


Best Travel Destinations For Canadians

This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact