How to Survive a Family Road Trip WITHOUT Electronics


With so many great destinations nearby, Georgia families have the amazing advantage of hopping in the car & being at the beach or in the mountains in just a few hours. Whether it’s summer travel season, weekend getaways or other family getaways, Atlanta With Kid has the insider tips on how to best survive family road trips.

Entertaining a car full of kids is a big task on any road trip. My family has the added challenge of dealing with motion sickness too- no gamepads, no movies and no books!

I’m going to share with you a few easy, mess-free ways to keep your kids busy without relying on electronics. The best part about these activity kits is that they can be used anywhere kids need quiet entertainment. Break them out at restaurants, doctor’s offices or even siblings sports events!

Fun Kits

To build your fun kit, you’re going to start with a basic dollar store metal cookie sheet, which can double duty as both a meal and activity tray in the car. Next you’ll want to add some of my favorite items for creativity on the go:

  • Play Foam– Play foam never dries out and will not stick to skin, clothes or even car upholstery. Sculpt it, mold it & play with it again and again. I buy it in bulk from Amazon but have seen individual cups at dollar store too.
  • Craft Wax Sticks– These colorful, bendable sticks of wax can be used to create letters, animals or entire scenes on the cookie sheet trays.
  • Invisible Markers– I know they’ve been around for years but they still rank as one of my all time favorite products. Having color only show up on the coloring book pages and not your child’s face is amazing! We love Crayola’s Color Wonder mini markers which fit nicely in small snack sized baggies.

TIP- To keep motion sickness at bay, it is important to remind kids to take short breaks from the activities and look out the windows.

And now without further ado, I want to share with you my absolute favorite busy tool to keep my kids happy and entertained…….

File Folder Games

Over the past few years, I have found so many ways to create these fun, travel-friendly games. A quick search online will turn up hundreds of free printable games for all age groups. I also pull sheets from school activity books and pair with a set of dry erase markers. Once you’ve found enough games, you’ll want to either laminate them or use plastic sheet covers for added durability. If the game requires pieces, add a small magnet to the back of each piece and they’ll stick to the metal cookie sheet. To keep things tidy, I staple small snack size baggies to the folder pockets to hold game pieces and/or dry erase markers. I even found a $1 tote that snaps and keeps all the file folders in one place. Ahhhh, my Type-A personality loves organization!

Dry Erase File Folder ExampleHere’s a quick shopping list to build your kits. I found everything, except the magnetic tape, at my local dollar discount store.

  • metal cookie sheet
  • snack size baggies
  • dry erase markers
  • paper file folders 
  • plastic sheet covers/ laminating sheets
  • file folder carrying tote
  • magnetic tape

To get your activity kit started, I’m sharing two FREE printables exclusively for Atlanta With Kid readers.

Happy traveling!

FREE Travel Printable for Kids- Click Here

FREE travel Printable for kids


Looking for some ideas for trips from Atlanta? Start with a great 3-day itinerary to Gatlinburg.

Ober Gatlinburg Collage