A family road trip can be full of adventure but also long periods of anticipation and boredom. To help overcome road trip fatigue, put together fun road trip goodie bags for the toddlers, kids, and even the adults to enjoy in the car!
There are only so many games of I Spy and License Plate Bingo that a family can enjoy before the novelty wears off. By implementing surprise goodie bags, it is bound to liven up that time spent on the road and replace, “Are we there yet?” with ” Is it time for another road trip goodie bag yet?”
What Are Road Trip Goodie Bags?
Road trip goodie bags are inexpensive, fun bags that can be given to toddlers or kids periodically throughout a road trip. Inside each bag is either a small toy, activity, or snack for them to enjoy. Some families choose to give a new bag every hour, while others opt for a new bag for each new state they enter. There is no right or wrong way to do road trip goodie bags. Choose things to put in the goodie bag that you know your child will enjoy.
Tips For Creating Road Trip Goodie Bags
Creating the perfect set of road trip goodie bags comes down to the age and interests of each child receiving the bags. While some children love to read and do crafts, others can get car sickness while trying to do those things.
Choosing age-appropriate, mess-free, and entertaining items for all travelers in your car are vital for a successful road trip goodie bag. Here are a few tips for assembling your perfect road trip goodie bags.
- Keep in mind that you may want to create a few goodie bags for the return trip home.
- Choose items not overtly messy, or that could cause frustration. For example, giving my 3-year-old daughter play-doh while on the road resulted in a meltdown because she couldn’t roll it out, cut it and do what she wanted while contained in a car seat. We ended up finding hard bits of play-doh all over the car.
- Items do not have to be expensive. The majority of our items came from a Dollar Store. The total for 13 goodie bags was close to $30, which included snacks and bags.
- The most popular items in our goodie bags were the ones that contained a small toy. In our case, a little doll. Little toys such as small cars, plastic figurines, or stuffed animals would work well too.
Road Trip Goodie Bags For Toddlers and Kids
- Consider getting a figurine set and dividing the figurines into different goodie bags over the course of the road trip. This is perfect if you have a little one into a theme such as Disney, Paw Patrol, or other popular characters.
- Throw in a fun snack every few goodie bags. We added applesauce pouches, fruit snacks, and other tasty treats to help make it through the long stretches between meals.
- Consider having a Halfway There Bag, which contains a very special item or toy that marks your trip’s half-way point. For us, this was a Jasmine doll since this was something she has been asking for.
- The Target dollar spot often has tons of great activities to put in bags. Especially for older kids.
- Take everything out of the packaging before placing it in the road trip goodie bag. You don’t want to have to haul around all the cardboard, plastic wrap, or worry about cutting something out of a box.
- Keep your Road Trip Goodie Bags a secret! Don’t tell your kids what is in each one; keep them guessing!
11 Road Trip Goodie Bag Ideas For Toddlers
A Magazine or Book
Books and magazines are always a great road trip option. We squirreled away the newest High Five Magazine and her Nat Geo Animal Magazine to put in the road trip bags. Toddlers often enjoy books with lots of pictures of things they enjoy. Whether it is dinosaurs or princesses, a good picture book a great choice.
Little Figurines and Raisins
The Dollar Tree came in for the win with this little fairy for a buck. It was a great addition to our bags. Plus, we threw in a raisin snack to help curb any hunger.
Road Trip Bingo
This particular game will go over well for toddlers who are forward-facing. It was lost on our little gal, who currently is rear-facing because she couldn’t see to mark off the items. However, she did make-up her own game and claimed the road trip bingo to be her map. I found these fun games at Target and the Dollar Tree.
Handheld Games and Apple Sauce
These fun little handheld games are perfect for keeping kids busy while on the road. I was on the hunt for the fun handheld water games, but the move the ball one proved just as fun. My daughter and I took turns, trying to see who could move the ball into the hole the fastest! Games like these can be found in dollar stores are a great addition to any great road trip goodie bag. We paired it an apple sauce pouch because we snack often.
Halfway There Bag
The Halfway There Bag, we made special by placing a toy that we know she has wanted. For us, this happened to be a princess, Jasmine. Other ideas could be a stuffed animal, an interactive toy, or other highly revered toys in your toddler’s mind. It could even be a book with lift-a-flaps or one that makes music.
Colorforms and Fruit Snacks
One of the reasons I adore Colorforms is that the stickers are reusable. Peel them off and stick again and again. Perfect for toddlers. They have a wide variety of different sets available. We got two sets, Frozen 2 and My Little Ponies, for a dollar each at the Dollar Tree. One set for the way down, and one set for the way home. Pair it with fruit snacks and you have a happy little traveler.
Crayola Mess-Free Coloring Pages
While I usually would insert coloring books and crayons here, my daughter loves her markers. Mommy loves markers that don’t make a mess, so this a match made in heaven. The markers won’t color anything but the pages of this particular paper, which is perfect while on the road. She has a little travel tray, which she tolerated only while coloring. The hardest part was the constant putting caps back on the markers, but she enjoyed it.
Another Small Toy and Granola Bar
Have I mentioned how much I love the Dollar Store?! Another dollar store toy for the win! We paired it with her favorite Happy Tot Granola Bar.
Stickers and a Travel Journal
Grab a pack of stickers and a fun travel journal and see what they come up with. For my 3- year old, I will peel off the sticker edges, leaving only the stickers. This makes it easy for little fingers to peel the stickers off.
Look and Find Books
From the classic Where’s Waldo to themed look and find books, kids love trying to find hidden pictures. While these books can get pricy, I recommend heading over to a local resale shop. For example, I caught this Disney Princess Look and Find Book for $1.50 at Once Upon A Child. Half-Price Books is another excellent spot to find these books at a good price.
Colorforms Funny Faces Game
Our love of Colorforms runs deep, so when we saw that they had a funny faces game, we knew that this would be a big hit. Our friends over at Play Monster provided us with the Colorforms Funny Faces Game to review, and we couldn’t be happier. The Funny Faces Game is the ideal game for toddlers and kids. Not only was it easy to play on the road because the face pieces stick to your board, but we also enjoyed having a family game night during our vacation.
The game is simple, easy instructions and allows creativity to flow. Our daughter enjoyed playing the game and then started creating her own version of who could make the silliest face, the scariest face, etc. It was a hoot. You can grab your game at Fred Meyers or online!
The road trip goodies bags are a great way to keep your toddler entertained during a road trip. For more ideas on how to have a successful road trip with a toddler, check out our Toddler Road Trip Tips.
A Few Ideas For Unique Road Trip Goodie Bags For Older Kids
Road trip goodie bags are not just for toddlers, but older kids as well. While older kids may not be as amused with little trinkets and toys as the toddlers are, they get equally excited about getting a goodie bag. Here are a few ideas on what to stuff surprise older kids with during a road trip.
I am bringing back this blast from the past. Latch-Rugs is a great way to keep older children entertained while on the road, and as a bonus, the completed craft is an awesome new rug for their room.
Latch Rugs are easy to learn and can chew up a reasonable amount of time while on the road. Our advice is to keep a special bag handy to keep the pieces and yarn organized. It is a craft that they will keep coming back to complete. Latch Rugs can be found at Michaels or online at Playmonster.
If you are traveling with creative kids who love arts and crafts, consider getting a spirograph. This toy will hands-down be a grand slam for older kids and the spirograph is built to travel and create. When you pull out the tray, pens, circles, and paper are neatly organized with a spot designated spot to create.
Adults enjoy the spirograph just as much as the children, if not more! It also makes for a great rainy day activity if you happen to have bad weather while on vacation. The Spirograph can be found at Michaels or online at PlayMonster.
Wipe Off Activity Pads
Older kids who can handle dry erase markers will enjoy the activity pads that are easy to wipe and go. Whether it is a book to connect the dot, search and find or other fun games, it an activity that can be used again and again. A few of our favorites are Melissa and Doug.
Dollar Store Activities
While the small toys are ideal for toddlers, look around your local dollar store for fabulous finds for older kids. Word finds, crossword puzzles, silly putty, and other random fun items. Older kids will even enjoy things that they can use at their final destination such as, lip balms, fun cups, silly straws, a hairbrush, hand lotion, or a hat.
Other Ideas For Road Trip Goodie Bags For Kids
- A favorite magazine or new book
- Portable travel games
- A crazy craft or bizarre coloring book
- A kit for creating necklaces and bracelets
- Plenty of their favorite snacks with a few new ones in the mix.
- Post-it notes
- Small sets of Legos
- Window Markers
- Tape Activity Book
- Color Counts Activity Book
- Mad Libs
Check out our favorite Games To Play During A Road Trip.
Road Trip Goodie Bags For Adults
Good bags shouldn’t just be for the children in the car but also for the adults! Have a little fun while on the road by preparing a few fun goodie bags for yourself and your adult roadside companions! Here are a few ideas for road trip goodie bags for adults.
Candy Sampler Bags
Grab a variety of different candy to sample throughout your trip. Choose a few of your favorite candies, travel companions’ favorite candies, and a few new candies to try together. Place them in one big bag and pull out a new candy at every designated treat time, whether it be entering a new state, a particular city, or every hour!
To avoid sugar overload, consider only taking a few bites of each bar and then placing them in an airtight container to stay fresh for you to enjoy throughout your vacation.
Snacks From Around The World
These goodie bags may take a little effort as gathering a variety of snacks from around the world may include making multiple stops at a variety of grocery stores. Venture up and down the international foods section and grab items that are intriguing to try during a road trip. Another great alternative is to order one subscription box from Snack Crate and enjoy one snack from the crate at each designated treat time.
Progressive Spa Day
Pamper yourself while on the road by enjoying progressive spa day goodie bags. Bags can contain special lotions, cucumber slices for a snack, fruit-infused water, lip balm, a hand massager, and more. Fuzzy socks are always a hit.