Are we there yet? How much longer? The kids ask these questions a million times when we take a road trip. Kids don’t understand it when we say only 1 more hour. They only hear us say, more time in the car. They’re annoyed, they’re tired, and they’re done with being stuck in the car. Well, I have a perfect way for kids of all ages to understand how much longer is really left in your trip.
This DIY road trip map for kids, breaks it down in an easy to see and easy to understand way. Your little ones will finally know what’s going on, and it’s that simple to read. Everyone can follow along. If you are looking for solutions for traveling, check out my genius road trip hacks for kids and figure out how to make this DIY road trip map below.
What is this DIY road trip map
What is this DIY road trip map hack? And how are all of my kids, even the young ones, going to understand it?
This road trip map is simple to put together, and is visible for everyone in the car to see perfectly. Which is super important. You don’t want someone complaining they can’t see the map, and asking where you are and how much longer.
This map lists your start and end spot, along with a few major cities or landmarks along the way. That way the kids are able to see where you’ve been and where you’re going.
What you will need for this road trip hack
This hack requires a few more items than my normal hacks. But I promise you it will be so worth it when done. And it can be reused for more road trips, and if you’ve followed along with any of my other traveling hacks, you know that I love a good hack that can be repurposed.
- White duck tape.
- A marker.
- Velcro pieces.
- Something to move from place to place. (I chose to print out a picture of our van with us in it to make it fun for the girls. But you can choose what works best for you. It is totally customizable.
- Contact paper, or even tape. (You will need this to “laminate” your movable item so it will last for more than one road trip)
How to put this DIY map hack together
This DIY road map may need a few more objects than other hacks, but that does not mean it is any harder to put together. Still super simple, which is so important to me. 3 steps and your DIY road trip map will be ready for travel.
Step 1: How to make the tape “map”
You will need to start with writing home on the beginning of the tape. Or maybe you’re traveling back from vacation. In which case you would put your beginning destination as your vacation location.
Draw a few dotted lines to show you “driving” to this next stop.
Now for the stops, those are completely up to you. You are going to want to list something along the route you are taking. For example;
- Major cities
- You could even put lunch in there to help break up your day.
The point is, you want to put something on there that your kids are going to be able see and understand
Your tape should look something like this, home – – – landmark 1 – – – landmark 2 – – – and so on until you are at your final destination.
Step 2: Attaching the tape and Velcro to the car
Once your tape is complete. You will want to find a spot in the car where everyone can see. We chose in the front above the front window. It was visible from everywhere in the car.
After your tape is placed, you will cut small pieces of Velcro from your roll and attach them to the car (or tape if that’s easier for you) above where you have put your landmarks or cities.
Step 3: making your moving car
You’ve got your map all set. Now you need something to move from place to place. This is also your choice, see what I meant when I said it was customizable. I printed off a picture of our van with our faces on it. My girls loved it, it made it feel more real to them this way.
Once you have decided what you will be moving from place to place, you will need to laminate or tape it. You want this to last for many road trips to come. And this way it won’t get folded up and ruined in between trips.
After you have it covered you will want to place your other piece of Velcro to the back of it. Make sure that you have used the opposite side of the velcro for this so that it can stick to the ones you placed on your map.
Voila! Your DIY road trip map is all ready for its next adventure. All your need to do is put your movable item at your starting destination and move it as you get to each stop.
Making a game out of your trip
I love making games up as we are on our trips. It makes it more enjoyable for me, and my girls have fun. If this is a trip you have taken often, to grandmas, or to a cabin you have, I have the best way to get the kids more involved in this map.
Pick landmarks or cities you know your kids know well. Something easily spotted along your route. Have your kids on the lookout for this thing. They can then shout it out when they see it, I know shouting in the car? What am I thinking? But it’s happy shouting. Your kids will love this. It’s like a more exciting game of eye spy!
This can also happen if you are taking a new adventure. It may take a little more research and googling than you thought. Just find larger landmarks or cities that you know can be spotted from the road. If you know this next “stop” is coming up you can even give them hints to be on the lookout. It will make it more fun, and help pass the time driving.
Did I make you more excited for your next road trip? I really hope so. I hope that I was able to show you just how simple and time and sanity saving this DIY road trip map hack can be. You can simply tear your tape down, put your movable “car” in the glove box, and when your next road trip comes around all you’ll need is a new piece of tape with your new cities or landmarks. And you’re ready to go.
If you liked this post here are a couple other road trip hacks:
If you used this hack and posted it on Instagram or Tiktok please tag me in it. I love seeing when you guys use my hacks. You are why I share all the hacks and time savers. And I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.