Family road trips can be long and boring but with a little planning ahead, you can have a fun selection of printable road trip games that will keep your kids (including preschoolers, tweens, even teens) occupied for hours.
Today I’ll show you how to easily make a DIY travel binder (no craftiness required) that’s a perfect way to store and use printable road trip games for kids.
Your whole family will thank you for this fun activity!
Best of all, you don’t have to be crafty or DIY-included to make this homemade travel binder; it’s really easy to make and the supplies are simple too.
We’ve had some great trips in the past, and honestly some downright terrible ones, so I have a few tricks up my sleeve.
Road Trip Activity Binder
For our most recent trip, I came up with this road trip activity binder. I made one for each of my children. It’s simple and filled with fun games to play on a road trip that worked well to keep them busy…and off their tablets and phones!
The best part of this DIY kids travel binder is you can add whatever activities you like and easily personalize it for each child. Plus can reuse it again and again for future road trips!
Another nice feature is it includes an attached dry erase marker and holder so your kids won’t lose their markers in the dark crevices of your car!
You’ll find a huge list of printable road trip games and activities from more awesome bloggers and sites below.
Get this restaurant ispy bingo here
- 1/2″ binder with a clear pocket in the front (I found 6 at BJ’s for $8)
- heavyweight sheet protectors
- 1 dry erase marker per travel binder *dark colors work best
- craft cord (I used a shoelace-type craft cord at Walmart that works great)
- hot glue gun & glue sticks
- decorative mini duct tape
- optional – map of the route you’re traveling through Google Maps or other software (see more below)
- free printable travel activities
How to Make a Kids’ Travel Binder:
You can download the free printable cover for your child’s travel binder by clicking here.
Write your child’s name at the top.
Insert this cover into the front of the binder.
Now make the simple holder for your child’s marker.
Cut off a 2-3 inch section of the decorated duct tape. Cut a small 3/4-1″ section of tape and add to the middle of the long piece’s sticky side.
Do this again for a second piece.
Using the dry erase marker as a guide, attach the tape to the middle top of your child’s travel kit binder.
Add two pieces of tape to the sides – this adds extra strength to the marker holder.
Now, cut off about 2.5 feet of craft cord (you’ll need enough cord to comfortably reach around any pages in the travel kit binder.)
Tie one piece to the top of the dry erase marker. Hot glue this in place.
Tape the other end of craft cord to the marker holder.
And you’re done with the attached marker and holder for your travel kit!
Map Activity Road Trip Printable
The free printable map activity is my favorite part of this kids’ travel binder. It’s perfect for elementary-aged kids on up because they can follow along as you travel.
It’s a great way to teach kids how to read maps in this age of GPS too! Plus you’ll hear less “Are we there yet?” with this simple addition!
I did include these map printables in my younger children’s binders (Josh, age 6 and Luke, age 4) simply because they like to follow their older siblings and I knew they would still enjoy it.
Kids can trace the route with the attached dry erase marker and they’ll love seeing the progress you’re making.
I recommend going a step farther and plan out your route including stops so your kids can see exactly how far between stops.
Go to Google Maps or some other map program. Map out your route and stops.
Then save and print out pages, depending on how long your trip.
Our trip has 5 pages for each way – 5 for traveling to Grandma and Grandpa’s house and 5 for traveling home. I uploaded each page to the free Paint program and added stars to mark where our stops with a big star for our destination.
This simple road trip binder printable alone will make your trip easier!
Last, but not least, print out activities for each of your children, depending on their ages.
Even a travel journal…
There are tons of free car ride games for kids out there. Here are just a few I recommend:
Free Printable Travel Games for Kids:
I Spy / Scavenger Hunt Games
- Free printable iSpy travel game – traffic signs (Living Well Mom)
- Meander & Coast – travel scavenger hunt for tweens
- Make and Takes – for preschool – elementary age kids
- Live Laugh Rowe – summer vacation I spy printable
- Travel holiday bingo game – Living Well Mom
- From Playdough to Plato – bingo + scavenger hunt, story starters, I Spy, and more
- Crazy Little Projects – road trip bingo
License Plate Game
- Grab our own fun License plate game with a map right here.
- Disney (includes coloring pages, printable memory games, activity pages, etc.
- Crayola (includes tons of other games like mazes, bingo, + more)
More Printable Travel Games & Activities for Kids
- Kids Activities Woo – Printable Pinwheels
- Classroom Jr – Summer writing prompts
- Kids Activities Woo – printable mad lids
- education.com has a huge select of activities including fun facts for each state, bingo games, drawing tutorials, mazes, matching games and more.
- Mother’s Home has several printable road trip games including hangman, tic tac toe, battleship and more.
- Mom’s minivan has over 100 fun car ride games and activities for kids
- Minitime has 25+ few road trip car games to choose from
- Picklebums – cute free drawing prompts
- Country Cottage – Dr. Seuss Cootie Catcher
Get the Printable Travel Games Set
Get everything in one place with the Ultimate Travel Games Bundle!
This exciting set features 30 printables, including:
- 7 iSpy games – including restaurants, car models and colors, highway signs, and more
- license plate iSpy
- 2 scavenger hunts
- 9 bingo pages
- 4 classic games – tic-tac-toe, dot connecting, battleship, hangman
- 5 drawing prompt pages
- 2 travel journal pages
- 1 reward coupons page
Click here to get yours now!!
While these this handy travel activity binder and road trip printables can’t make the miles disappear, together, they can definitely help make the whole trip go by faster and smoother for the whole family.
More Road Trip Tips:
- How to Take a Road Trip with Kids & Not Go Insane
- 7 Tips for Road Trips with Kids
- 49+ Brilliant Ideas for Enjoying a Road Trip with Kids
- Your kids might also love this super easy-to-make DIY Travel Coloring Kit!
Just pin it below to find the instructions later!
This is a great way to keep the kids entertained in the car. I remember how bored I always got on road trips growing up.
Such a great idea. We used to buy coloring books for trips, but I like your idea better because it is personalized for the route!
I love this idea! We’ve started a no tech in the car rule with our grandkids. It had gotten to the point where they fought over an iPad during the less than 10 minute drive from our house to theirs. I think a version of your travel binder will be fabulous even on our short everyday car rides!
valmg @ Mom Knows It All says
Using the map for the route you’re taking is a great idea! I’ve never seen anyone do that before.
Great idea! I have to admit, I still like to play the scavenger hunt game while on road trips! 🙂
Glenda Cates says
I love this and would not only be using it for travel but for local trips as well. As it would keep kids entertained no matter where you are going. Plus if you end up somewhere and have to wait for any amount of time they could bring it in with them to work on. So I would like to thank you for taking the time to share it with us.
Erika Bragdon says
Great idea, Glenda! Thanks!
Nichole Moreland says
Can you please elaborate more on how you printed the map? I am trying to put a binder together for our family vacation and I cant figure out how to get as nice of a map as you have!
Hi Nichole, I used Google Maps to plan out our road trip route. There’s not a built-in way to print out whole map segments, so I saved a screen shot of each segment. (The number of screen shots would depend on how long your trip and how detailed you want the map to be.) Then I opened a new custom “design” in PicMonkey (sized 2550×3300 pixels – the size of regular paper), uploaded the map screen shot, and added text and graphics (a star for stops, along with the town/city, etc.)
Hope that helps! Good luck on your trip! 🙂
Heather Gaughan says
Hi Erika! I am a travel agent and have a blog. I linked back to your site for an entry I was doing about travel binders. I included your site as one to check out for tips and forms. I hope that’s ok!
This is awesome! I will definitely be making a binder for each of my kids. We have a 12 hr road trip next week. Thanks for the list of great printables also.
Have a great trip, Amy!
We are from NH now living in SC. About to make the summer trip back to NH for a few weeks. Thank you for the tips! My 9 yr old is going to love the binder idea!!!
Hope you all enjoy it and have a safe trip! 🙂
Jenifer Yoon says
Thank you for putting the Road trip binder and links together.
I’m not sure when you originally made the post but you may want to go back over the links, several of them didn’t work or link to anything or for I heart organizing there was no license plate game. I just wanted to let you know.
Yes, it’s been a few years and we do need to update it. Thanks for letting me know.
Where did you find the license plate game with pictures of the license plates?
The original version doesn’t appear to be available any longer, however we’re finishing up our own kids travel set with a similar option and much more! It will be available very soon!
SNK Social Fame says
Thank you for the introduction of a range of information that is very interesting to see in this article. Thanks for sharing this information.
Where did you find the picture for the front page?
Hi Rice, I made it myself from a graphic image. It’s been a long time though. Hope you like it!