24 Genius Road Trip Hacks Seen on Pinterest

On the road along the stunning Pacific coast in Oregon, USA

 Didier Marti / Getty Images

​If you're planning a family road trip with kids, Pinterest is a fantastic place to find clever tips on how to reduce car-trip mess and stress. From repurposing a plastic cereal container as a trash can to creating more hotel beds, these road trip hacks below will help make traveling with the family a whole lot smoother. The best part? These tips are very easy on the wallet.

01 of 24

Use Shower Caddies for On-the-Go Meals


From a BuzzFeed roundup of simple road trip hacks, inexpensive dime-store shower caddies can come in handy when you hit the fast-food drive-through. With multiple compartments, these caddies make it really easy to store your drinks, meals, and snacks without having to worry about spillage or crumbs getting everywhere.

02 of 24

Use Cupcake Liners to Keep Car Cup Holders Clean

High Angle View Of Cupcake Holders On Table
Maciej Nicgorski / EyeEm / Getty Images

So smart! From Kids Activities Blog comes an easy and oh-so-simple way to keep your car's cup holders clean and gunk-free. Place cupcake liners in the cup holders, and when they start getting overly filled with crumbs and grime, you can replace them in just a few seconds—it'll save you so much time not having to wipe your car down.

03 of 24

Make a DIY Car Sickness Kit

pinned from culdesaccool.com

If your kid is prone to getting car sick, you need to be prepared for the occasional mess. Cul-de-sac Cool shows you how to create a DIY ready-to-go car sickness kit containing everything you'll need when the "uh-oh"s strike. In each kit, you'll store disinfecting wipes, napkins, a drink containing electrolytes (like Gatorade), bottled water, hand sanitizer, a light snack, a motion sickness wristband, and motion sickness medication such as Dramamine. Of course, you'll also need a gallon Ziploc bag for throwing up in, plus a second plastic bag just in case, and a trash bag to store anything that's covered in vomit.

04 of 24

Recharge Your Phone From the Hotel Room TV

Forgot recharger? Use hotel TV's USB port.
pinned from thekrazycouponlady.com

Forgot your charger? The Krazy Coupon Lady says that some hotel room TVs have a USB port on the back; check to see if your TV has that capability before you make a last-minute trip to the store.

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05 of 24

Use a Shoe Organizer to Corral Baby Essentials

pinned from popsugar.com 

 Just one of several good hacks on PopSugar Mom: Use a shoe organizer to keep baby care essentials handy. You could steal this idea for toddler toys, sanitizing wipes, snacks, and just about any kind of backseat flotsam and jetsam. 

06 of 24

Turn a Cereal Container Into a No-Spill Trash Can

pinned from buzzfeed.com 

Who knew? Those plastic cereal containers make for surprisingly good trash cans. They're narrow enough to squeeze into the backseat, plus the lids snap tightly into place—even if you or one of the kids accidentally knocks it over, there will be minimal-to-no spillage. Thanks again, BuzzFeed.

07 of 24

Look at Your Rental Car's Fuel Gauge to Find the Gas Tank

pinned from popsugar.com

Renting a car? Country Living says to look at the fuel gauge to quickly determine which side of the car the gas tank is on. So, if the arrow next to the gas pump icon is pointing to the left, your gas tank will be on the left side. No more getting out of your car at the gas station and realizing you parked in the wrong spot.

08 of 24

Make a Travel Game From an Altoids Tin

pinned from melissasbargains.com

Inventive folks find all sorts of clever uses for empty Altoids tins. Here, Melissa's Bargains shares a tutorial for how to make a travel-sized tic-tac-toe game that would be perfect for family car rides. All you need to make it is an Altoids tin (or other small, metallic box), glue, scissors, a ruler, button magnets, scrapbook paper, and acrylic paint. Because you'll be playing with magnetic buttons, you won't lose your game pieces, and it's small enough to fit into your purse.

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09 of 24

Use Suction Shower Organizers to Hold Kids' Art Supplies

pinned from mosermoments1.blogspot.com

Do your kids love to draw and color in the car? Moser Moments recommends using inexpensive suction shower organizers on car windows to hold their crayons, markers, and other gear. They'll help keep the floor clear of clutter, as well as store everything in one easy-to-find spot.

10 of 24

Hang Bags With Carabiners

Road Trip Hacks for Family Vacations
pinned from hgtv.com

Want to keep your handbag within easy reach? HGTV has an inexpensive DIY solution. Use carabiners as hooks for tote bags, umbrellas, and other hangable items to keep your essentials accessible.

11 of 24

Catch Popsicle Drips With a Cupcake Liner

pinned from mommyshorts.com

Yet another ingenious use for cupcake liners! Keep little kids stain-free and your car cleaner by using liners to catch popsicle drips on summer vacations, recommends Mommy Shorts.

12 of 24

Let Your Map App Lead You Back to Your Parked Car

pinned from mashable.com

One of the best travel hacks we've ever heard is this one from PureWow, which solves the problem of how to find your car in an unfamiliar city. When parking, just drop a pin on your map app before you head out to dinner or for a day of sightseeing. If you need a little assistance on your way back, your GPS will lead you right back to it like a homing pigeon.

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13 of 24

Pack Solar Lights for Evening Picnics

pinned from starling-travel.com

As noted on the Starling Travel blog, cheap and cheerful solar lights are a handy take-along item on a family road trip. Even when you're not camping, you can use them for dinnertime picnics and all sorts of evening outings.

14 of 24

Use Cookie Trays as Backseat Desks

pinned from heatherhaupt.com 

Cookie sheets make awesome backseat desks for kids. The raised edges keep crayons from rolling off and the metallic surface is super for playing magnetic games and puzzles of all kinds. In this pin, Cultivated Lives shares how cookie-tray desks are great for coloring and sticker play.

15 of 24

Build a Makeshift Toddler Bed in Your Hotel Room

pinned from walkingontravels.com 

Sick of cramped hotel rooms when you're on the road? Walking on Travels suggests 10 different ways to create more beds in a hotel room. Among the different options, you can push chairs together to create a toddler bed, or book a room that has a sofa bed.

16 of 24

Keep Behavior in Check With a Visual Reminder

pinned from lessthanperfectlifeofbliss.blogspot.com

How did one family manage to drive 16 hours with four kids on their best behavior? Less-than-Perfect Life of Bliss swears by "kids clips" made with scraps of paper and some stickers. Each kid gets their own clip on Mom's visor as a reminder to be kind and nice.

"The rule was simple: as long as they were doing well, the clip stayed up. But, if anyone made a bad choice [and] decided to be ugly or whiny, their clip came down. And if the clip came down, they would miss out on the next fun thing, whether it be a pack of gum at the next gas stop, an ice cream cone, getting to choose the next movie, or having extra time on the iPad."

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17 of 24

Create a Road Trip Countdown for Kids

pinned from suitcasesandsippycups.com

This fun hack from Suitcases & Sippy Cups is guaranteed to stop the "are we there yets" in their tracks. Create a road trip countdown using a string and some cards listing cities or towns you'll pass on your route. Every time you hit a milestone, a card comes down, giving your kids a visual cue that shows how close you are to your final destination.

18 of 24

Tether a Sippy Cup to the Car Seat

pinned from swifty.com

Little kids just love tossing their sippy cups on the ground, and if you've repeatedly scrounged around the car floor in search of one (and what parent hasn't?), you'll appreciate the genius in this tip from MomLovesBest. A short tether tied around the cup keeps just-tossed drinks within reach. For safety, make the sippy lasso just long enough for your child to comfortably get a drink.

19 of 24

Roll Dice in a Transparent Container

pinned from cardigansandcurriculum.blogspot.com

Leave it to an elementary school teacher to come up with this smart tip. If your family likes to play board games on the road, keep the dice in a small transparent Tupperware-like container to keep them from getting lost, as recommended on Cardigans and Curriculum.

20 of 24

Get a Heads-Up on Your Exit Lane


Driving in unfamiliar territory? Don't stress about whether your exit will be to the left or right. Simply look at the top of the highway signs for an early heads-up. If the exit number is pushed flush left, your off-ramp will be to the left. And vice versa.

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21 of 24

Store a Stash of Quarters in an M&Ms Minis Tube

pinned from mashable.com

Turns out that an empty M&Ms Minis tube is the perfect size for a roll of quarters. And as Southern Living points out, those coins can come in mighty handy at toll booths and rest area vending machines. 

22 of 24

Change Your Phone's Lock Screen

pinned from smartertravel.com

If you lose your phone while you're on the road, how could a Good Samaritan return it to you quickly? SmarterTravel recommends changing your phone's lock screen to an image that displays your emergency contact information, including your email address and an alternate phone number.

23 of 24

Let Young Artists Use the Car Window As a Canvas

pinned from frugalfamilytimes.com

If your kids love to draw, give them a set of washable window markers for drawing right on the car window (fun stencils are optional), suggests Frugal Family Times. For clean-up, bring a package of window wipes.

24 of 24

Silence the 'Are We There Yet?' Chorus

Dry erase markers + laminated maps
pinned from creeksidelearning.com

If your kids keep asking how much longer until you get to your destination, it's time for this nifty trick from Down Home Inspiration. Simply laminate a map (or pop it into a transparent binder sleeve) and trace your route using dry-erase markers. Even young school-age kids can see how far you've come and how far you've still got left.