Are you getting prepared for upcoming Family Vacations? Are you looking for all the travel accessories you need but also trying to stay on budget? Let’s face it, traveling is expensive so let’s find a way to save you money. All you need to do is head to your local Dollar Store to stock up on items for your next family vacation. The great part about the Dollar Store is finding all the cheap accessories to keep your kids busy. It is always more fun and time consuming when they have something new to play with on a trip. Here are some fun and practical travel accessories from the Dollar Store for your next family vacation.
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Toys and Games for Family Vacation Road Trips
1. Arts and Crafts
Do your kids enjoy arts and crafts? Find all kinds of different projects for your kids to do on a trip. Stringing beads is a great way to occupy their time. Find all different bead colors and shapes, string, and even containers to hold the beads. They also sell pipe cleaners which are great for beading because the beads don’t fall off as easily as the string. Coloring books, crayons, and stickers are another great busy activity. Find your child’s favorite character and they’ll be so excited. My kids new favorite are the gel pens and small pads of construction paper. It’s always exciting to get something new to color or create. These would also be great activities at a restaurant, too.
2. Small Toy Figures
Find all kinds of small figurines and toys at the dollar store. Look for a character or animal your child really likes. I have found small animals, dinosaurs, army men, Paw Patrol figures, Star Wars figures, and more. Buy a small Tupperware container or use a zip lock bag to keep the toys organized on the trip.
Are you headed to Disney? You will find tons of small Disney Characters from Princesses and Mickey Mouse to Cars Movie cars. These would be a great surprise gift to play with on the way to the Parks. You could also take them along as “souvenirs” instead of buying the expensive stuff at the parks. They could be surprise gifts while your waiting in a long line or something on their bed when you get back the hotel.
3. Travel Games
I find lots of small travel games at the Dollar Store. Usually, they have a variety of small board games in zip lock bags, like license plate games, checkers, seek and find games for road trips and more. These are easy to keep in their own bag container and can be thrown in a purse for airplane rides, car rides, or restaurants.
4. Workbooks and Activity Books
You can find all different types of workbooks and activity books for a variety of ages at the Dollar Store. Look and find books, Alphabet books, maze books, crossword books, and more. Pick one that your child will enjoy using and stay busy playing with.
5. Silly Putty and Play-Doh
So, this item depends on your child and how messy it would make the car. I have given the kids a Tupperware container from the dollar store and let them play with the Play-Doh while we drive. They can roll them out on a travel tray and put it all back in the Tupperware when their done. They also sell different shape molds to make it a little more fun to play with. You could use these in a hotel room also.
6. Working out the Wiggles
If your headed on a driving trip, you are going to need some time for the kids to get out and run a little. I would suggest finding a rest stop along the highway to get out and run. The Dollar Store has some great items to burn some energy. Pick up a jump rope, football, soccer ball, and bubbles to chase after. Buy them at the Dollar Store and if they get lost on the trip, you didn’t lose your kids favorite soccer ball.
7. Sand Toys
Headed on a beach vacation? Pick up some sand molds, buckets, and shovels for the trip. Their cheap and if you lose them on the beach no big deal. Bonus if your flying you just leave them behind at the end of the trip and use the extra luggage space for anything new you bought.
Tip: Buy a laundry bag at the Dollar Store to hold the beach toys. When you are leaving the beach, all the sand will fall out through the bottom of the bag and you won’t be carrying all that sand home with you.
8. Glow Sticks
Will you be going to any events after dark on your trip? Pick up some glow sticks for the kids to wear at night and make it a little more fun! They can even be fun to use in the hotel room, or to use as a night light in the bathroom.
The Practical Stuff
9. Car Accessories
Did you know that the Dollar Store stocks cell phone accessories? You can save so much money buying them at the Dollar Store over the big box stores. So, what can you find? Car chargers that plug into your cigarette lighter, ear buds, USB cables, cell phone cases, and phone holders that clip to your car. Keep all your devices running on a road trip with the car charger and USB cables. Use the ear buds so you don’t have to listen to the other passenger’s games and music. Lastly, the clip to attach your phone to your car will make it so much easier to use your direction apps, like Waze.
The Dollar Store sells individual hand sanitizer wipes and small travel bottles. These are easy to throw in your purse or car when visiting national parks, or really anytime you are out with the kids.
Pick up Tylenol, Excedrin, and Aspirin in perfect travel sizes for a trip. They also sometimes have shampoo and conditioner in smaller sizes.
Car and Travel Hacks
12. Eating in the car
Pick up a plastic shower caddy to hold your kids drinks and food while they are eating in the car. They can easily balance this on their lap and it will prevent spilling.
13. The Claw
You know how the kids’ toys are constantly dropping on the car floor on driving trips? It is so hard to bend your arm around the front seat while you’re driving to pick them up and can be dangerous. Get a claw like the one pictured below and let the kids grab their own toys.
14. Keep your car clean
Are your kids constantly handing you their garbage on a road trip? It drives me crazy to constantly be taking trash from them the whole trip. How do you fix this? Give the kids their own garbage can in the backseat. Take a plastic cereal container that has a flip top opening and put a grocery store bag in it. This is small enough to fit in the seat and has a top so the garbage doesn’t spill all over. When you stop to get gas, throw out the bag add a new one. Easy Peasy!
15. Busy Bags
Busy Bags are a great way to keep the car trip exciting. I know this will take a little extra planning and work but it is worth it for a smooth car trip. I buy some brown paper bags and put one fun little item in each. These could be a small little toy, new car game, or new box of crayons and coloring book. I scour the Dollar Store to find a bunch of fun, inexpensive items to fill their bags. Deciding how often to give out these bags depends on how many bags you make and the length of your trip. You can also use them as motivation for good behavior on the trip. No whining for the next hour and you get to open another bag. It is amazing what a little motivation / bribery can do to make a great trip.
Here are a few Busy Bag Ideas
- Crayons and new small coloring book with your child’s favorite Character.
- Silly Putty or Play-Doh
- Pipe Cleaners (these are so fun create designs and shapes with)
- Gel Pens and Activity Book (mazes, crosswords, letter finding)
- Small Figures – Dinosaurs, Princesses, Cars, My little Pony, Farm Animals etc.
- Stickers and Blank Pad of Paper to stick them
Hopefully you now have some great ideas of how to start planning for your next road trip. Take these ideas and head over to your Dollar Store and be prepared. Do you have some other great ideas of travel items to pick up at the Dollar Store? Please share your ideas in the comment section below.
If you don’t have time to make it to the dollar store here are a few of these items that you can order on Amazon and get them delivered to your home. My favorite is the travel tray we use for the kids to play all their activities in the car.