Car Hacks, Tricks and Tips for Families

As a mom of many, we spend a ton of time in the car going to the various events.  We need to make the time worthwhile.  Make the time spent in your vehicle more organized, more efficient and less stressful with some of these car tricks.

Like these car hacks?  You will also like this article of garage organization ideas.

tips and tricks for cars with kids

Help entertain your kids with a DIY travel book.  You can create pages of activities for your kids to do independently in their carseats.

Send yourself a message in a bottle to remind yourself of all the fun you are having on an outing together.

Create a bucket pulley system.  This is great to get things to the back of the car without stopping on long trips.  Be sure to secure or remove the bucket between hauls.

Keep the baby binkie clean.  Carry spares in condiment sauce containers.  When one gets dirty, just open another container.

Create a temporary tattoo of your phone number.  Put it on your child’s hand when you are traveling or at a busy event.  If they get lost they can tell someone how to reach you.


car tips and tricks for families 1
No more trying to dig coins out of a cup holder (not even to mention trying to clean the little bits of lint and crumbs that get stuck in the crevices.  Use silicone cup cake liners (affiliate) as inserts for your cup holders.  When they get grubby, wipe them out.

Trunks can become the car’s catch-all.  This trunk organizer can help limit the chaos.  It has sections for groceries and a middle cooler.  Another option is to add a shelf to the back of the back seat, leaving floor space open.  (affiliate links)

Have a single serving tableware ready for an unexpected meal on-the-road.  Stephanie over at Modern Parents Messy Kids keeps a couple sets in her glove box.

Use Easter Eggs as snack packs.   They are easy to pass out in the car and perfect for portion control of snacks while you drive.

more car hacks and tips

DIY Dog blanket.  Bring your dog with you – and keep the car clean.  This is a hammock style one that attaches to both seats.  BUT, if you have a still dog, consider using a tablecloth.

Cover the seats with a fitted crib mattress sheet.  You will protect the seats.  Scotchguard it for extra protection from spills and crumbs.

I am not the only one who bought milk and they worried the whole way home wondering if it toppled over… worry no more with this nifty “stay hold” – it keeps groceries upright in the trunk.

Saving the funds for a vacation does not have to hurt the budget.  Save up for your trip painlessly – with a trip-bottle.

Collect Bags of Blessings to keep in your car.  If you come across a person in need you can “be a blessing”.  

car tips for emergencies

Create a kit for all the little things that you might need – ideas of things to add include antacids, nail clippers, extra cash, band-aids, Advil, etc.   Organized Junkie has a terrific tutorial on how to customize your emergency kit.  You can also purchase pre-packaged first aid kits (affiliate link) that can help in the time of need.

We have jumper cables in our car but the times my battery has been dead I have been lost as to how to connect the jumper cables (affiliate).  Even if you don’t have a set of jumpers in your car, print this nifty tag just in case you need to jump another vehicle.


car hacks for families


If you use reusable tote grocery bags you will love this idea.  Fill a bin with the totes and keep it in the trunk.  You have one place to go for all those bags.  Thanks I heart Organizing.

If you have a lot of driving this might be super helpful.  I know there are days when my older kids have had back-to-back games, during nap-time!!  This inflatable bed would have made resting easier on my tyke while the kids played/practiced.

Poke a hole into the lid of a water bottle and add a straw for an instant “sippy cup” for an older child.  Perk:  Throw it out when you reach your destination.  For more ideas like this one, check out our meals-on-the-go post.

Don’t let all the bags and jackets pile on the floor.  Use a tension rod – the kind designed for closets.  You can hang all the kids things.  Thanks Madame Deals for the idea!


car tips and tricks for moms and kids

For those kids who figure out how to unbuckle their seats, but do it at all the wrong times, this trick is invaluable!  Make a car seat belt “cover” using a small plastic cup.  Genius!

Organize the car and all the kids towels and other items that come with activities using a magazine rack.  No more digging through stacks of things in the trunk.

Put a pool noodle along the bed of a child when you are traveling in place of a bed rail.  Your kids will hopefully stay in the “new” bed.

Use a sponge as a back-up ice pack.  No more drips from ice!  Don’t have a sponge or have a larger thing to keep cool?  Try a dish towel.



Collage of tips for trips in the car with kids



Like this “hack” collection?

Check out our other tips and tricks posts:

Hacks for the House

BEST Lego Table Hacks

{Quick and Easy} Deep Cleaning Tricks

Lunch box tips

Must-do Camping Hacks

Snack Hacks for Kids

4 days later teeth whitening

About Rachel

An original "Quirky Momma" blogger and "Mommy" to six kids under six, when Rachel is not wiping crayon off the walls or wading through laundry, she can be found exploring and creating with her kiddos. She hopes to be someone who acts justly, loves kindness and walks humbly before God (Micah 6:8).