We’re BIG fans of road trips and since getting my hybrid a few years ago, we’ve road tripped more than ever because it’s just so affordable and easy. My RAV4 is super reliable, it’s comfy, and it fits everything we need perfectly… Pair that with amazing fuel economy and we really have no excuse to NOT take road trips. (You can check it out here.) One of my favourite features of the particular model I have is the touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Car Play integration (hello, big clear navigation maps, Siri commands, hands-free calling and texting, JBL sound system, and multiple front and back USB ports!)
If you follow along over on Instagram or Facebook, you know I’ve been lucky enough to work with Toyota Pacific for the last three years and they’ve generously sponsored this post. They also have a fantastic giveaway happening right now, so be sure to read all the way to the end for details on how to enter.
We road trip A LOT and I love it. Our kids are great travellers and we all love adventuring and spending time away from home from time to time. Before heading out, I always prepare a few different things to listen to while road tripping and it makes long drives so much better! Here are my go-to options for things to listen to while road tripping with kids…
1. Downloadable Audiobooks via the Libby App
Do you take advantage of the downloadable audiobooks from your local library? We just started doing this and it’s such a game changer! They’re free, plentiful, and while they can be listened to via a web browser, if you have the Libby app you can download them directly to a device, which means that an internet connection isn’t required! (This is perfect for road trips – especially if your route takes you in and out of service areas like ours often do!)
Downloadable library audiobook borrowing works almost exactly like physical book borrowing does… You pop onto your library’s website and search for your desired title, topic, or genre – just filter your results so that downloadable audiobooks show up! From there you just borrow the books of your choice and listen to them via a browser or the app. The other perk to library-borrowed audiobooks? They automatically return when due and you don’t have to do a thing.
Because of the large age gap between our kids and the fact that they enjoy very different books, I often download these to separate devices for the kids to enjoy with a pair of headphones, but if it’s a book I know we’ll all enjoy or benefit from, I’ll connect a device to my vehicle via Apple Car Play and play it through the car speakers.
Here are a few of the kids’ current favourite downloadable audiobooks…
Gracen’s recently really enjoyed:
Ban this Book by Alan Gratz
Fast Pitch by Nic Stone
Golden Girl by Reen Faruqi
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
And Sam’s recently been enjoying the following two series, both of which include loads of titles, which is nice:
I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis
The Last Kids on Earth Series by Max Brallier
2. Podcasts via the Apple Podcast App
It feels like everyone is listening to podcasts these days (myself included), but every time I mention the kids listening to podcasts on social media, I get an influx of questions about allllllll things podcasts, so here’s the 411….
First off, podcasts are basically just audio programmes sort of like talk radio or the audio portion of a talk show. They’re made by all kinds of people about all kinds of things and they range from entertainment to education to interviews to conversations and everything else in between.
Now where does one find podcasts for kids? There are all sorts of podcast listening apps – Pocket Casts, Audible, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Overcast to name a few – but we use Apple Podcasts, the purple icon that you probably already have on your phone if you’re an Apple person. It’s free, easy to use, and includes over 30 million podcasts, all of which can be downloaded to your device for offline listening.
Which brings me to the next question people often ask – how do they work? They’re basically very similar to audiobooks. You pull up your podcast listening app, search for a desired title, topic, or genre and then download them to your device or listen via an internet connection.
My kids LOVE podcasts and often listen to them while doing something with their hands… Grae often listens while beading and Sam often listens while doodling, but podcasts are perfect for listening to in the car also! I do the same with these – download them to separate devices for the kids to listen to separately with headphones (no need to worry about battery life as there are two USB charging ports in the back seat) or just play them on the car speakers if it’s something we’ll all enjoy.
Gracen’s loves podcasts about social justice issues and current events and her current faves include:
And Sam LOVES story podcasts and has listened to the following recently:
3. Family-Friendly Playlists on Apple Music
While audiobooks and podcasts are great, sometimes you just want to cruise down the road listening to some good music, am I right?? I don’t know if you’ve noticed the same, but so much of the music I go to put on recently seems to have explicit lyrics. While I’m not overly worried about a little language here and there, I also want to listen to something that’s mostly 7 year old friendly.
My go to for music that I know will won’t be explicit?? Playlists that are specifically intended to be family-friendly.
Our streaming service of choice is Apple Music, so that’s where I find our playlists, but I’m fairly certain family-friendly playlists are available on most streaming services these days… Just pop over to your music streaming service, search “family”, and filter your results to show playlists. Once you find playlists you like, be sure to download them to your device so that you have music to cruise to even when you don’t have cell service.
Some of our favourite family-friendly playlists on Apple Music include:
What would you add? What do you listen to while road tripping with kids? I’d love to hear some more suggestions!
ALSO – do you have any road trips planned this summer? Our last road trip took us down to Vancouver for a very special day at Nat Bailey Stadium where the fam jam and I got to test drive one of the Superstar Series prize packs the Vancouver Canadians and Toyota Pacific are giving away this spring / summer and oh my goodness – we had the very best time!
The kids spun and won seat cushions before the game, we enjoyed free sparkling drinks at the Toyota tent, B threw the first pitch, the kids led the 7th inning stretch, we got to meet former MLB pitcher Tom Candiotti, and the Canadians played an incredible game.
If you love baseball and live in Vancouver or can get there, you have to enter! This season, the Vancouver Canadians and Toyota Pacific are giving away amazing grand prizes (each of which include 4 tickets and 2 VIP parking tickets) to their Superstar Series games happening on August 8th and August 22nd.
Click this link to enter. This contest is open to those 19+ in BC and the Yukon. Good luck, friends!! ❤️
Are you following us on social media?
We’d love for you to join us!