I feel a family road trip has a poor reputation, especially for parents with toddlers. Everyone is crammed into the family car. They are getting on each other’s nerves. Family road excursions, on the other hand, can be enjoyable. At the very least, it is not bad at all. If you follow these guidelines, you will have a fantastic family road trip:
If you want to prevent car sickness during road trips then do check my guide on that as well.
1. Involve the children from the beginning
Because they are invested in the process, children who assist choose the destination are more likely to be excited and helpful. Instead of allowing the kids to make suggestions, I provide them a few options that we have already approved.
It is not always possible to predict where you will end up. For example, maybe you are heading north to see Grandma. In that scenario, seek your children’s assistance with the rest of the plans, including stopping points along the road. In either scenario, a special family gathering can help this journey get started to a good start.
2. Open An Account to Save Money
You will be less stressed about money and more likely to enjoy your time with your family if you try to anticipate your spending and have a pot of money set aside for your trip. It will also help you to maintain your budget for your family road trip accordingly.
3. Begin making preparations
Planning what you will do when you arrive is part of the fun of the trip. Bring the kids to the library to borrow books about your destination. We make a list of the places we want to see and the activities my kids want to participate in. Some places will require reservations in advance. Also, when buying tickets in advance, you can often get a discount.
4. Point out Fascinating Sights
The little observers enjoy fields of cows and horses on the way that are sometimes the most effective. On one of our road trips, my kids were enthralled by the rolling hills north of Tampa, and their enthusiasm grew as we traveled deeper into the Appalachian Mountains. They also oohed and aahed over the enormous trucks and unusual automobiles we passed on the highway.
5. Set Aside Time to go for a Run
Large grassy lawns are common in rest areas. Parks are also available near several highway exits. Allow the kids to run around for 15 minutes at each of these locations. A Frisbee or ball in the car can come in handy. A Frisbee or ball in the automobile can come in handy. We normally pack our first road trip supper and stop for a picnic at a rest stop to let the kids burn off some steam.
6. Make Snacks Available
Fill a small cooler with non-spillable drinks and snacks. My small children enjoy goldfish crackers and Cheerios as their road trip snacks. The entire family can enjoy apples and small carrots. Don’t forget to bring paper towels or napkins.
7. Bring a blanket, teddy animals, and/or a cushion in case the kids fall asleep
Little heads can be propped up with stuffed animals and pillows to help them deal with head nodding. I have those u-shaped travel pillows that are useful for road traveling.
8. Watch the Weather
One of the reasons we disliked our long family road trip was the difficulties of planning travel around the weather.
We only had around two weeks of warm weather out of the ten months and continually altered our plans due to snowstorms!
However, we had a great time exploring the Grand Canyon in the winter, and Crater Lake looked stunning with the snow.
When you travel with family, it is difficult to adjust to the wild crowds in the United States. But you have to if you do not want to lose out on your main attractions.
I usually plan or book where we will be staying at night if we have a long road trip. Daniel and I choose suites online that have separate sleeping spaces for kids. You can use different vacation rental sites found online.
10. Lower Your Expenses
A road trip can be a cost-effective mode of transportation when traveling with kids. Look for more ways to cut costs, such as:
- Camp. It is reasonably priced, and you may even camp for free. Daniel and I took a road trip through the Southeast United States, sleeping largely in the back of our van or camping with a single baby.
- Concentrate on one area at a time. Deepen and broaden your search.
- Take a road trip with your friends and share the expenses.
- For city stops, look for sightseeing passes and other tourist discount cards.
- Pack the car with paddleboards/kayaks, bikes, and snorkeling equipment to explore the vast outdoors. You will not be disappointed, and your adventures will be unforgettable.
11. Coach as if you are preparing for a Marathon.
It is feasible to run 30.06 miles while sitting on the couch, but you will not enjoy it. The same can be said for long automobile rides. If you are planning a long trip—say, more than eight hours on a single day—it will be considerably more bearable if you start with a few shorter, gradually longer shakedown trips to build up your road-trip stamina.
Which child can go for hours without being energized? Which podcasts will keep the whole family entertained? Who needs to go to the bathroom every hour? How long can a family-size bag of potato chips keep you going?
With 800 miles to go, you do not want to be asking these types of questions for the first time. Our family of five took multiple four- to eight-hour summer road trips before heading to Montana.
12. Allow them to watch “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”
Do not feel bad about it: screen time is a great method to keep the kids occupied on an extended road journey.
When you become a parent, you are subjected to years of hand-wringing and uninvited opinions regarding screen time. But here’s the thing: watching movies online is an incredibly effective way to keep the peace on long road trips.
So, while we are rigorous about screens at home, we typically ignore the rules—and the guilt—when we are on the road. We bring one laptop and a decent pair of headphones and have each youngster take turns downloading a couple of requested episodes or movies.
This strategy makes everyone satisfied while avoiding a far more serious act of parental neglect: hauling your children a thousand miles down the spine of the Rocky Mountains without letting them see anything.