Family Road trip

How To Prepare For Your Ultimate Family Road Trip

When you have a family, road trips are usually the best way to get to your vacation destination. You can save hundreds on airfare and have an epic time bonding with your loved ones. But that’s not to say that every road trip goes off without a hitch. On the contrary, there are many pitfalls to avoid.

But don’t fret too hard. The most common pitfalls are super easy to avoid if you prepare in advance.

​Here are some tips to help you prepare for your ultimate family road trip.

#1. ​Prepare Your Vehicle

Your vehicle is arguably the most essential part of your road trip. After all, this is how you’re going to get to your destination and get around to attractions while you’re there. If something goes wrong with your car, it could spell disaster and the end of a road trip that otherwise would have been fantastic. Service your ride at least a month before your departure date, so you have enough time to get any recommended repairs done between the service date and your trip.

The alternative could leave you stuck on the side of the road when you’re supposed to be sailing along enjoying fun road trip games. You definitely don’t want that.

#2. Plan Entertainment

The longer your road trip, the more entertainment you’ll need to plan. The kids will inevitably sleep for some of the rides, but when they’re awake, you probably don’t want to leave them to their own devices. This is how those backseat throwdowns take hold. Instead, bring plenty of things that can keep your kids entertained. This may include coloring books and crayons, magnetic puzzles and word games like Mad Libs.

#3. Create A Playlist

Every great story has an even better soundtrack. Your family road trip is no exception. Create a playlist that includes everyone’s favorite family-friendly songs. And if you’re at a loss, consider popping in a kid’s movie soundtrack. These days, songs from movies (think Sing, Trolls, and Moana) are as much of a hit with adults as they are with kids.

When the trip is nothing more than a memory, those songs will bring everyone back to those priceless moments of scream-singing and laughing together as a family.

When the trip is nothing more than a memory, those songs will bring everyone back to those priceless moments of scream-singing and laughing together as a family.

#4. Bring Snacks

Everyone appreciates a good snack break on a long ride. Much like with games and songs, snacks offer a way to break up the time. Bring everyone’s favorite foods, and you may even consider an especially decadent treat that you can dole out for good behavior. Who doesn’t love a good reward?

And if you want to keep it healthy, you have options. Here are some ideas for healthy road trip snacks:

  • Trail mix
  • Baby carrots and hummus
  • Dehydrated bananas
  • Apples and peanut butter

#5. Plan Pitstops

You know you’re going to need to stop for bathroom breaks, so why not combine potty stops with something fun? See if any kid-friendly parks or attractions are along your route. The kids are much more likely to be on their best behavior when boredom isn’t part of the equation, so these stops are as much for you as they are for them.

You don’t have to go overboard with pitstops, but if you’re on an especially long road trip, try to plan at least one per day. Some ideas include children’s museums, amusement parks, city parks, themed restaurants, zoos, and beaches. Fun pitstops are also a great way to make the journey just as fun and memorable as the destination. And isn’t that also a great lesson for life?

#6. Get The Kids Involved

If your kids are school-aged, ask them to help you plan parts of the trip. They can get involved in planning meals, stops, pitstops and game choices. They may also get a kick out of learning about each state you go through, so you can task them with coming up with fun facts to share with the family as you pass each place. Of course, if your children are younger, you can do this in reverse (you come up with the fun facts to share with the kids).

#7. Organize Your Vehicle

​Have you ever had to rummage around in the backseat for something while you were driving? Of course, you have. You’re a parent.

​You may have become a bit of a pro at this, but it’s certainly not an ideal situation, especially when you’re in a car that’s packed to the gills. Invest in a good backseat organizer or research some DIY car organization hacks to help keep things under control. You’ll also want to get the kids on board with your tidy-car goals. Make sure they know where everything goes and that they should be returning things to their proper places after they’re done with them.

​Road trips are some of the most memorable vacations around, and with some good planning, your family will remember this trip for all the right reasons.

September 5, 2018

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