4 Tips for a Successful Family Road Trip


Campbell family with Mater at Disneyland Middle Class Dad

As parents, we all want our children to be exposed to situations that can enrich their lives and help strengthen their character. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by taking them on a family road trip. However, being cooped up in a car for several hours can make your kids restless and cranky. Here are a few tips you can try to make the whole experience enjoyable for the entire family. 

Plan ahead

Without careful planning, your family road trip can turn into a stressful experience. Plan out your trip a few days or weeks in advance. Remember to accomplish the things you need to do before your road trip. The last thing you want is to be stressed about your unfinished tasks during your trip. Map out your journey, check all the routes and make sure to add pit stops along the way. Avoid planning too many pit stops, as it is relatively easy to get distracted, making your road trip longer than it should be. Aside from gas station stops, remember to include one or two park pit stops in your itinerary. It will enable you to stretch your legs, and your kids can get some outdoor playtime. 

Pack smart

When packing for your road trip, you need to pack wisely. Avoid overpacking by listing essential items and categorizing them. Depending on your destination, make sure to pack comfortable clothing for everyone in your family. Bring any medication you require, and don’t forget the first aid kid. If you have older kids, let them pack their activity bags. Advise them to bring a few of their favorite toys, books, or any items that they could not leave home without. Bring plenty of healthy snacks so that your kids will have several food options. Prepping your food in advance can save you from making unnecessary stops, and you can also manage your budget more efficiently. In addition, remember to bring a road atlas or a paper map in case you lose your GPS connection. 

Arrange the entertainment

Aside from planning out their food and clothes, you also need to think of their entertainment. There are several games you can play with your kids to pass the time. Remember that families have been taking road trips even before the advent of technology, so do your research and get creative. When it comes to screen time, download a few of their favorite movies and have them take turns watching them. You can also create a playlist featuring their favorite songs to make the journey more enjoyable. 

Ensure their safety and comfort

Regardless of how skilled and safe you are as a driver, road accidents are inevitable occurrences that can happen at any time. Have your vehicle serviced before your trip, and don’t forget to bring your emergency roadside car kit. You also need to ensure that your children are buckled safely in their booster or Diono car seats. To make the car ride more comfortable for them, bring a few blankets and neck pillows. 

Road trips can be a great bonding activity you can do with your family. With careful planning and patience, you can turn it into a memorable experience for everyone.

 

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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