Almost 40% of vacations in America are road trips.
The main reason for this? Flights are expensive, and once you add a few children into the mix, they can make vacation unaffordable. To still enjoy your vacation time away from home, pack the minivan and embark on an old-fashioned road trip.
There’s more to a family road trip than just playing car games. Keep reading to discover key tips for planning a family road trip.
1. Schedule Stops Along the Way
When planning a road trip, the most enjoyable ones include pit stops for everyone to stretch their legs. Without breaks, hours of uninterrupted driving easily lead to grumpy and fighting family members.
We suggest stopping at least every two hours. Yes, this will extend the time it takes to get to your final destination, but it can also add to your overall vacation.
Choose little stops along the way for bathroom and food breaks. These can be as simple as rest stops where after everyone uses the bathroom you take a little walk to explore.
Or, if your trip stretches into the overnight hours, plan in an extra day for traveling. Use this day to stop for the evening in a unique town. After everyone sleeps in the hotel, spend a few hours experiencing what the town has to offer before hitting the road again.
2. Bring Along Entertainment
Yes, old fashioned car games are fun, but reading license plates will only keep your children occupied for so long.
If your road trip consists of more than a few hours, it’s best to arm yourself with a variety of entertainment types.
Here are a few favorites we suggest for a perfect road trip:
- Audiobooks or sing-a-long playlists
- Tablets for playing games or watching movies
- Coloring or sticker books
3. Pack Snacks and Drinks
Even though we suggest you plan a road trip with frequent stops, it’s still a good idea to pack snacks and drinks. Odds are, there will be at least one occurrence of a child saying they’re thirsty as soon as you get back on the road.
Pack a cooler full of drinks and packaged snacks for your vehicle. Make sure the cooler is within reach of an adult or older child so they can dole out treats while in motion. Let each person pick their favorite snacks or drinks to pack so the car ride is more enjoyable.
4. Budget Accordingly
Our last tip for how to plan a road trip is budgeting accordingly.
The envelope system is a great way to ensure you have enough funds for every aspect of your trip. Separate your vacation budget by categories, such as gas, lodging, food, and entertainment. Then, put a certain amount of cash into each envelope.
This will give you a visual of how much money remains in each category. This will help ensure you don’t spend all your money while at your destination, leaving no cash for gas to get home!
If credit cards are more your style, research more credit card selections to find the right one for your family.
Enjoy the Family Road Trip of a Lifetime
With all these tips, you’re ready to enjoy the family road trip of a lifetime.
Hopefully, these tips will get your family to your final destination in a pleasant and cheerful mood. Sometimes, the best vacation memories are those made during the road trip!
For more great advice on traveling with children, visit the travel section of our site.