This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to book or purchase something, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting this blog.A road trip can be a rewarding way to visit multiple destinations in one trip. They can also be stressful, especially if traveling with kids. These tips will help keep your family road trip as stress-free as possible.
Plan Your StopsUnless you love surprises, even the bad types, the worst thing you can do is go on a road trip without a plan. Planning will help you avoid unexpected issues. The last thing you want is to be miles away from the next rest stop when your child screams, “I gotta pee!” Planning bathroom and meal breaks keep the driver in control of the trip and lessen the risk of stopping in strange, scary-looking places.
Use Google MapsGoogle maps allow you to place multiple stops between your starting point and your destination. You can also see what an area looks like using street view. Figure out where the gas stations and the restaurants are ahead of time. This will save you time and frustration. Placing your stops into the GPS keeps your trip organized and makes the trip much less daunting. Seeing three hours to your next stop looks much better than 15 hours to your destination. Sample Road trip from NYC to Orlando, FL with planned stops
Pack SnacksI don’t know about you, but in my family snacking is an activity and on a road trip, you’ll need as many activities as you can fit in the car. Snacking will help the driver stay alert while keeping your kids busy and quiet. Packing snacks will also save you time and money, allowing you to stop less often and avoid buying snacks from rest stops.
Pack Plenty of EntertainmentBringing entertainment is obvious but the trick is to bring different types of entertainment. It may be hard to believe but even if your child is a huge Minecraft or Fortnite fan, or your toddler a huge Cocomelon fan, they will eventually get bored of playing or watching even their favorites. Sitting in a car for an extended period will eventually frustrate your child and the easiest way to distract them is by giving them something new and different to do each time. The Dollar Store and Amazon are great places to find plenty of affordable, car-friendly activities.
Stretch Your LegsEven if you don’t have to use the bathroom during one of your bathroom breaks, make sure everyone gets out to stretch their legs. This includes taking your baby out of the car seat, even if they don’t need a change. Allowing your child to stretch will ease their restlessness. Getting out at each stop also shortens the feel of the trip. Each stop feels like part of the adventure.
Don’t Overpack the CarMake sure your kids have enough room to stretch their legs and arms in the car. Try to keep the back seats as clear as possible, including underneath their feet. Being squished between a bunch of stuff just isn’t comfortable. The more comfortable your kids are, the fewer complaints you’ll hear, and the less stressed you’ll be.
Dress Your Child in Layers
If your child has on a coat, hat, and boots the entire road trip, I promise you won’t get very far. Not only will they be extremely uncomfortable, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, wearing a coat in a car seat is also unsafe. Dressing your child in layers will allow you to quickly adjust their outfits to changing climates. This is most important if you’re traveling to or from a cold climate. Instead, dress them in a hooded sweater on top of their shirt and keep the coat handy.