Summer vacations, long weekends, and the holiday season call for family road trips. Family road trips are a great way to bond as a family. However, a relaxing road trip can turn chaotic and cranky if everyone isn’t comfortable and entertained. Make the next family road trip a success and avoid repeated “are we there yet?” questions with these tips.
Plan for Stops
Don’t ever assume kids (or adults) can drive straight through without a break. Plan regular stops every one to two hours, if possible. Make stops fun by getting out and exercising as a family, visiting a quick tourist stop, or trying new local food. Encourage everyone to use the restroom and warn them about how long it is until the next stop.
Make a Seating Schedule
Stop kids from fighting over coveted window seats by making a seating schedule ahead of time. Arrange a schedule that aligns with the planned stops for regular switches. Knowing that they only have to sit by a certain sibling or in an unwanted seat for a certain amount of time can make trips more bearable for everyone.
Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
Don’t be tempted to grab junk food for your trip. The high salt and sugar levels in junk food and fast food will cause extra swelling, blood sugar crashes, and increase hunger. Overall, it will likely leave everyone feeling less than their best. Some healthy on-the-go snacks include:
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Easy-to-peel oranges
- String cheese
- Yogurt tubes
- Boiled eggs
- Beef or turkey jerky
- Hard-boiled eggs
It is also a good idea to bring a small cooler filled with water bottles to keep everyone hydrated. Just encourage everyone to sip, rather than guzzle, to prevent frequent restroom stops.
Tune Up the Car Stereo
Long car trips are the perfect time to listen and sing along to good music, books, and podcasts as a family. Tune up or replace the car stereo, and make sure it is in good working order before traveling. You may want to consider purchasing a new stereo if yours is older. Newer models include touch-screen navigation features, Apple CarPlay, and built-in Bluetooth to make it easy to listen to favorites.
Download Family-Friendly Content Ahead of Time
Don’t count on having internet access during your entire trip. Make a playlist as a family and include everyone’s favorite songs and download it to your phone ahead of time. Audiobooks, podcasts, and shows can also be downloaded ahead of schedule to cut down on loading and lag times.
Keep Kids and Cargo Separate
Squished kids are not happy kids. Keep cargo separate from the kids’ space, and give them plenty of space to move and stretch while traveling. Keep cargo tucked under seats, in the back of the vehicle, or strapped securely on top of the car to keep everyone safe and comfortable.
You don’t need to dread spending hours in the car as a family during the next road trip. Be prepared ahead of time and plan on enjoying some quality time together as a family while traveling.