Planning a Fun Family Road Trip

The concept of road trips has become a more popular form of vacationing in the last few decades. This type of travel is reminiscent of a time when the internet didn’t exist and the only way to discover more of the world was to get in the car and drive there. A road trip is unique because the transportation method is part of the trip rather than simply a way to get from point A to point B. 

Going on a road trip can be especially fun when you have kids to bring along with you, and it becomes even more feasible with the right car finance deals – check out some options here. Although being crammed into one vehicle for hours at a time over the course of multiple days may sound like a nightmare to parents, but if done right, it can create memories for the whole family that will last a lifetime.

However, planning a great road trip is not easy. Not only do you have to map out a route, but you have to find ways to keep people entertained and happy during the driving parts. Here are a few tips for planning the best family road trip.

Pack Light

One of the biggest challenges for a family going on a road trip is space. When people are crammed into a small space for a long time, tensions can get high. The younger the children are, the harder this can be. If your vehicle of choice is filled to the brim with luggage and there is barely enough room for the people, you may be in for a stressful driving situation. Try to cut out as many extra items as you can from the packing list. If you don’t absolutely need it, perhaps it should stay home. Encourage everyone to plan out their outfits so that suitcases don’t bulge and take up more room than they need to. Lighter packing means a little more space for a more comfortable ride.

Plan Without Overplanning

The key to a good road trip is having a plan, or a route, that you will follow. Whether you are just traveling across one state or the entire country, you should do research ahead of time to choose the best attractions to visit along your route. However, don’t go crazy with the number of stops you are going to make. Filling up the itinerary reduces the freedom to explore things that you see along the way. There could be attractions you never heard about that sound super fun when you drive by a sign for them. But, if you fill up the schedule and have a destination that must be reached by a certain time, you remove the ability to improvise. Choose places to visit but leave some room in the schedule to make decisions on the spot.

Choose Family-Oriented Attractions

Since you have your kids with you, it may not be wise to fill your trip with visits to museums and monuments. To make up for the hours spent on the road, which your kids may not love, the stops need to include family-oriented activities. For example, if you are traveling through Nashville, the whole family could participate in line dancing lessons. Or, if you spot a sign for a zoo or small theme park, feel free to stop for a few hours to give the kids something that will be fun and use up their energy. Remember, your children have much shorter attention spans than you do, so your trip must include some engaging and exciting activities.

Make Driving Fun

There aren’t always going to be attractions along the whole route. There may be stretches where there is nothing to see for hours. Knowing how to keep the young ones and yourselves entertained will be crucial to keeping the atmosphere in the vehicle positive. You can play some simple family road trip games like I Spy, Highway Bingo, or the License Plate game, where you keep track of the different states that you see. Additionally, you can have a playlist for the trip that features songs for everyone to enjoy. Anything that can make those long stretches seem shorter can improve the quality of your road trip.

Take Breaks. Lots of Them, if Necessary

When you travel with young children, you can never predict when things might go wrong. Maybe there is a problem with the vehicle, or you can’t figure out where the next gas station is, or there is a little too much movement in the back seat and someone gets hurt. It is important to take breaks not just for your muscles and back, but for your mental health as well. If you sense tensions getting a little high, maybe it is time to pull over for a bite to eat or a few minutes of stretching. Taking breaks during the trip may feel like a waste of time, but it could give everyone the chance to reset before getting back into the vehicle. 

A great road trip may require a lot of planning, but it will all be worth it once you have lifelong memories with your family.