Road tripping with kids can be a bit intimidating. If you’re new to the family travel world, it’s a great way to get your feet wet! It’s more affordable, you can choose your destination based on numerous factors, and there are so many ways to keep the kids happy!
Whenever I come across someone who is nervous, I remind them that it’s a lot easier than plane travel. When you’re driving, you get to set your own schedule! You don’t have to worry about anyone being bothered besides your own family, the snacks are in your control, and you can stop whenever you need to stretch those legs.
Still worried? Here’s a few suggestions to help when you’re road tripping with kids.
1. Start Small
I don’t suggest trying a 40 hour drive for your first road trip. Test the waters by heading somewhere local that’s within a few hours. Consider it a practice! My kids love day adventures almost as much as the big ones. Don’t be that family who decided to drive 26 hours straight before your kids are accustomed to it. It probably won’t go well.
2. Plan Lots of Stops
The most driving we’ve ever done in one day is nine hours, and I really don’t recommend it. It changes from a fun and relaxing atmosphere to a stressful one where the entire focus is simply getting there. It’s when you’ll find your kids constantly asking “Are we there yet?” My favourite days involve 5-6 hours of driving with intermittent stops. Rest Stops (with bubbles), restaurants, and tourist attractions all make for memorable moments while on the road.
3. Bring Some Entertainment
We don’t have TVs in our car. We instead bring sticker and colouring books, search and finds, and action figures. We load up the Ipod with music or books on tape that everyone likes. We play group games like eye spy and 21 questions. Something small to snuggle really helps for naps if your kids are young, and I cannot stress the importance of bringing snacks. They really improve the mood when things go South!
4. Enjoy Your Hotel/Campground
It’s easy to see your hotel or nightly campground as simply a place to sleep, but when you’re traveling with kids, try to book something that’s more fun. Getting a place with a pool is a high priority, because we know the kids need to work off that energy after a day of sitting in a car. I suggest looking up your stops on TripAdvisor to see what’s recommended to do in the area.
5. Do Your Research
If you’re reading this, you have internet. Please, I beg you, do a bit of research before your trip. Check reviews of the hotels you’re staying at, the attractions you’re interested in, and the temperatures you’ll encounter while you visit. Just last week I almost took our entire family 1.5 hours away to a place that was temporarily closed! Thank goodness I googled it just in time. You need to know what to expect before you invest all that time driving.
Once you’ve mastered these things, road tripping with kids becomes so doable! You’ll save yourself a ton of money, see things you’d never see from the air, and make wonderful memories with your family.
As always, feel free to message me with any more specific questions. Happy travels, friends!