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The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Perfect Kid-Friendly Road Trip

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The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Perfect Kid-Friendly Road Trip

Throughout the year many families plan their vacations. Whether it be a summer vacation or a holiday break, between low gas prices and weather (or global pandemic!), now may be the perfect time to hop in the car for a long family road trip. While long stints in the car leave many kids asking “are we there yet?” take a look at these tips to have them instead asking about the next road trip.

Make the Journey Part of the Fun

Kid-Friendly Road Trip - Make the Journey Part of the Fun

Car travel doesn’t have to be a necessary evil required to reach a destination. Make the drive part of the fun. In addition to classics like the license plate game, many new entertainment options are available that the whole family can enjoy. Younger kids will like simpler games like eye spy while older kids may prefer trivia or other time-tested favorites. Additionally, look for interesting stops along your route. If a billboard offers an interesting detour, take it.

Break Up Long Drives

 Kid-Friendly Road Trip - Break Up Long Drives

Break Up Long Drives – Bubbles at a rest stop?

Most kids don’t like to sit still for hours on end. Take frequent breaks at regular intervals to interrupt long stretches of road. Let the kids stretch their legs and blow off energy at rest stops and other roadside attractions. While taking breaks will add to your overall travel time, the stress reduction likely will pay off ten-fold. By taking regular bathroom breaks, you also reduce the unfortunate chance of being stuck in traffic with a child who needs to use the restroom.

Bring Plenty to Do

Kid-Friendly Road Trip - Bring Plenty to Do

While many cars now have rear-seat entertainment systems, consider packing old fashioned or educational activities for your children. If your family is taking a road trip during the school year, bring homework. If traveling over summer break, bring books or brain games. One alternate activity that can get the whole family involved is listening to a good audiobook or podcast. With an enormous library of available titles, there’s something for everyone.

Pack Accordingly

Kid-Friendly Road Trip - Pack Accordingly

Discomfort can make any kid irritable. To keep the whole family happy, make sure you have weather-appropriate attire, as well as other comfort accouterments to keep the backseat peaceful. If the weather will turn much hotter or colder at the destination, make sure you bring a change of clothes. If there’s room, consider packing a blanket and pillow for the kids. It may also be a good idea to pack tissues, hand sanitizer, and upset stomach medication, particularly if your child is prone to carsickness.

Plan a Budget and Stick to it

Kid-Friendly Road Trip - Plan a Budget and Stick to it

This final tip is for your sake. After all, you can’t have a happy family road trip without happy parents. For your own peace of mind, plan a realistic budget, and stick to it. Consider allocating a small portion of your budget for splurge activities and other unexpected expenses. Adhering to a budget will reduce stress on your part and lead to a happier trip for all.

A road trip can be an awesome bonding experience and a time for the whole family to get closer. While things inevitably come up on any road trip, these simple tips will hopefully reduce stress and make the trip more enjoyable for the whole family.

Thank you, Morris, for the amazing guest post!

Morris Lilienthal is a shareholder with the personal injury law firm Martinson & Beason, P.C. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has received the Alabama Super Lawyer Rising Star award. In addition to car accidents, he also assists clients with wrongful death, nursing home negligence, and products liability cases

How about you? Do you have any kid-friendly road trip suggestions to add?

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Yukti Agrawal

Friday 4th of September 2020

I always travel with kids and so you suggestions for kid friendly road trip is very useful for me. As I go for long road drives with my children, it would really great to have small break in between. Also stocking up with necessary stuff in our car is the thing I follow always.

Yona Williams

Monday 8th of May 2017

I have been on only one road trip with a child, and it was my nephew. We drove 4 hours to NYC and he actually spent a good chunk of it asleep. When he wasn't sleeping, I had plenty of games up my sleeve to keep him occupied. License plate games and find-a-car-color games really help pass the time.

Leigh Anne Borders

Monday 8th of May 2017

I believe it is so important to take time to create memories with our children. Taking the time to plan out those adventure sis necessary. I love the idea of travel packs for them as we head out. This will definitely help with our car rides.

Echo

Monday 8th of May 2017

These are fabulous tips! I always try to make the journey as fun and as exciting as the destination! I pack little travel packs for the kids. They are always filled with fun activities and snacks!

Chrishelle Ebner

Monday 8th of May 2017

So many great tips. I always found successful road trips with my three kids took lots of preparation, but it was totally worth it. We accumulated some wonderful memories during our road trip vacation. Snacks and entertainment were at the top of my list. I miss these days.